The Horns of Hattin – the link to Jesus?


As I will discuss the appalling defeat suffered by the Templars at the place that has come to be known as the Horns of Hattin – it’s worth pointing out that some biblical scholars believe this location to the most likely for Jesus to have preached the Sermon on the Mount.  It’s a rather cruel irony then that the warriors of Christ would come to grief here in 11187.  Click here to see some very pleasing photos of the area.

This from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

“The scene of this discourse is traditionally located on Karn Hattin (or Kurun Hattîn), the Horns of Hattin, a mountain which receives its name from the little village at its northern base and from the two cones or horns which crown its summit. Karn Hattin is in Galilee in easy distance of Nazareth, Cana, and Mt. Tabor to the southwest, of Tiberias and Lake Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) to the east, and of Capharnaum to the northeast, in the centre, therefore, of much of the ministry of Jesus. It lies 1, 816 feet above the lake and 1,135 feet above the sea level (according to Baedeker, Palestine and Syria, Leipzig, 1898, pp. 285, 288, which has the high authority of Socin and Benzinger). This mountain, rising above the hills that skirt the lake, is the only height to the west that can be seen from its shores. It consists of a low ridge about one-quarter of a mile long extending east and west, and rising at each extremity into a cone or horn. The horn, which is the taller, is only sixty feet above the ridge. Between the horns lies an uneven platform which could easily accomodate the crowd that followed Jesus; but it is believed that the spot on which the discourse was given is lower down, on a level place on the southern side of the mountain, corresponding with St. Luke’s description (topou pedinou), vi. 17, which may mean a level place, as well as a “plain”. From the eastern slope of the hill there is a beautiful view, to the east, of the lake with the Jôlan (Gaulanitis) mountains beyond, to the south, the plateau of Ard el-Hamma and Mt. Tabor, and to the north the snowy height of Mt. Hermon. The tradition that there was a village on the mountain top, if true (the only proof being the remains of a wall which served as defence to a camp), might lend point to the reference in the sermon to the city which was seated on a hill and could not be hid (Matthew 5:14); and the beautiful flowers that abound there might include the unidentified “lilies of the field” (6:28). Bishop Le Camus (Notre Voyage aux Pays Bibliques, II, pp. 220-222) thought he never saw elsewhere and never imagined so lovely a variety and harmony in the beauty of flowers; other travellers are scarcely so enthusiastic, but all agree the spot has a charm of its own. The Horns of Hattin are mentioned by a feeble and late tradition as the site of the second multiplication of loaves. The Jews of the locality point out here also the tomb of Jethro, father-in-law of Moses. During the Crusades the plain below was the scene of the battle in which Saladin dealt the death-blow to French power in Palestine (3-4 July, 1187).”

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