Mount Precipice: They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. (Luke 4:29)
Open Hour, Daylight Hours
Mount Precipice is located on the south side of Nazareth, among the hills of Kedimum, overlooking Mount Tabor and Yizrael Valley. Mount Precipice can be reached by car if the driver simply follows the “Mt. Precipice” signs on the highway that bypasses Nazareth toward Jewish Natzeret Illit.
Though it does involve a hike, a visit to the top of the cliff is well worth it. The view of the Yizrael valley (vallee de Jezreel) is spectacular. You can also see Afula, Mount Tabor and quite a panorama of the area.
From the east of Mount Precipice, you can see Mount Tabor (quite round) and the depression of the Sea of Galilee to the right of Mount Tabor. Even closer, the observer can see the Arab village of Iksal. This same village was referred to in the Bible book of Joshua as “Chisloth-tabor.” The west side of the hill reveals a beautiful view of the old city of Nazareth before the reconstruction.
In 2009, the Pope visited Nazareth for one day. An amphitheater was built to house the 40,000 who visited to hear him speak. The Pope’s seat was on the lower slopes of Mount Precipice.
According to the Bible in Luke 4, Jesus Christ made a congregation of Jews angry by stating he was the fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah. This was a messianic prophecy, so Jesus Christ was essentially saying he was the messiah. This angry mob chased him down the streets of Nazareth and onto a steep hill, intending to throw him over. Mount Precipice was believed to be this place where Jesus Christ leaped away from the angry crowd, extending his life a bit longer until his eventual crucifixion at the hands of those same Jews.
The precise location of this leap is contested, as, according to Luke, the cliff was adjacent to Nazareth. Mount Precipice is 2KM away from downtown Nazareth. The more likely location of the cliff is where the church district is located now. According to the Greek Orthodox Church the cliff is on the Eastern peak of the Nazareth hills.
Over the years, Mount Precipice was also used as a quarry due to its centralized location and ability to connect Afula, Yizrael Valley and the Natzeret Illit. Now it is a tourist attraction, along with Mary’s Cave or the Cave of Mary’s Fright. This cave is adjacent to Mount Precipice. According to legend, it is the location where Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, watched with fear the fate of her son.
In addition, this is a spot where ancient artifacts were found. Over 10 layers of prehistoric dwellings were uncovered, as well as the remains of Qafzeh man, dating back to the Neanderthal period. Hence, the name Kedimum Hills means “ancient place” in Hebrew. Precipice means very steep cliff, rendering this site a very steep cliff in an ancient place. A must-see on any journey through the Holy Lands!