10 Important Mountains In The Bible

Sunset at Mount Nebo
© Nngowen / Creative Commons

Written by Tracy Graham

Updated: May 1, 2023

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Mountains play a big role in Christian and Jewish theology.

The Middle East contains many mountains and at the time when the Bible was recorded, those mountains would have played a very significant role in everyday life.

Mountains are also symbolized climbing into Heaven and being closer to God. That’s why so many important moments in Christianity happen on mountaintops.

Important Mountains In The Bible infographic
Important Mountains In The Bible infographic

10 Important Mountains In The Bible

There are many mentions of mountains in the Bible, but some people are surprised to learn that most of the mountains in the Bible are actually real places.

Some of them are historical sites, others are sacred religious sites. You can go and tour many of these mountains and learn more about their history and significance in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. 10 of the most significant mountains in the Bible are:

Mount Ararat

Location: Ağrı Dağı, Turkey

As mentioned in: Genesis 8:4

Height: 12, 782 feet

Known For: Mount Ararat is located on the border of Turkey, Armenia, and Iran. In the Bible, Mount Ararat is known for being the place where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the flood that destroyed the world. For that reason the Armenians consider them to be the direct descendants of Noah and the first people to start a civilization after the Great Flood.

For centuries people believed that the remnants of Noah’s Ark would be found on the summit of Mount Ararat, but no one was able to make the ascent to the summit to find it. In the middle of the 1800s, the first explorer was able to reach the summit but didn’t find the Ark.

Throughout the last 100 years or so explorers have tried to search the summit for any signs of Noah’s ark like buried wood or remnants of tools or cloth that the Ark would have contained. No one has ever found anything concrete although some explorers say that ground penetrating radar has revealed the presence of some type of wooden structure far below the ground on the mountain slope.

Mount Ararat is located on the border of Turkey, Armenia and Iran.

In the Bible, Mount Ararat is known for being the place where Noah’s Ark came to rest after the flood that destroyed the world.

©Whatafoto/Shutterstock.com

Mount Sinai

Located in: Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Mentioned in: Exodus 19 and 20, Numbers 3, Nehemiah 9:13,14

Height: 7,496 feet

Known For: Mount Sinai is one of the most important mountains mentioned in the Bible. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all mention Mount Sinai in their holy texts as the place where Moses was given the 10 Commandments by God.

In the Bible Mount Sinai is referred to as Mount Sinai twice but it is also called Mount Horeb. That led to an argument among Biblical scholars about the location of Mount Sinai and whether or not it was the mountain in the Sanai Peninsula that was actually referenced in the Bible.

Scholars ultimately determined that Mount Sanai and Mount Horeb were the same mountains that can be found on the Sinai Peninsula. According to the biblical story Moses lives on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights with no food or water. God appeared to Moses as the mount shook and erupted with fire and when Moses emerged he had two stone tablets with him that contained the 10 Commandments, which came directly from God.

Sunrise at Mount Sinai

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all mention Mount Sinai in their holy texts as the place where Moses was given the 10 Commandments by God.

©Mountains Hunter/Shutterstock.com

Mount Zion

Located: Jerusalem, Israel

Mentioned in: 2 Samuel 5:1-10, 1 Kings 8:1

Height: 2,427 feet

Known For: Mount Zion is actually a large hill that sits just outside the Old City in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred cities on Earth. Mount Zion is mentioned many times in the Bible as the site of several different important events and locations.

King David’s Tomb is said to be on Mount Zion. So is the chamber where the Last Supper took place. It’s also supposed to be the place where Mary is buried. With so many events and people tied to this one site, it can be dizzying to try and keep track of all the significant mentions of Zion in the Bible.

If you take a trip to the Holy Land you can tour Mount Zion and learn more about the many mentions of Mount Zion and other mountains in the Bible while you tour them and get a  better sense of what life was like during Jesus’ time.

Mount Zion, Jerusalem

Mount Zion is actually a large hill that sits just outside the Old City in Jerusalem, one of the most sacred cities on Earth.

©Protasov AN/Shutterstock.com

Mount Gerizim

Located in: Nablus, The West Bank

Mentioned in: Deuteronomy 11:29, Joshua 8:33, John 4:19-21, Judges 9:7

Height: 2,890 feet

Known For: Mount Gerizim is not the most well-known of the mountains in the Bible but it’s very significant. This mountain has been the home of the Samaritan people for thousands of years and it’s still one of their sacred sites today.

The Samaritans believed that the top of Mount Gerizim was where Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice him to God after God demanded that Abraham kill his son to show his obedience to God.

Abraham would have done it, but at the last second God told Abraham not to kill his son but to kill some animals as an offering instead of his son. Because Mount Gerizim was sacred in the Samaritan faith that’s where they think Abraham’s act of service to God would have happened.

In the New Testament Jesus indirectly references Mount Gerizim when he tells the parable of the Samaritan woman at the well.

Historic Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim has been the home of the Samaritan people for thousands of years and it’s still one of their sacred sites today.

©Dave Primov/Shutterstock.com

Mount of Olives

Located in: Jerusalem, Israel

Mentioned in: Luke 22:39, Acts 1:9-12, 2 Samuel 15:30

Height: 2,709 feet

Known For: The Mount of Olives is also Mount Olivet, a mountain that is just outside Jerusalem. In the Old Testament Mount Olivet is mentioned as the place where King David escaped from the soldiers that were trying to kill him and take his power. It’s also been a sacred burial place for Jewish people for centuries. The Southern part of the mountain contains a large necropolis where there are thousands of tombs containing ossuaries of the dead.

But what the Mount of Olives is most well-known for in Christianity comes from the New Testament. The night before Jesus was crucified after the Last Supper when he went to pray and reflect on what he knew would happen to him the next day he went to pray at the Mount of Olives. After the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus, the Bible says that he ascended to Heaven after addressing Mary and the Apostles at the Mount of Olives.

Mount Olivet (The Mount of Olives)

The Mount of Olives is also Mount Olivet, a mountain that is just outside Jerusalem.

©John Theodor/Shutterstock.com

Mount Nebo

Located in: Jordan

As mentioned in: Deuteronomy 32:49, 34:1

Height: 2,650 feet

Known For: Mount Nebo is a remote mountain located in present-day Jordan. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Mount Nebo is where Moses was shown a vision of the Promised Land where his people could be safe after leaving Egypt although Moses was told he would not be allowed to enter. He died on the mountain and was buried in a tomb on the slope of the mountain.

It’s also theorized that the Ark of The Covenant is hidden somewhere on Mount Nebo. Even though people have been trying to find the Ark of the Covenant for centuries no one has ever been able to find it on Mount Nebo, or anyplace else.

Sunset at Mount Nebo

©Nngowen / Creative Commons – Original / License

Mount Moriah

Located in: Jerusalem, Israel

Mentioned in: Genesis 22:2, 2 Chronicles 3:1

Height: 2,519 feet

Known For: Mount Moriah is significant in the Bible because it is described as the site of the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount was a 37-acre site where Solomon’s Temple stood. Today this site is considered a sacred site by Jewish people, Christians, and Muslims.

Ownership of the site is contested. There is a church there and a mosque called the Dome of the Rock. Herod later built Solomon’s Temple and established Herod’s Temple and palace complex on the site.

While the Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim is where Abraham was about to sacrifice his son to show his devotion and obedience to God the other faiths that consider the Old Testament to be sacred texts believe that it was really Mount Moriah where Abraham was going to sacrifice his son. It makes sense for this to be the case since the site has been a sacred site for thousands of years.

Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount)

Mount Moriah is significant in the Bible because it is described as the site of the Temple Mount.

©David Ionut/Shutterstock.com

Mount Tabor

Located in: Lower Galilee, Israel

Mentioned in: Matthew 17:1-9

Height: 1,886 feet

Known For: Mount Tabor is believed to be the site where Jesus underwent transfiguration after revealing himself as the Messiah. Now there is an elaborate church called the Basilica of The Transformation at the top of the mountain. It sits on the place where the actual Transfiguration supposedly took place. The Transfiguration taking place at the top of the mountain makes sense.

Throughout the Bible, important moments happened on mountains because they were close to the sky and close to God. People have been making religious pilgrimages to the site even since the 4th century C.E.

Mount Tabor in the background of field of poppies

Mount Tabor is believed to be the site where Jesus underwent transfiguration after revealing himself as the Messiah.

©Irisphoto1/Shutterstock.com

Mount Carmel

Located in: Haifa, Israel

Mentioned in: 1 King 18:16-46, 2 Kings 2:25

Height: 1,791 feet

Known For: Mount Carmel is believed to be the site of the showdown between the Prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The Old Testament says that there was a drought that lasted for three years in Israel. The Prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a spiritual showdown on the top of Mount Carmel to try and end the drought.

After the prophets of the other religions held ceremonies and made blood sacrifices there was still no sign of rain. So Elijah prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered with a blast of fire on the mountain that consumed all the sacrifices from the other prophets and the water that Elijah had offered. After Elijah’s prayers and offerings rain came and the drought ended.

Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel is believed to be the site of the showdown between the Prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

©MOR BEN ZION/Shutterstock.com

Mount Of Beatitudes

Located in: Northern Israel

As mentioned in: Matthew 5:1

Height: 656 feet

Known For: The Mount of Beatitudes is also known as Mount Eremos. This hill is more of a raised plateau than a mountain. It’s one of the most important mountains in the Bible even though it’s not very large. It’s important because it’s the site where Jesus delivered the Sermon On The Mount.

The Sermon on The Mount is where Jesus talked about the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes famously blessed the poor, the weak, and other downtrodden people. That’s why now the site is known as the Mount of Beatitudes. There is a church on the site and it’s a place that religious pilgrims visit eagerly.

Mount Eremos (Mount of Beatitudes)

The Sermon on The Mount is where Jesus talked about the Beatitudes.

©Larry Barrett/Shutterstock.com

Summary of 10 Tallest Mountains In The Bible

Here is a summary of the 10 Tallest Mountains In The Bible:

RankMountains
1Mount Ararat
2Mount Sinai
3Mount Gerizim
4Mount of Olives
5Mount Nebo
6Mount Moriah
7Mount Zion
8Mount Tabor
9Mount Carmel
10Mount of Beatitudes

Highest Point In The Bible

Mount Ararat – 12,782 feet


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