Q: #386. How many mountains are there in the Bible?
By: Steve Shirley
A: Mountains are mentioned almost 570 times in the Bible. Much of the land where people lived in the Bible was hilly and mountainous. As such, it is VERY difficult to determine exactly how many mountains there were. I am sure there are Bible geographers out there who have done so, but I am not one, so I did the best I could with a Strong's Concordance and a Bible. I found 35 places called "mountains." This is not counting places that are called "hills" (i.e. Hachilah, Gaash, Moreh).
About one-third of the mountains listed in the Bible had at least one or more major events that occurred on them. Mt. Sinai (also called Mt. Horeb) and Mt. Zion are the most prominent mountains in the Old Testament, and the Mount Of Olives is the most prominent mountain in the New Testament. I will list the mountains on a chart in alphabetical order, show verses which call them a mountain, and briefly explain why a few are prominent.
|Abarim||(Num 27:12)(Num 33:47-48)|
|Ararat||(Gen 8:4)||Where Noah's Ark came to rest after the flood.|
|Bashan (KJV - hill)||(Ps 68:15)|
|Beth-el||(Josh 16:1)(1 Sam 13:2)|
|Carmel||(1 Kin 18:19-20,42)(2 Kin 2:25)||Where Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal.|
|Ebal||(Deut 11:29)(Josh 8:30,33)|
|Ephraim||(Josh 17:15)(Jer 4:15)|
|Gerizim||(Deut 11:29)(Josh 8:33)|
|Gilboa||(1 Sam 31:1,8)(1 Chr 10:1,8)||Where Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines.|
|Gilead||(Gen 31:21,23,25)(Judg 7:3)|
|Halak||(Josh 11:17)(Josh 12:7)|
|Hermon/Sion||(Deut 3:8)(Josh 12:1,5)|
|Hor||(Num 33:38-39)(Deut 32:50)||The place where Aaron died.|
|Lebanon||(Judg 3:3)(1 Kin 5:6,9)||The "cedars of Lebanon" were used to build the Temple.|
|Mizar (KJV - hill)||(Ps 42:6)|
|Moriah||(Gen 22:2)(2 Chr 3:1)||Where Abraham was to
Where Solomon built God's Temple.
|Nebo||(Deut 32:49)(Deut 34:1)||Moses died and was buried here by God.|
|Olives/Olivet||(Lk 19:29,37)||Where Jesus delivered the
"Olivet Discourse" (Mt 24:1-25:46).
Where Jesus went to pray before His crucifixion (Lk 22:39-54).
Where Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9-12).
|Paran||(Deut 33:2)(Hab 3:3)|
|Pisgah||(Deut 3:37)(Deut 34:1)|
|Samaria||(Amos 3:9)(Amos 4:1)|
|Seir||(Gen 36:8)(Josh 15:10)||Home of Esau and the Edomites.|
|Sinai (Sina = Gr.)/Horeb||(Ex Ch. 19 & 20)(Neh 9:13-14)||Where God gave Moses the law.|
|Zemaraim||(2 Chr 13:4)|
|Zion||(2 Kin 19:31)(Ps 135:21)(Heb 12:22)||Eventually became known as Jerusalem.|
In addition to the events on the Mount Of Olives, several other important events associated with Jesus occurred on mountains: The Sermon On The Mount: (Mt 5:1-7:29), The Mount Of Transfiguration: (Mt 17:1-8)(Mk 9:2-8)(Lk 9:28-36), The Great Commission: (Mt 28:16-20), and the feeding of the 5000 (Jn 6:3-14). Satan took Jesus to an "exceeding high mountain" to tempt Him (Mt 4:8-10)(Lk 4:5-8). Jesus often went up a mountain to find solitude and pray (Mt 14:23)(Mt 15:29)(Mk 6:46)(Lk 6:12)(Jn 6:15). Jesus was crucified at Golgotha ("Place of a Skull") (Mt 27:33)(Mk 15:22)(Lk 23:33), which many scholars believe was a "hill" that looked like a skull.
In Old Testament times, it was believed that worshipping God on the tops of mountains brought one "closer to God." As a result, the Old Testament is filled with places which speak about altars being built in "high places" to worship God (and false gods as well) (i.e. 1 Kin 3:2-4, 1 Kin 13:32-34, 2 Kin 12:3).