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A Harmony of the Gospels for Students of the Life

And the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon

Clark the Sermon on the Mount,

and the other the Sermon on the Plain. Miller (Int. Stand. Bible Encyclopaedia) is uncertain whether Matthew and Luke report the same discourse and so discusses also Luke's "Sermon on the Plain." But his argument is not convincing. If it is necessary that "plain" here shall mean a place away from a mountain, down in a valley, this would seem to refer to a different place. McClellan seeks to show that Luke uses "and" in 6:17-20 by way of anticipation. He presents for effective grouping events that happened after Jesus came down out of the mountain before he gives the sermon delivered to the whole body of disciples up in the mountain. This is possible, but another interpretation is much more likely. The plain here is really simply "a level place" (Rev. Ver.). So then the two accounts of Matthew and Luke will harmonize quite well. Jesus first went up into the mountain to pray (Luke 6:12) and selected and instructed the Twelve. Afterwards he came down to a level place on the mountain side whither the crowds had gathered, and stood there and wrought miracles (Luke 6:17). He then went up a little higher into the mountain where he could sit down and see and teach the multitudes (Matt. 5:1). Matthew gives the multitudes as the reason for his going up into the mountain. By this arrangement any discrepancy between "sat" in Matthew and "stood" in Luke disappears. Waddy has given an admirable arrangement of the material at this point in Note C, p. xix. Many writers affirm that the tradition
mentioned by Jerome, making the Horns of Hattin the place where the Sermon on the Mount was delivered, suits this explanation exactly. There is a level place on it where the crowds could have assembled. It is not necessary to insist that this mountain is the Mount of Beatitudes, nor need we contend, as Robinson does, that the mountain must be very close to Capernaum.

_(c)_ The audience is different. Matthew (4:25) states that his audience was composed of "great multitudes from Galilee and Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond Jordan," while Luke (6:17) says that there was "a great multitude of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon." Matthew says (5:1) also that "his disciples came unto him." Hence both assemblages were composed of great multitudes from many regions besides many of his disciples, but in neither case is Jesus said to address himself to any save his disciples, his followers (Matt. 5:1 and Luke 6:20). So in both accounts the Saviour seems to withdraw a little from the great outside crowd of curiosity seekers. But the multitudes also must have heard something of what he said, for they were astonished at his teaching (Matt. 7:28). Andrews well shows that the audience in Matthew were not mostly Jews (according to Kraft), and the audience in Luke mostly heathen. Matthew omits Tyre and Sidon, but he had already mentioned Syria (4:24), which includes Tyre and Sidon. Neither list may be complete. Hence nothing can be made out of Luke's omission of Galilee, Decapolis, and beyond Jordan. Great multitudes from the same general regions are alluded to as being present.


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