According to Matthew 17:1-27

17  Six days later Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John along and led them up into a lofty mountain by themselves.+  And he was transfigured before them; his face shone as the sun, and his outer garments became brilliant* as the light.+  And look! there appeared to them Moses and E·liʹjah conversing with him.  Then Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, it is fine for us to be here. If you wish, I will erect three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for E·liʹjah.”  While he was still speaking, look! a bright cloud overshadowed them, and look! a voice out of the cloud+ said: “This is my Son, the beloved, whom I have approved.+ Listen to him.”+  At hearing this, the disciples fell facedown and became very much afraid.  Then Jesus came near, and touching them, he said: “Get up. Have no fear.”  When they looked up, they saw no one but Jesus himself.  As they were descending from the mountain, Jesus commanded them: “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of man is raised up from the dead.”+ 10  However, the disciples put the question to him: “Why, then, do the scribes say that E·liʹjah must come first?”+ 11  In reply he said: “E·liʹjah is indeed coming and will restore all things.+ 12  However, I say to you that E·liʹjah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did whatever they wanted with him.+ In this way also, the Son of man is going to suffer at their hands.”+ 13  Then the disciples perceived that he spoke to them about John the Baptist. 14  When they came toward the crowd,+ a man approached him, knelt down to him, and said: 15  “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he is an epileptic and is ill. He falls often into the fire and often into the water.+ 16  I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17  In reply Jesus said: “O faithless and twisted* generation,+ how long must I continue with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” 18  Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour.+ 19  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said: “Why could we not expel it?” 20  He said to them: “Because of your little faith. For truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”+ 21  —— 22  It was while they were gathered together in Galʹi·lee that Jesus said to them: “The Son of man is going to be betrayed into men’s hands,+ 23  and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.”+ And they were very much grieved. 24  After they arrived in Ca·perʹna·um, the men collecting the two drachmas tax approached Peter and said: “Does your teacher not pay the two drachmas tax?”+ 25  He said: “Yes.” However, when he entered the house, Jesus spoke to him first and said: “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth receive duties or head tax? From their sons or from the strangers?” 26  When he said: “From the strangers,” Jesus said to him: “Really, then, the sons are tax-free. 27  But that we do not cause them to stumble,+ go to the sea, cast a fishhook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth, you will find a silver coin. Take that and give it to them for me and you.”


Or “white.”
Or “corrupt; perverse.”

Study Notes

Caesarea Philippi: A town situated at the headwaters of the Jordan River at an elevation of 350 m (1,150 ft) above sea level. The town is some 40 km (25 mi) N of the Sea of Galilee and near the SW foot of Mount Hermon. It was named Caesarea by Philip the tetrarch, son of Herod the Great, in honor of the Roman emperor. In order to distinguish it from the seaport city of the same name, it was called Caesarea Philippi, which means “Caesarea of Philip.”​—See App. B10.

a lofty mountain: Possibly Mount Hermon, which is near Caesarea Philippi. (See study note on Mt 16:13.) It reaches a height of 2,814 m (9,232 ft) above sea level. The transfiguration may have taken place on one of the spurs of Mount Hermon.​—See App. B10.

he was transfigured: Or “he was transformed; his appearance was changed.” The same Greek verb (me·ta·mor·phoʹo) occurs at Ro 12:2.

look!: The Greek word i·douʹ, here rendered “look!,” is often used to focus attention on what follows, encouraging the reader to visualize the scene or to take note of a detail in a narrative. It is also used to add emphasis or to introduce something new or surprising. In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the term occurs most frequently in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and in the book of Revelation. A corresponding expression is often used in the Hebrew Scriptures.

a voice from the heavens: The first of three instances in the Gospel accounts where Jehovah is reported as speaking audibly to humans.​—See study notes on Mt 17:5; Joh 12:28.

a voice: The third of three instances in the Gospel accounts where Jehovah is reported as speaking directly to humans. The first instance occurred at Jesus’ baptism in 29 C.E. and is recorded at Mt 3:16, 17; Mr 1:11; and Lu 3:22. The second instance was in connection with Jesus’ transfiguration in 32 C.E. and is recorded at Mt 17:5; Mr 9:7; and Lu 9:35. The third instance, mentioned only in the Gospel of John, happened in 33 C.E., shortly before Jesus’ last Passover. Jehovah responded to Jesus’ request that his Father glorify His own name.

whom I have approved: Or “with whom I am well-pleased; in whom I take great delight.” The same expression is used at Mt 12:18, which is a quotation from Isa 42:1 regarding the promised Messiah, or Christ. The outpouring of holy spirit and God’s declaration concerning his Son were a clear identification of Jesus as the promised Messiah.​—See study note on Mt 12:18.

whom I have approved: Or “with whom I am well-pleased.”​—See study note on Mt 3:17.

a voice: The second of three instances in the Gospel accounts where Jehovah is reported as speaking audibly to humans.​—See study notes on Mt 3:17; Joh 12:28.

whom I have approved: Or “with whom I am well-pleased.”​—See study notes on Mt 3:17; 12:18.

Son of man: See study note on Mt 8:20.

Son of man: Or “Son of a human.” This expression occurs about 80 times in the Gospels. Jesus used it to refer to himself, evidently emphasizing that he was truly human, born from a woman, and that he was a fitting human counterpart to Adam, having the power to redeem humankind from sin and death. (Ro 5:12, 14-15) The same expression also identified Jesus as the Messiah, or the Christ.​—Da 7:13, 14; see Glossary.

knelt down: In the ancient Near East, kneeling was a posture that expressed respect, especially when petitioning superiors.

an epileptic: See study note on Mt 4:24.

epileptic: The Greek term literally means “be moonstruck.” (Some older translations use “lunatic.”) However, Matthew employs the term in a medical sense, not superstitiously associating the disease with certain phases of the moon. The symptoms that Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe are certainly those associated with epilepsy.

the tiniest of all the seeds: The mustard seed was used in ancient Jewish writings as a figure of speech for the very smallest measure of size. Although there are smaller seeds known today, it was evidently the tiniest of seeds gathered and sown by Galilean farmers in Jesus’ day.

mustard grain: Several kinds of mustard plants are found growing wild in Israel. Black mustard (Brassica nigra) is the variety commonly cultivated. The relatively small seed, 1-1.6 mm (0.039 to 0.063 in.) in diameter and weighing 1 mg (0.000035 oz) produces a treelike plant. Some varieties of the mustard plant attain a height of up to 4.5 m (15 ft).

your little faith: The Greek expression is related to the term rendered “you with little faith” at Mt 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Lu 12:28. Jesus does not imply that his disciples were entirely without faith but, rather, that their faith needed to be stronger.​—See study notes on Mt 6:30; 8:26.

truly: See study note on Mt 5:18.

the size of a mustard grain: Or “as small as a mustard seed.”​—See study notes on Mt 13:31, 32.

you with little faith: Jesus applied this expression to his disciples, indicating that their belief or trust was not strong. (Mt 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; Lu 12:28) It implies not an absence of faith but, rather, a deficiency of faith.

you with little faith: Jesus did not imply an absence of faith but rather a deficiency of faith.​—Mt 14:31; 16:8; Lu 12:28; see study note on Mt 6:30.

Truly: Greek, a·menʹ, a transliteration of the Hebrew ʼa·menʹ, meaning “so be it,” or “surely.” Jesus frequently uses this expression to preface a statement, a promise, or a prophecy, thereby emphasizing its absolute truthfulness and reliability. Jesus’ use of “truly,” or amen, in this way is said to be unique in sacred literature. When repeated in succession (a·menʹ a·menʹ), as is the case throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus’ expression is translated “most truly.”​—See study note on Joh 1:51.

by prayer: Some manuscripts add “and fasting.” But the earliest and most reliable manuscripts do not include “and fasting.” These words were evidently added by copyists who advocated fasting and practiced it. They repeatedly included references to fasting where these were not found in earlier copies.​—See study note on Mt 17:21.

Some ancient manuscripts here read: “However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.” (See study note on Mr 9:29.) But these words do not appear in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts and are evidently not part of the inspired Scriptures.​—See App. A3.

Capernaum: See study note on Mt 4:13.

the two drachmas tax: Lit., “the double drachmas.” (See App. B14.) Various temple services were maintained through taxation. (Ex 30:12-16) Apparently, by Jesus’ day it had become customary for each adult male Jew to contribute a fixed amount as an annual temple tax.

Capernaum: From a Hebrew name meaning “Village of Nahum” or “Village of Comforting.” (Na 1:1, ftn.) A city of major importance in Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was located at the NW shore of the Sea of Galilee and was called “his own city” at Mt 9:1.

the sons are tax-free: In Jesus’ day, the family members of monarchs were known to be tax-exempt.

fishhook: The only occurrence in the Christian Greek Scriptures of the Greek word rendered “fishhook,” likely a baited hook cast into the water on the end of a line. Every other mention of fishing equipment in the Christian Greek Scriptures refers to nets.

silver coin: Lit., “stater.” This coin is considered to be the tetradrachma. (See App. B14.) It was worth four drachmas, the equivalent of a shekel, which was exactly the amount required to pay the temple tax for two.​—Ex 30:13.


Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon

Reaching a height of 2,814 m (9,232 ft) and located near Caesarea Philippi, Mount Hermon is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Israel. Its snowcapped peaks condense water vapor, producing abundant dew that preserves vegetation during the long dry season. (Ps 133:3) Its melting snow is the main source of the Jordan River. Mount Hermon is one possible location of Jesus’ transfiguration.​—Mt 17:2.

Mount Hermon As Seen From the Hula Valley Nature Reserve
Mount Hermon As Seen From the Hula Valley Nature Reserve

Located at the northern limit of the Promised Land, Mount Hermon is made up of several distinct peaks, the tallest of which rises 2,814 m (9,232 ft) above sea level. These peaks form the southern part of the Anti-Lebanon range. It may have been on Mount Hermon that Jesus was transfigured.