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Mount of Olives
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Mount of Olives

This entry incorporates text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernization.

The Mount of Olives (also Mount Olivet, sometimes Jebel et-Tur, "Mount of the Summit," or Jebel ez-Zeitun, "Mount of Olives") is a mountain ridge to the east of Jerusalem. It is named from the olive trees with which its sides are clothed. At the foot of the mountain is the Gardens of Gethsemane where Jesus stayed in Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives is the site of many important Biblical events.

In, the Book of Zechariah, the Mount of Olives is identified as the place from which God will begin to redeem the dead at the end of days. For this reason, Jews have always sought to be buried on the mountain, and from Biblical times to the present day the mountain has been used as a cemetery for the Jews of Jerusalem. There are an estimated 150,000 graves on the Mount, including many famous figures. Just a few of these include Tomb of Zechariah the Prophet (who prophesized there), Yad Avshalom, and a host of great Rabbis from the 15th to the 20th centuries including Abraham Isaac Kook, the first Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel.

Vandalism of graves on the Mount has long been a problem. Major damage was suffered when the Mount was occupied by Jordan during the early history of Israel.

Table of contents
1 Biblical references
2 Mount of Olives religious sites
3 External link

Biblical references

The mount of olives is first mentioned in connection with David's flight from Jerusalem through the rebellion of Absalom (2 Samuel 15:30), and is only once again mentioned in the Old Testament, in Zechariah 14:4. It is, however, frequently alluded to (I Kings 11:7; II Kings 23:13; Nehemiah 8:15; Ezekiel 11:23).

It is frequently mentioned in the New Testament (Matthew 21:1;26:30, etc.). The road from Jerusalem to Bethany runs as of old over this mount. According to the Bible, it was on this mount that Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem.

Jesus spent a good deal of time on the mount - teaching and prophesying to his disciples (Matthew 24-25), returning after each day to rest (Luke 21:37), and coming on the night of his betrayal (Matthew 26:39). This mount, or rather mountain range, has four summits or peaks: (1) the "Galilee" peak, so called from a tradition that the angels stood here when they spoke to the disciples (Acts 1:11); (2) the "Mount of Ascension," the supposed site of that event, which was, however, somewhere probably nearer Bethany (Luke 24:51, 52); (3) the "Prophets," from the catacombs on its side, called "the prophets' tombs;" and (4) the "Mount of Corruption," so called because of the "high places" erected there by Solomon for the idolatrous worship of his foreign wives (I Kings 11:7; II Kings 23:13).

The Mount of Olives is also the site of the prophecy of Zechariah and Ezekiel's theophany.

Mount of Olives religious sites

External link