Olives, Mount of

Olives, Mount of

A high hill to the east of Jerusalem. It is a comparatively good area for growing olives in the poor land surrounding Jerusalem. An area of the mount was appropriately called Gethsemane (Heb., “oil press”); it was probably a garden area where the fruit of the mount was processed (John 18:1). Jesus often prayed here (Matt 26:36; Mark 14:32; Luke 22:39-46). The mile-long Mount of Olives dominates Jerusalem, rising 230 feet above the Temple Mount. It was Jerusalem’s watchtower. Every approach from the Transjordan as well as from the north and south is visible from it. Jerusalem also communicated to the world from here by signal fires, as when the beginning of each month was announced. As a bulwark whose penetration meant the destruction of Jerusalem would be at hand, the Mount of Olives became a symbol for the way of defeat. Isaiah pictures the Assyrians advancing to Nob, whence the city was cursed (Isa 10:32). Ezekiel pictured Jerusalem’s departed glory resting here before it disappeared (Ezek 11:23). Jesus also used the mount as his podium for pronouncing judgment over the city (Luke 19:37-44; Matt 24:3; Mark 13:3). The mountain is also associated with the departure and return of God’s glory. So too this is the setting for the ascension of Jesus and for his promised return (Luke 24:50; Acts 1:12).

John 18:1

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
1After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garde ... View more

Matt 26:36

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Mark 14:32

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”

Luke 22:39-46

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him.40When he reached the place ... View more

Isa 10:32

32This very day he will halt at Nob,
he will shake his fist
at the mount of daughter Zion,
the hill of Jerusalem.

Ezek 11:23

23And the glory of the Lord ascended from the middle of the city, and stopped on the mountain east of the city.

Luke 19:37-44

37As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all ... View more

Matt 24:3

Signs of the End of the Age
3When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will ... View more

Mark 13:3

3When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,

Luke 24:50

The Ascension of Jesus
50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

Acts 1:12

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas
12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away.

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