Welcome to a look at special olive tree located in the garden of Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives (heb. 'Har Hazeitim').

'Olivet' a sabbath day's journey from Jerusalem (Acts 1:12) lies close to the city on the east (Ezekiel 11:23) separated by the Kidron Valley. It's summit is about 300 feet higher than Jerusalem. (2,930 ft. above the Mediterranean). From here, you can view the Judean Hills to the Dead Sea and the blue lines of the Mountains of Moab beyond.

'In the garden of Gethsemane, there are eight olive trees whose age is lost in antiquity. Some botanists claim that they may be 3,000 years old. Josephus relates that Titus cut down all the trees in the besiege of Jerusalem in 70 A.C.

If these escaped destruction, they are the very contemporaries of Christ as they are Roman olive trees. If not, they are without a doubt the shoots of those under which Yeshua prayed that night of his agony. "The olive trees does not die" (Pliny). They still bear fruit.

The Garden of Gethsemane ('Oil Press') lies at the foot of the Mount of Olives. On the opposite hill, city followed city, but this garden is still kept as it was in the time of Jesus, maybe with the same olive trees. St. John spoke of it as a garden over the Kidron brook (John 18:1).

'The photograph I took in February, March 1992 (see below) was a carbon dated to 2600 years. It is something to see! There was not fruit on the tree at the time. It was winter, quite cold and snow in some parts of Israel during our trip'. ~Grace

(Thank you to Grace for sharing your visit to the Mt. of Olives)



A north-to-south ridge of hills east of Jerusalem where Jesus was betrayed on the night before His crucifixion. This prominent feature of Jerusalem's landscape is a gently rounded hill, rising to about the height of 830 meters (2,676 feet) and overlooking the TEMPLE.

The closeness of the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem's walls made this series of hills a grave strategic danger. The Roman commander Titus had his headquarters on the northern extension of the ridge during the siege of Jerusalem in A. D. 70. He named the place Mount Scopus, or "Lookout Hill," because of the view which it offered over the city walls. The whole hill must have provided a platform for the Roman catapults that hurled heavy objects over the Jewish fortifications of the City.

In ancient times the whole mount must have been heavily wooded. As its name implies, it was covered with dense olive groves. It was from this woodland that the people, under Nehemiah's command, gathered their branches of olive, oil trees, myrtle, and palm to make booths when the Feast of Tabernacles was restored after their years of captivity in Babylon.

Neh 8:15
And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written.

The trees also grew on this mountain or hill in New Testament times. When Jesus entered the city, the people who acclaimed him king must have gathered the branches with which they greeted His entry from this same wooded area.

Another summit of the Mount of Olives is the one on which the "men of Galilee" stood as they watched the resurrected Christ ascend into heaven. Then there is the point to the south above the village of Silwan (or Siloam) on the slope above the spring.

Acts 1:11-12
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

Defined by a sharp cleft, it faces west along the converging Valley of HINNOM. It is called the Mount of Offense, or the "Mount of Corruption", because here King Solomon built "high places" for pagan deities that were worshiped by the people during his time [1 Kin. 11:5-7].

Although the Mount of Olives is close to Jerusalem, there are surprisingly few references to this range of hills in the Old Testament. As David fled from Jerusalem during the rebellion by his son Absalom, he apparently crossed the shoulder of the hill: "So David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives".

Acts 1:11-12
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.  Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

2 Sam 15:24-30
And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.    And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation:  But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.  The king said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.  See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.  Zadok therefore and Abiathar carried the ark of God again to Jerusalem: and they tarried there.  And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.

Support may be found in this account for the claim that the road from the Jordan Valley did not go around the ridge in Bible times but crossed over the ridge, allowing the city of Jerusalem to break spectacularly on the traveler's sight as he topped the hill.

The Mount of Olives is also mentioned in a reference by the prophet Zechariah to the future Day of the Lord: "In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south".

Zech 14:4
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Christian tradition holds that when Christ returns to earth, His feet will touch first upon the Mount of Olives, the exact point from which He ascended into heaven.

Acts 1:11-12
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.

In the New Testament the Mount of Olives played a prominent part in the last week of our Lord's ministry. Jesus approached Jerusalem from the east, by way of Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1).

Matt 21:1
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,

Mark 11:1
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,

As He drew near the descent of the Mount of Olives (Luke 19:37), the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them before Him. They began to praise God and shout, "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

Luke 19:35-38
And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.  And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.  And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;  Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Matt. 21:9. When Jesus drew near Jerusalem, perhaps as He arrived at the top of the Mount of Olives, He saw the city and wept over it Luke

Luke 19:41-44
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,  Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.  For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,  And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Jesus then went into Jerusalem and cleansed the Temple of the moneychangers; He delivered parables to the crowd and silenced the scribes and Pharisees with His wisdom. Later, as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, and He delivered what is known as "the Olivet Discourse," a long sermon that speaks of the signs of the times and the end of the age, the Great Tribulation, and the coming of the Son of Man.

Matt 24:3-5
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.......'   (read whole chapter)

After Jesus had instituted the Lord's Supper on the night of His betrayal, He and His disciples sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives, to the Garden of Gethsemane. In this garden, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives, Jesus was betrayed by Judas and delivered into the hands of His enemies.

Matt 26:29-32
But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.  Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.  But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.


[geth SIMM uh nee] (olive press)-- the garden where Jesus often went alone or with His disciples for prayer, rest, or fellowship, and the site where He was betrayed by Judas on the night before His crucifixion (Luke 21:37; John 18:1-2). Gethsemane was situated on the Mount of Olives just east of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley and opposite the Temple (Mark 13:3; John 18:1). From its name scholars conclude that the garden was situated in an olive grove that contained an olive press. Attempts to locate the exact site of the garden have been unsuccessful. Many Christians have agreed on one site-- the place which Constantine's mother Helena designated about A. D. 325. But at least two other sites are also defended by tradition and have their supporters. The gospel accounts do not provide enough details to show the exact site of the garden.

Learn more about the 'oil of our people'

More relating links:

The Shepherd's Chapel

Ogam in CA


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