The Mount of Olives refers to the ridge located to the east of the Old City, an area that was once covered in olive groves. The Mount of Olives is the center peak of three peaks on the ridge with Mount Scopus to the north. The Mount of Olives is one of the most famous and oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world. Due to this, thousands of visitors travel to this unique destination every year to learn its history and pay their respects to the dead.
The Mount of Olives is not mentioned in the Pentateuch. In its explicit name it is mentioned only in the book of Zechariah. In 2 Samuel it is described how King David fled from Absalom through the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives holds a special significance to Christians as well, as this is considered to be a place where Jesus once spent a large amount of time. Mount of Olives is where Jesus felt safe and unlike Jerusalem. Mount Olives was where Jesus’ friends were living so in his last days before the Crucifican he spent his nights in Mt. Olives. Given its proximity to other historical, religious, and cultural sites, the Mount of Olives is a must-see destination when visiting Jerusalem.
For 3,000 years, this land has been used as a Jewish cemetery and contains over 150,000 graves. For centuries, Jews would come to this area to retire and eventually die to be buried on the Mount of Olives and to ensure a quick resurrection at the End of Days. There are some graves so old on the Mount of Olives that any indication of who they were has long since faded away. Over time, space became limited, and only the most pious Jews who had contributed to the Jewish community are given permission to be buried there. When Jordan captured Jerusalem in 1948, the Jordanians laid waste to the cemetery and caused massive destruction. It wasn’t until Israel took back the land during the Six-Day War did it become revitalized. Israel went to great lengths to restore the land and become functional for burials once again.
The oldest reference to the Mount of Olives is connected to David’s flight from Absalom in the stories told in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the Mount of Olives is mentioned frequently. It was detailed as a part of the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and is supposedly the place where Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
It is believed that Jesus spent much time on the Mount of Olives teaching and prophesying to his disciples. Several important religious events occurred here. It is said that Jesus came here on the night of his betrayal, and it is where he ascended to heaven. By taking a tour of the Mount of Olives with me, I will give you comprehensive knowledge of this unique location. Plus, we can continue our tour by visiting the other famous sites nearby!