Mount of Olives Jerusalem
The Mount of Olives is a three-headed mountain in Jerusalem. Another name is Jebel az-Zeytun (in Arabic), Har Hazeytim (Hebrew). This is the place where you can bring a person who is absolutely unfamiliar with the history of Christianity, and during a long walk through it, tell him almost everything he needs to know about it.
Show where events took place, after which the world was divided into two: the old one, which was before the coming of Jesus – and the new one.
Here it is very clearly seen that Christianity is indeed a teaching that does not recognize any boundaries. Neither external, state, nor internal – those that are in human souls. You can find answers to any questions, from the simplest to the most complex.
Mount of Olives: centuries of prayers.
Why is this place called the Mount of Olives? Olive trees, which are 2 thousand years old. It remembers the times when the Garden of Gethsemane was much bigger, and the cemetery much smaller.
Judean, and then Christian religious history is closely connected with the mountains: higher above the earth, closer to God.
The Mount of Olives saw how King David came to pray here, how he fled here from his rebellious son Absalom. His other son, Solomon, offended the sacred mountain by “temples of filth”. Which were built by his heathen wives by permission of Solomon. But from today’s point of view, many pilgrims from different faiths pray on the Mount of Olives. It seems that Solomon was ahead of his time, wishing everyone could pray here. God is one, after all, they simply honor Him with different words and in different guises. And all then go to the same land.
Dead: waiting for the resurrection.
Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
The prophet Zechariah was first who used the name “Olive” for the mountain. He asserted that the LORD would come to raise all the dead to this place sooner or later. Looking from the western and southern slopes at the modern Jerusalem cemetery on the Mount of Olives, it is easy to believe that this is the case. Here were buried during the Old and the New Testament, the First and the Second Temple. In nowadays to be buried here is considered a special honor.
Here lie Eliezer ben Yehuda, who breathed new life into the ancient language Hebrew and former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. There are more than 150 thousand graves, and their number is growing. Here, in the Cave of the Prophets, lies Zacharias himself – along with Haggai and Malachi, the other last prophets of the Old Testament. And Greek Christians are sleeping side by side with them. One of whom left a message on the wall of the tomb to his wife, sister or girlfriend: “Domeila, all people are mortal.” You can go down to the Cave and see the graves, taking a flashlight with you.
Tomb of Zechariah.
In the form of a small Greek temple, not fully carved out of a stone cube, the tomb of Zechariah, who was stoned for his prophecies, was made.
The tomb of Absalom.
And next to him is the Hand of Absalom. The crypt of the allegedly recalcitrant son of David, erected by him during his lifetime. Absalom wanted to keep a memory of himself, but he had no sons.
Alive: in the service of God
If a tourist or a pilgrim expresses a desire to visit a monastery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, he will have to clarify which one. Here they serve God in many and diverse ways.
- Near the road from the Prophet’s Cave down to Gethsemane, stands the Franciscan monastery of Dominus Flevit (The Lord Wept). Here Jesus, the son of God, entering Jerusalem, wept for the future fate of the city.
- Near the chapel of the Ascension is the abode of the Carmelite sisters Church of the Pater Noster (Our Father). Catholic archaeologists believe that it stands on the site of the destroyed basilica. Where was the 12th century crusader chapel dedicated to the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught his apostles somewhere here. Although it is a Catholic monastery, there is direct evidence in it that the Lord is served not only in Latin. Both the monastery church and the tomb of the founder of the cloister of Princess de la Tour d’Auvern are decorated with white panels with the text of the Prayer in different languages. In 1872 there were texts in 36 languages. Now – at 140.
- Monastery Pelagia – opposite to chapel of the Ascension.
- Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, that manage additional Russian Orthodox Monasteries on Mount of Olives: Spaso-Voznesensky Women’s Orthodox Monastery, Convent of the Ascension, Church of Mary Magdalene.
Gethsemane: the last days of Jesus
The Gospel calls the place the Garden of Gethsemane, where the Son of God dwelt between life, death – and Eternal life.
There are four locations claimed to be the place where Jesus prayed on the night he was betrayed.
- The Church of All Nations overlooking a garden with the “Rock of the Agony”.
- The location near the Tomb of the Virgin Mary to the north.
- The Greek Orthodox location to the east.
- The Russian Orthodox orchard, next to the Church of Maria Magdalene.
Near the Chapel of Ascension, you need to walk about 200 m to get to the observation deck. The view from the mountain is stunning. In the east you can see the Judean desert, the Dead Sea, the peaks of the Moab mountains. In the west is Jerusalem in all its glory. From here you can make great photos of the Mount of Olives.
Looking southeast, you will see the Mount of Temptations, looking north – Mount Scopus. In Hebrew and Arabic, Mount Scopus called differently, literally – “mountain of review” or “mountain of observers.”
But “Scopus” – Greek word, subsequently Latinized. And it means “goal, target.” Most likely, this nickname of the mountain came from the Romans, whose legions were always located at this convenient strategic height. A “goal and target” was, of course, Jerusalem. Unfortunately, not too long ago, the Jordanian armed forces considered exactly the same as the Roman legions. Now Scopus is within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem.
Hours to visit:
The tomb of the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi:
Monday to Thursday: from 9.00 to 15.00.
Friday to Sunday: closed.
Church of St. Mary Magdalene:
Tuesday, Thursday: from 10.00 to 12.00.
Chapel of Ascension:
Entrance to the Chapel is controlled by Muslims, you need to pay about $1.5.
How to get Mount of Olives yourself.
- On shanks’s mare – walk from the Lion Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem.
- Bus number 75 from the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem. Do not confuse it with another – route number 75 of the company “Egged”.
On the site www.bus.co.il you can pick up a bus of any public transport company of Israel.