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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Greek - Gethsemane

(gehth ssehm' uh nih) Place name meaning, “olive press.” Place where Jesus went after the Last Supper, a garden outside the city, across the Kidron on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-52; Luke 22:39-53; John 18:1-14). Here Jesus charged the disciples to “watch” as He prayed. Judas led the enemies of Jesus to Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested and taken away for trial. Here Jesus, the Son, showed He had learned obedience to the Father even in suffering (Hebrews 5:7-9).

Gethsemane was probably a remote walled garden (Jesus “entered” and “went out”) where Jesus went often for prayer, rest, and fellowship with His disciples.

Queen Helena, mother of Constantine, built the first church (A.D. 326) at the foot of the Mount of Olives, a short distance down from the Golden Gate. Today, on the same site, a modern Roman Catholic “Church of All Nations” is erected beside a beautiful garden of eight ancient olive trees. Inside, windows of bluish alabaster veil the altar of a naked rock by which Jesus is said to have knelt and prayed.

The Greek Orthodox Church maintains another site further up the slopes. However, the devout pilgrim, standing in either garden is almost certainly very near, if not on, the actual site where our Lord in agony prayed to the Father “not My will, but thine, be done.” See Mount of Olives; Kidron; Judas.

Wayne Dehoney

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'GETHSEMANE'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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