|OLIVES, MOUNT OF |
The two and a half mile-long mountain ridge that towers over the eastern side of Jerusalem, or more precisely, the middle of the three peaks forming the ridge. Heavily covered with olive trees, the ridge juts out in a north-south direction (like a spur) from the range of mountains running down the center of the region. Both the central Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus, the peak on its northern side, rise over two hundred feet above the Temple mount across the Kidron Valley. It provided a lookout base and signaling point for armies defending Jerusalem.
David crossed the Mount of Olives when fleeing Absalom (2 Samuel 15:30). Ezekiel saw the cherubim chariot land there (Ezekiel 11:23). Zechariah described how the Mount of Olives would move to form a huge valley on the Day of the Lord (Zechariah 14:3-5). Many crucial events in Jesus' life occurred on the Mount of Olives. (See, for example,
Robert O. Byrd