|Mount of Olives|
|הַר הַזֵּיתִים, Har HaZeitim|
الطور, جبل الزيتونJabal az-Zaytūn, Aṭ-Ṭūr
|Elevation||826 m (2,710 ft)|
|Parent range||Judean Mountains|
The Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet (Hebrew : הַר הַזֵּיתִים, romanized: Har ha-Zeitim, Arabic : جبل الزيتون, romanized: Jabal az-Zaytūn, both lit. 'Mount of Olives'; in Arabic also الطور, Aṭ-Ṭur, 'the Mountain') is a mountain ridge east of and adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City. It is named for the olive groves that once covered its slopes. The southern part of the mount was the Silwan necropolis, attributed to the ancient Judean kingdom. The mount has been used as a Jewish cemetery for over 3,000 years and holds approximately 150,000 graves, making it central in the tradition of Jewish cemeteries.
Several key events in the life of Jesus, as related in the Gospels, took place on the Mount of Olives, and in the Acts of the Apostles it is described as the place from which Jesus ascended to heaven. Because of its association with both Jesus and Mary, the mount has been a site of Christian worship since ancient times and is today a major site of pilgrimage for Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants.
Much of the top of the hill is occupied by At-Tur, a former village that is now a neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.
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The Mount of Olives is one of three peaks of a mountain ridge which runs for 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) just east of the Old City across the Kidron Valley, in this area called the Valley of Josaphat. The peak to its north is Mount Scopus, at 826 metres (2,710 feet), while the peak to its south is the Mount of Corruption, at 747 m (2,451 ft). The highest point on the Mount of Olives is At-Tur, at 818 m (2,684 ft). The ridge acts as a watershed, and its eastern side is the beginning of the Judean Desert.
The ridge is formed of oceanic sedimentary rock from the Late Cretaceous and contains a soft chalk and a hard flint. While the chalk is easily quarried, it is not a suitable strength for construction and features many man-made burial caves.
From Biblical times until the present, Jews have been buried on the Mount of Olives. The necropolis on the southern ridge, the location of the modern village of Silwan, was the burial place of Jerusalem's most important citizens in the period of the Biblical kings.
The religious ceremony marking the start of a new month was held on the Mount of Olives in the days of the Second Temple.Roman soldiers from the 10th Legion camped on the mount during the Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD. After the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews celebrated the festival of Sukkot on the Mount of Olives. They made pilgrimages to the Mount of Olives because it was 80 meters higher than the Temple Mount and offered a panoramic view of the Temple site. It became a traditional place for lamenting the Temple's destruction, especially on Tisha B'Av. In 1481, an Italian Jewish pilgrim, Meshullam of Volterra, wrote: "And all the community of Jews, every year, goes up to Mount Zion on the day of Tisha B'Av to fast and mourn, and from there they move down along Yoshafat Valley and up to Mount of Olives. From there they see the whole Temple (the Temple Mount) and there they weep and lament the destruction of this House." In the mid-1850s, the villagers of Silwan were paid £100 annually by the Jews in an effort to prevent the desecration of graves on the mount.
Prime Minister of Israel Menachem Begin asked to be buried on the Mount of Olives near the graves of Etzel members Meir Feinstein and Moshe Barazani, rather than Mount Herzl national cemetery.
The armistice agreement signed by Israel and Jordan following the 1948 Arab–Israeli War called for the establishment of a Special Committee to negotiate developments including "free access to the holy sites and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives". However, during the 19 years the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank lasted, the committee was not formed. Non-Israeli Christian pilgrims were allowed to visit the mount, but Jews of all countries and most non-Jewish Israeli citizens were barred from entering Jordan and therefore were unable to travel to the area.
By the end of 1949, and throughout the Jordanian rule of the site, some Arab residents uprooted tombstones and plowed the land in the cemeteries, and an estimated 38,000 tombstones were damaged in total. During this period, a road was paved through the cemetery, in the process destroying graves including those of famous persons.In 1964, the Intercontinental Hotel was built at the summit of the mount. Graves were also demolished for parking lots and a filling station and were used in latrines at a Jordanian Army barracks. The United Nations did not condemn the Jordanian government for these actions.
Following the 1967 Six-Day War restoration work was done and the cemetery was reopened for burials. Israel's 1980 unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem was condemned as a violation of international law and ruled null and void by the UN Security Council in UNSC Resolution 478.
Tombs in the Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery have been prone to vandalism, among them the tombs of the Gerrer Rebbe and Menachem Begin.
On 6 November 2010, an international watch-committee was set up by Diaspora Jews with the aim of reversing the desecration of the Jewish cemetery. According to one of the founders, the initiative was triggered by witnessing tombstones that were wrecked with "the kind of maliciousness that defies the imagination."
The Mount of Olives is first mentioned in connection with David's flight from Absalom (II Samuel 15:30): "And David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up." The ascent was probably east of the City of David, near the village of Silwan.The sacred character of the mount is alluded to in the Book of Ezekiel (11:23): "And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city."
The biblical designation Mount of Corruption, or in Hebrew Har HaMashchit (I Kings 11:7–8), derives from the idol worship there, begun by King Solomon building altars to the gods of his Moabite and Ammonite wives on the southern peak, "on the mountain which is before (east of) Jerusalem" (1 Kings 11:7), just outside the limits of the holy city. This site was known for idol worship throughout the First Temple period, until king of Judah, Josiah, finally destroyed "the high places that were before Jerusalem, to the right of Har HaMashchit..."(II Kings 23:13)
An apocalyptic prophecy in the Book of Zechariah states that YHWH will stand on the Mount of Olives and the mountain will split in two, with one half shifting north and one half shifting south (Zechariah 14:4). According to the Masoretic Text, people will flee through this newly formed valley to a place called Azal (Zechariah 14:5). The Septuagint (LXX) has a different reading of Zechariah 14:5 stating that a valley will be blocked up as it was blocked up during the earthquake during King Uzziah's reign. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus mentions in Antiquities of the Jews that the valley in the area of the King's Gardens was blocked up by landslide rubble during Uzziah's earthquake.Israeli geologists Wachs and Levitte identified the remnant of a large landslide on the Mount of Olives directly adjacent to this area. Based on geographic and linguistic evidence, Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau, a 19th-century linguist and archeologist in Palestine, theorized that the valley directly adjacent to this landslide is Azal. This evidence accords with the LXX reading of Zechariah 14:5 which states that the valley will be blocked up as far as Azal. The valley he identified (which is now known as Wady Yasul in Arabic, and Nahal Etzel in Hebrew) lies south of both Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives.
Many Jews have wanted to be buried on the Mount of Olives since antiquity, based on the Jewish tradition (from the Biblical verse Zechariah 14:4) that when the Messiah comes, the resurrection of the dead will begin there. [ unreliable source? ] There are an estimated 150,000 graves on the Mount, including tombs traditionally associated with Zechariah and Absalom. On the upper slope, the traditional Tomb of the Prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi is situated. Notable rabbis buried on the mount include Chaim ibn Attar and others from the 15th century to the present day.
The Mount of Olives is frequently mentioned in the New Testamentas part of the route from Jerusalem to Bethany and the place where Jesus stood when he wept over Jerusalem (an event known as Flevit super illam in Latin).
Jesus is said to have spent time on the mount, teaching and prophesying to his disciples (Matthew 24–25), including the Olivet discourse, returning after each day to rest (Luke 21:37, and John 8:1 in the additional section of John's Gospel known as the Pericope Adulterae ), and also coming there on the night of his betrayal.At the foot of the Mount of Olives lies the Garden of Gethsemane. The New Testament tells how Jesus and his disciples sang together – "When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" Gospel of Matthew 26:30. Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives according to Acts 1:9–12.
Again, the story of Jesus with his disciples on the Mount of Olives can be found in the Gnostic text Pistis Sophia, dated around the 3rd to 4th century CE.
Landmarks on the top of the Mount of Olives include the Augusta Victoria Hospital with the Lutheran Church of the Ascension and its highly visible 50-metre bell tower, the Mosque or Chapel of the Ascension, the Russian Orthodox Church of the Ascension with its tall white bell tower, the Church of the Pater Noster, and the Seven Arches Hotel. On the western slope there are the historic Jewish cemetery, the Tomb of the Prophets, the Catholic Church of Dominus Flevit, and the Russian Orthodox Church of Mary Magdalene. At the foot of the mount, where it meets the Kidron Valley, there is the Garden of Gethsemane with the Church of all Nations. Within the Kidron Valley itself are the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the Grotto of Gethsemane, and the nearby tomb of the medieval historian Mujir ed-Din, and further south are the tombs of Absalom (Hebrew name: Yad Avshalom), the Hezir priestly family and of Zechariah. At the northern margin of Mount Olivet stand the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center with the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden and the Jewish settlement of Beit Orot, bordering on the Tzurim Valley and Mitzpe Hamasu'ot which contains the Temple Mount Sifting Project. [ citation needed ] On the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives lies the Palestinian Arab village of al-Eizariya, identified with the ancient village of Bethany mentioned in the New Testament; a short distance from the village centre, towards the top of the mount, is the traditional site of Bethphage, marked by a Franciscan church.What lays north of here belongs to Mount Scopus.
The construction of the Brigham Young University Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies, better known locally as the Mormon University, owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) near the valley separating the Mount of Olives from Mount Scopus, initially sparked controversy because of concerns that the Mormons would engage in missionary activities. After the Mormons pledged not to proselytize in Israel, work on the building was allowed to proceed.
Akeldama is the Aramaic name for a place in Jerusalem associated with Judas Iscariot, one of the original twelve apostles of Jesus.
Rock-cut tombs were a form of burial and interment chamber used in ancient Israel. Cut into the landscapes surrounding ancient Judean cities, their design ranges from single chambered, with simple square or rectangular layouts, to multi-chambered with more complex designs. Almost all burial chambers contain a platform for primary burial and an ossuary or other receptacle for secondary burial. There is debate on if these tombs were originally intended for secondary burials, or if that practice arose later.
The City of David is the name given to an archaeological site considered by most scholars to be the original settlement core of Jerusalem during the Bronze and Iron Ages. It is situated on southern part of the eastern ridge of ancient Jerusalem, west of the Kidron Valley and east of the Tyropoeon valley, to the immediate south of the Temple Mount.
Gethsemane is a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem where, according to the four Gospels of the New Testament, Jesus underwent the agony in the garden and was arrested before his crucifixion. It is a place of great resonance in Christianity. There are several small olive groves in church property, all adjacent to each other and identified with biblical Gethsemane.
Busaira is a town in Tafilah Governorate, Jordan, located between the towns of Tafilah (Tophel) and Shoubak and closer to the latter. Bozrah is a biblical city identified by some researchers with an archaeological site situated in the village of Busaira.
Mount Scopus is a mountain in northeast Jerusalem.
Mount Zion is a hill in Jerusalem, located just outside the walls of the Old City. The term Mount Zion has been used in the Hebrew Bible first for the City of David and later for the Temple Mount, but its meaning has shifted and it is now used as the name of ancient Jerusalem's Western Hill. In a wider sense, the term Zion is also used for the entire Land of Israel.
Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau was a noted French Orientalist and archaeologist.
Tomb of Absalom, also called Absalom's Pillar, is an ancient monumental rock-cut tomb with a conical roof located in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem, a few metres from the Tomb of Zechariah and the Tomb of Benei Hezir. Although traditionally ascribed to Absalom, the rebellious son of King David of Israel, recent scholarship has dated it to the 1st century AD.
The Kidron Valley is the valley originating slightly northeast of the Old City of Jerusalem, which then separates the Temple Mount from the Mount of Olives. It continues in a general south-easterly direction through the Judean desert in the West Bank, reaching the Dead Sea near the settlement of Ovnat, and descending 4,000 feet (1,200 m) along its 20-mile (32 km) course. The ancient Mar Saba monastery is located in the lower part of the valley. Other names include Arabic: وادي الجوز, Wadi el-Joz, 'Valley of the Walnut', for the upper segment near the Temple Mount; and Wadi en-Nar, 'Fire Valley', for the rest of it – with at least the segment at Mar Saba monastery also known in the 19th century as Wadi er-Rahib, 'Monk's Valley'.
At-Tur is an Arab-majority neighborhood on the Mount of Olives approximately 1 km east of the Old City of Jerusalem. At-Tur is situated in East Jerusalem, occupied and later effectively annexed by Israel after the Six-Day War in 1967.
The Valley of Josaphat is a Biblical place mentioned by name in the Book of Joel : "I will gather together all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat: "Then I will enter into judgment with them there", on behalf of my people and for My inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations and they have divided up My land."; "Let the nations be roused; Let the nations be aroused And come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side". This location is also referred to as the Valley of Decision.
David's Tomb is a site that, according to an early-medieval (9th-century) tradition, is associated with the burial of the biblical King David. Historians, archaeologists and Jewish religious authorities do not consider the site to be the actual resting place of King David. It occupies the ground floor of a former church, whose upper floor holds the Cenacle or "Upper Room" traditionally identified as the place of Jesus' Last Supper and the original meeting place of the early Christian community of Jerusalem.
Silwan or Siloam is a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, on the outskirts of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Azal (אצל), or Azel, is a location mentioned in the Book of Zechariah 14:5, in Bibles that use the Hebrew Masoretic Text as the source for this verse. In Bibles that follow the Greek Septuagint (LXX) rendering, depending upon the source manuscript used, Azal is transcribed Jasol, Jasod, or Asael (ασαηλ):
And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
The valley between the hills will be filled in, yes, it will be blocked as far as Jasol, it will be filled in as it was by the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah,
The Jewish Cemetery on the Mount of Olives is the oldest and most important Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem. It is approximately five centuries old, having been first leased from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf in the sixteenth century. The cemetery contains anywhere between 70,000 and 150,000 tombs, including the tombs of famous figures in early modern Jewish history. It is considered to be the largest and holiest Jewish cemetery on earth.
The Silwan necropolis is the remains of a rock-cut cemetery assumed to have been used by the highest-ranking officials residing in Jerusalem. Its tombs were cut between the 9th and 7th centuries BCE. It is situated on the rocky eastern slope of the Kidron Valley, facing the oldest part of Jerusalem. Part of the Palestinian village of Silwan was later built atop the necropolis.
Zechariah 14 is the fourteenth chapter in the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. This chapter is a part of a section consisting of Zechariah 9–14. It continues the theme of chapters 12–13 about the 'war preceding peace for Jerusalem in the eschatological future.' It is written almost entirely in third-person prophetic discourse, with seven times references to the phrase 'that day'.
Batn Al-Hawa is a residential neighborhood inside the village of Silwan, which is located south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The neighborhood or Mount Batn al-Hawa, which is an extension of the Mount of Olives, and is located in the eastern corner of Jerusalem; It is separated from it by the Silwan Valley, which connects to the Kidron Valley at the same point, and is known by the Jews as "Har Hashishit" or "The Flood Mountain.
After 1967, it was discovered that tombstones had been removed from the ancient cemetery to pave the latrines of a nearby Jordanian army barrack.