The Mount of Olives is located across the Kidron Valley from the eastern side of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Mt. of Olives is the site of a 3,000 year old Jewish cemetery where many prominent Jews are buried and it was the setting for many Biblical events. Today the Mount of Olives is home to beautiful churches, a Jerusalem neighborhood, Augusta Victoria Hospital, Seven Arches Hotel and the Brigham Young University.
The Mount of Olives in the Bible
The Book of Zechariah states that the “God of Israel” will stand on the Mt. of Olives. This is interpreted to mean that the Messiah will appear here on the Day of Judgment and the resurrection of the dead will begin here with those buried on the mount.
In the New Testament the Mount of Olives is noted as the place where Jesus stood as he looked out over Jerusalem and wept as he foresaw the city’s destruction. Jesus is said to have taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer on the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and was arrested on the eve of his crucifixion. The Book of Acts tells us that Jesus ascended to heaven from the mount following his resurrection.
Churches of the Mount of Olives
Peaking over the tree tops on the Mount of Olives are the gold domes of the Russian Orthodox Church built in 1888. Not far from the Russian church is the Russian Church of the Ascension in the village of A-Tur. A second Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives was originally built in 392AD and reconstructed in 1198. It is a small domed octagonal chapel holding a stone bearing the imprint of Jesus’ foot where He stepped up to heaven.
The Church of All Nations stands out with its gold mosaic above the church entrance. The church holds a rock believed to be where Jesus prayed on the eve of his arrest. Dominus Flevit Church designed by Anton Barluzzi marks where Jesus stood as he looked out over Jerusalem and wept. The Pater Noster Church was built to mark where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. The walls of the church bear the Lord’s Prayer written in 140 languages.