The Mount of Olives
One of the most spectacular places to visit in Israel is the Mount of Olives. The view from this elevation is breathtaking, and people gaze in awe at the Eastern Gate and the wall surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem.
Located slightly east of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley, the Mount of Olives stands 2,641 feet above sea level and is 318 feet higher than the Temple Mount.1 Many biblical events took place on the Mount of Olives, making it a significant spot on any tour of Israel.
It was through the Kidron Valley and up the slope of the Mount of Olives that King David and his entourage went when they fled Jerusalem, escaping from David’s son Absalom who had usurped the king’s throne (2 Sam. 15:20–32). On this summit David also accepted much-needed supplies from Ziba, the servant of Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth (16:1–2).
When the Shekinah Glory left the Temple in the vision God showed the prophet Ezekiel, it went out the Eastern Gate, up the Kidron Valley, up the Mount of Olives, and on to heaven (Ezek. 10—11).
From the Mount of Olives Jesus began His entry into Jerusalem on what is now called Palm Sunday (Mt. 21:1–11). The Olivet Discourse was given from the Mount of Olives (Mt. 24—25), and it was there that Jesus lamented,
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lᴏʀᴅ!” (23:37–39).
It is to this mount Christ will someday return to protect and defend His beloved Chosen People: “And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two….Thus the Lᴏʀᴅ my God will come, and all the saints with You” (Zech. 14:4–5).
In that day, resurrected Christians will accompany Jesus as He returns to Earth. The apostle John drove home that reality: “And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses” (Rev. 19:14).
What a spectacular day that will be when God the Son returns to the Mount of Olives.
- David M. Levy, Up To Jerusalem (Bellmawr, NJ: The Friends of Israel, 2005), 33.