Climbing the mount of Olives

On Monday the plan was to walk up to the top of the mount of Olives. We wanted to start early, but take the car to the Mount of Olives, so we didn't have to walk the first part. Unfortunately navigating the car to the right spot proved quite difficult, so took almost an hour, while a walk would have been just 15 minutes. But our feet were sore enough.

The walkway here crosses the Kidron brook (nothing left of that brook though). It goes to the city of David, the original Jerusalem, while the Jerusalem we see today dates from after that (Solomon already expanded it quite a bit). The valley itself is called Jehoshaphat valley, although not so in the Bible. It's first called this way in 333 AD.

And this is from the other side, towards the mount of Olives.

According to a sign this was the location of the garden of Gethsemane. There's a big church as well, which we didn't visit. But we took a picture of the olive trees. Obviously the Mount of Olives took its name from the many olive trees that used to cover it. But that's no longer the case.

When you walk up the mount of Olives, you can clearly see the Golden Gate. As you can see, it is sealed off. According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will enter Jerusalem through this gate. That's why the Muslims sealed it off.

They even built a graveyard in front of it to prevent the precursor of the Messiah, Elijah, from passing through it.

Here with a bit more context, i.e. with the Dome of the Rock on the left, and the Golden Gate on the right.

Jews like to be buried on the Mount of Olives as they also believe this is where the resurrection will take place.

And us here on the top of the mount of Olives.

This is what you see on the top. It's an Arab neighboorhood>

If you see this, the word of the angels "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." or Zechariah's "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south" look very remote. But perhaps as remote as was the return of the Jews to their own country when John Gill wrote, in the latter half of the 18th century: "but it brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them; that is, the people of the Jews, the proprietors of the land of Israel, shall now be brought forth out of each the nations where they are scattered, and shall inhabit their own land, and dwell in the utmost security, having nothing to fear from their most potent enemies, even Gog himself; and though he shall come against them in the following manner. ..." He wrote that, while the actual event was still 200 years in the future. And we live in the times where this prophecy has been fullfilled.

The other side of the Mount of Olives. Not very clear, but I could see the Judean desert starting over there.

After we went down the hill, across the Kidron brook to the city of David.