The Descent of the Mount of Olives
Wisdom's Corner
The Descent of the Mount of Olives

At the time Jesus lived there was an arched bridge built from the east gate of the Temple to the Mount of Olives. This bridge kept someone from having to go down into the valley to get from one place to the other. This was important as the valley was considered to be unclean.

We know from historical sources that the east wall of the Temple was built shorter than the other four walls. This was so that when the High Priest went out of the camp to sacrifice the red heifer he could see the Temple from where he was standing. The Mount of Olives was directly east of the Temple. From this and historical sources we know that the red heifer was sacrificed on the Mount of Olives.

So the bridge was the way the High Priest went to get from the Temple to the Altar on the Mount of Olives. The paved road from the bridge to the Altar area was known as The Descent of the Mount of Olives. The whole distance from the Temple steps of the East Gate to the top of the Mount of Olives was considered the most holy road into the Temple.

In Luke 19:28-40 we read about Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Verse 37 says that he came nigh "at the descent of the mount of Olives." Jesus was on this most holy road going into Jerusalem. As the crowd surrounded him and praised him as King and as Hosanna in the Highest (Matthew 21), they could actually see over the east wall into the Temple. How sad that not too long after this Christ would be crucified because the Jews rejected him.

I am glad that Jesus came to earth. I am glad that he is Lord. We should praise him as King and Lord. It is wonderful that God gave us the Bible so that we could read and study about what we need to do to live right with God. The Bible is so interesting to study. Even seemingly simple phrases like "the descent of the mount of Olives" can hold a great deal of information if we just take time to study.

Until next time, keep reading your Bible. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Mark McWhorter

Copyright 2002

Published by The Old Paths Bible School