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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Gethsemane

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("oil-press".) Beyond the brook Kedron at the foot of the mount of Olives; where probably oil was made from the olives of the adjoining hill (Luke 22:39; John 18:1). Called a "place" or farm (choorion ), Matthew 26:36, to which probably the "garden" was attached. E. of Jerusalem, from the walls of which it was half a mile distant. It was the favorite resort of our Lord with His disciples (John 18:2), the shade of its trees affording shelter from the heat and the privacy so congenial to Him. Bethany lay on the E. of Jerusalem, and toward it our Lord led His disciples before the ascension. In Luke 24:50 the sense is, He led them to the side of the hill where the road strikes downward to Bethany; for Acts 1:12 shows He ascended from the mount of Olives.

"Bethany probably includes not only the village but the district and side of the mount adjoining it; even still the adjoining mountain side is called by the same name as the village, el-Azariyeh. This reconciles Luke 24:50 with Acts 1:12. Gardens and pleasure grounds abounded then in the suburbs (Josephus, B.J., 6:1, section 1, 5:3, section 32), where now scarcely one is to be seen. In Gethsemane "without the city" Christ "trod the winepress alone" (Isaiah 63:3; Revelation 14:20). In these passages, however, He is the inflicter, not the sufferer, of vengeance; but in righteous retribution the scene of blood shedding of Christ and His people shall be also the scene of God's avenging His and their blood on the anti-Christian foe (Revelation 19:14).

The time of the agony was between 11 and 12 o'clock Thursday night (Friday morning in the Jews' reckoning), two days before the full moon, about the Vernal equinox. The sites assigned by the Latins and Armenians and Greeks respectively are too near the thoroughfare to the city to be probable. Some hundreds of yards further up the vale and N.E. of Mary's church may be the true site. The fact that Titus cut down all the trees round about Jerusalem (Josephus, B.J., 6:1, section 1) is against the contemporary ancientness of the eight venerable olive trees now pointed out. The tenth legion, moreover, was posted about the mount of Olives (5:2, section 3, 6:2, section 8); and in the siege a wall was carried along the valley of Kedron to the Siloam fountain (5:10, section 2). The olives of Christ's time may have reproduced themselves.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Gethsemane'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fbd/g/gethsemane.html. 1949.

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