- First Reference: Genesis 8:11
- Last Reference: Revelation 11:4
- Included in Eastons: Yes
- Included in Hitchcocks: No
- Included in Naves: No
- Included in Smiths: Yes
- Included in Websters: Yes
- Included in Strongs: Yes
- Included in Thayers: No
- Included in BDB: Yes
The fruit of the olive-tree. This tree yielded oil which was highly valued. The best oil was from olives that were plucked before being fully ripe, and then beaten or squeezed (Deuteronomy 24:20; Isaiah 17:6; 24:13). It was called "beaten," or "fresh oil" (Exodus 27:20). There were also oil-presses, in which the oil was trodden out by the feet (Micah 6:15). James (3:12) calls the fruit "olive berries." The phrase "vineyards and olives" (Judges 15:5, A.V.) should be simply "olive-yard," or "olive-garden," as in the Revised Version. (See OIL.)
The olive was among the most abundant and characteristic vegetation of Judea. The olive tree grows freely almost everywhere on the shores of the Mediterranean, but it was peculiarly abundant in Palestine. See (6:11; 8:8; 28:40) Oliveyards are a matter of course in descriptions of the country like vines and cornfields. (Judges 15:5; 1 Samuel 8:14) The kings had very extensive ones. (1 Chronicles 27:28) Even now the is very abundant in the country. Almost every village has its olive grove. Certain districts may be specified where at various times this tree been very luxuriant. The cultivation of the olive tree had the closest connection with the domestic life of the Isr'lites (2 Chronicles 2:10) their trade, (Ezekiel 27:17; Hosea 12:1) and even their Public ceremonies and religious worship. In Solomon's temple the cherubim were "of olive tree," (1 Kings 6:23) as also the doors, vs. (1 Kings 6:31,32) and posts. ver. (1 Kings 6:33) For the various uses of olive oil see OIL. The wind was dreaded by the cultivator of the olive for the least ruffling of a breeze is apt to cause the flowers to fall. (Job 15:33) It is needless to add that the locust was a formidable enemy of the olive. It happened not unfrequently that hopes were disappointed, and that "the labor of the olive failed." (Habakkuk 3:17) As to the growth of the tree, it thrives best in warm and sunny situations. It is of moderate height, with knotty gnarled trunk and a smooth ash-colored bark. It grows slowly, but lives to an immense age. Its look is singularly indicative of tenacious vigor, and this is the force of what is said in Scripture of its "greenness, as emblematic of strength and prosperity. The leaves, too, are not deciduous. Those who see olives for the first time are occasionally disappointed by the dusty color of their foilage; but those who are familiar with them find an inexpressible charm in the rippling changes of their slender gray-green leaves. (See also Ruskin's "Stones of Venice," iii. 175-177.) The olive furnishes the basis of one of Paul's allegories. (Romans 11:16-25) The Gentiles are the "wild olive" grafted in upon the "good olive," to which once the Jews belonged, and with which they may again be incorporated, (The olive grows from 20 to 40 feet high. In general appearance it resembles the apple tree; in leaves and sterns, the willow. The flowers are white and appear in June, The fruit is like a plum in shape and size, and at first is green, but gradually becomes purple, and even black, with a hard stony kernel, and is remarkable from the outer fleshy part being that in which much oil is lodged, and not, as is usual, in the almond of the seed. The fruit ripens from August to September. It is sometimes eaten green, but its chief value is in its oil. The wood is hard, fine beautifully veined, and is open used for cabinet work. Olive trees were so abundant in Galilee that at the siege of Jotapata by Vespasian the Roman army were driven from the ascent of the walls by hot olive oil poured upon them and scalding them underneath their armor.
Josephus, Wars, 3; 7.28.
OL'IVE, noun [Latin oliva, from olea, an olive tree; Gr. See Oil]
A plant or tree of the genus Olea. The common olive tree grows in warm climates and rises to the height of twenty or thirty feet, having an upright stem with numerous branches. This tree is much cultivated in the south of Europe for its fruit, from which is expressed the olive oil, and which is used also for pickles.
Branch of, brought by the dove to Noah's ark
Common to the land of Canaan
Exodus 23:11; Deuteronomy 6:11; Deuteronomy 8:8
Israelites commanded to cultivate in the land of promise
Branches of, used for booths
Precepts concerning gleaning the fruit of
Deuteronomy 24:20; Isaiah 17:6
Cherubim made of the wood of
1 Kings 6:23; 1 Kings 6:31-33
The wild olive tree, a figure of the Gentiles
Romans 11:17-21; Romans 11:24
The cultivated olive tree, a figure of the Jews
Romans 11:17-21; Romans 11:24
Zech 4:2-12; Revelation 11:4
Exodus 39:37; Leviticus 24:2; Zech 4:12
OL'IVED, adjective Decorated with olive trees.
OL'IVENITE, noun An ore of copper.
Called Mount of Corruption
2 Kings 23:13
East of Jerusalem. The highway to and from the east passed over it
2 Samuel 15:30
Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem by way of
Matthew 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:29; Luke 19:37
Jesus repairs to
Matthew 24:3; Matthew 26:30; Mark 13:3; Mark 14:26; Luke 21:37; Luke 22:39
Jesus makes His ascension from
"The Mount of Olives" occurs in the Old Testament in (Zechariah 14:4) only. In (2 Samuel 15:30) it is called "Olivet;" in other places simply "the mount," (Nehemiah 8:15) "the mount facing Jerusalem" (1 Kings 11:7) or "the mountain which is on the east aide of the city." (Ezekiel 11:23) In the New Testament the usual form is "the Mount of Olives." It is called also "Olivet." (Acts 1:12) This mountain is the well-known eminence on the east of Jerusalem, intimately connected with some of the gravest events of the history of the Old Testament and the New Testament, the scene of the flight of David and the triumphal progress of the Son of David, of the idolatry-of Solomon, and the agony and betrayal of Christ. It is a ridge of rather more than a mile in length, running in general direction north and south, covering the whole eastern side of the city. At its northern end the ridge bends round to the west so as to form an enclosure to the city on that side also. On the north a space of nearly a mile of tolerably level surface intervenes between the walls of the city and the rising ground; on the east the mount is close to the walls, parted only by the narrow ravine of the Kidron. It is this portion which is the real Mount of Olives of the history. In general height it is not very much above-the city: 300 feet higher than the temple mount, hardly more than 100 above the so-called Zion. It is rounded, swelling and regular in form. Proceeding from north to south there occur four independent summits, called
1, "Viri Galil'i:" 2, "Mount of Ascension;" 3, "Prophets"
subordinate to the last and almost a part of it; 4, "Mount of Offence."
- Of these the central one -the "Mount of Ascension"
is the most important. Three paths lead from the valley to the summit-one on the north, in the hollow between the two crests of the hill another over the summit, and a third winding around the southern shoulder still the most frequented and the best. The central hill, which we are now considering, purports to contain the sites of some of the most sacred and impressive events of Christian history. The majority of these sacred spots now command little or no attention; but three still remain, sufficiently sacred
to consecrate any place. These are
(1) Gethsemane, at the foot of the mount; (2) The spot from which our Saviour ascended on the summit; (3) The place of the lamentation of Christ over Jerusalem, halfway up. Of these, Gethsemane is the only one which has any claim to be authentic. [GETHSEMANE]
- Next to the central summit, on the southern side is a hill remarkable only for the fact that it contains the "singular catacomb" known as the "Tombs of the Prophets," probably in allusion to the words of Christ. (Matthew 23:29)
- The most southern portion of the Mount of Olives is that usually known as the "Mount of Offence," Mons Offensionis . It rises next to that last mentioned. The title "Mount of Offence," or "Scandal," was bestowed on the supposition that it is the "Mount of Corruption" on which Solomon erected the high places for the gods of his foreign wives. (2 Kings 23:13; 1 Kings 11:7) The southern summit is considerably lower than the centre one.
- There remains the "Viri Galil'i," about 400 yards from the "Mount of Ascension." It stands directly opposite the northeast corner of Jerusalem, and is approached by the path between it and the "Mount of Ascension." The presence of a number of churches and other edifices must have rendered the Mount of Olives, during the early and middle ages of Christianity, entirely unlike what it was in the time of the Jewish kingdom or of our Lord. Except the high places on the summit, the only buildings then to be seen were probably the walls of the vineyards and gardens and the towers and presses which were their invariable accompaniment. But though the churches are nearly all demolished, there must be a considerable difference between the aspect of the mountain now and in those days when it received its name from the abundance of its olive proves. It does not now stand so pre-eminent in this respect among the hills in the neighborhood of Jerusalem. It is only in the deeper and more secluded slope leading up to the northernmost summit that these venerable trees spread into anything like a forest. The cedars commemorated by the Talmud sad the date-palms implied in the name Bethany have fared still worse; there is not one of either to be found within many miles. Two religious ceremonies performed there must have done much to increase the numbers who resorted to the mount. The appearance of the new moon was probably watched for, certainly proclaimed, from the summit. The second ceremony referred to was the burning of the red heifer. This solemn ceremonial was enacted on the central mount, and in a spot so carefully specified that it would seem not difficult to fix it. It was due east of the sanctuary, and at such an elevation on the mount that the officiating priest, as he slew the animal and sprinkled blood, could see the facade of the sanctuary through the east gate of the temple.
See Olives, Mount of
Olives, Mount of
(place of olives). (2 Samuel 15:30; Acts 1:12) [OLIVES, MOUNT OF, MOUNT, MOUNT, MOUNTAIN OF]
Is frequently mentioned in Scripture. The dove from the ark brought an olive-branch to Noah (Genesis 8:11). It is mentioned among the most notable trees of Palestine, where it was cultivated long before the time of the Hebrews (Deuteronomy 6:11; 8:8). It is mentioned in the first Old Testament parable, that of Jotham (Judges 9:9), and is named among the blessings of the "good land," and is at the present day the one characteristic tree of Palestine. The oldest olive-trees in the country are those which are enclosed in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is referred to as an emblem of prosperity and beauty and religious privilege (Psalms 52:8; Jeremiah 11:16; Hosea 14:6). The two "witnesses" mentioned in Revelation 11:4 are spoken of as "two olive trees standing before the God of the earth." (Comp. Zechariah 4:3, 11-14.)
The "olive-tree, wild by nature" (Romans 11:24), is the shoot or cutting of the good olive-tree which, left ungrafted, grows up to be a "wild olive." In Romans 11:17 Paul refers to the practice of grafting shoots of the wild olive into a "good" olive which has become unfruitful. By such a process the sap of the good olive, by pervading the branch which is "graffed in," makes it a good branch, bearing good olives. Thus the Gentiles, being a "wild olive," but now "graffed in," yield fruit, but only through the sap of the tree into which they have been graffed. This is a process "contrary to nature" (11:24).
OL'IVE-YARD, noun An inclosure or piece of ground in which olives are cultivated. Exodus 23:1.