Courtesy Gilabrand at en.wikipedia
The Mount of Olives (Olivet in the KJV Old Testament) is one of Jerusalem's seven hills. It is mentioned only twice in the Old Testament and at least twelve times in the New. Its first known reference is recorded when King David, while fleeing Jerusalem due to his throne being threatened by his rebellious son Absalom, wept as he ascended the hill (2Samuel 15:30). The second reference is concerning the Lord's prophetic second coming to the earth.
4. 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 split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south (Zechariah 14:4)
Not surprisingly, the Mount received its name from the many trees along its sides that bore the olive fruit. The hill itself is located on a ridge on the eastern side of Jerusalem and is separated from the city by the valley of Kidron. It is approximately a Sabbath-day's journey from Jerusalem (or less than half a mile or 2,000 cubits).
This location plays a PIVOTAL role in the ministry of Jesus.
It was while leaving Jerusalem's temple for the mount that Jesus predicted its TOTAL destruction.
1. And after going out, Jesus departed from the temple; and His disciples came to Him to point out the buildings of the temple. 2. But Jesus said to them, 'Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, there shall not be left here even a stone upon a stone that shall not be thrown down.' (Matthew 24:1 - 2, HBFV throughout, see also Mark 13:1 - 2 and Luke 21:5 - 6).
It was this location that Jesus, just a few days before his crucifixion, wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:37 - 44).
Jesus led his disciples to Olivet (at the foot of which lies Gethsemane's garden) after his last Passover so that he could teach them a few more things, pray, then wait for Judas to betray him (Matthew 26:30 - 56)
It was while walking to the mount after his last Passover that Jesus gave the parable of the True Vine (John 15:1 - 27). He also offered his final words of encouragement (John 16:1 - 31) and states that the disciples will leave him (John 16:32 - 33).
Pictures - Maps
from Life of Christ
Lastly, it was on the Mount of Olives, just 40 days after his resurrection (on May 18th, 30 A.D.) that Jesus met with the disciples for one last time. Just before his ascension he commissions the disciples to preach the gospel everywhere and tells them to WAIT in the city of Jerusalem until they receive power "from on high" (Luke 24:46 - 49).
After he is done speaking Jesus blesses the disciples and ascends into heaven. As the disciples gaze at Jesus ascending out of their sight, two angels in white appear. The angels tell them that Jesus will come back to the earth in the same way they saw him leave (Mark 16:19 - 20; Luke 24:50 - 53; Acts 1:6 - 11). His return to Olivet at his Second Coming will cause it to split in two, forming two smaller mountains (one east, the other west) and creating a very wide valley.
2. For I will gather all nations to battle against Jerusalem; and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered . . . 3. And the LORD shall go out and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle . . . and the Mount of Olives shall split in two, from the east and to the west, and make a very great valley. And half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. (Zechariah 14:2 - 4, HBFV)