The Garden of Gethsemane

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Garden of Gethsemane Picture
Location of Garden of Gethsemane
31.779402°N, 35.240197° E

Only twice in the King James Bible translation is the Garden of Gethsemane specifically mentioned (Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32). It is referred to in John 18:1 and Luke 22:40. It is located on the western foot of the Mount of Olives, beyond the brook Kidron, and is only a short distance from Jerusalem. The villages of Bethany and Bethphage are also located very near the mount.

The location itself is flat and less than 57 square yards (47 1/2 square meters) in area. Composed of two Hebrew words, the English word Gethsemane can mean "valley of fatness" or fertile valley, "olive press" or "oil press."

Although John calls the area where Jesus' betrayal took place a garden, it was not the same kind we would have today. Rather than a place to grow vegetables and other foods, it was a place where the planting and harvesting of trees producing olives, pomegranates, and figs took place. Today, some olive trees still exist that were planted roughly nine hundred years ago!

Judas betrayed Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane right after the disciples finished what is commonly called 'the Last Supper.' The arrest of Christ occurred even though it was contrary to both Roman and Jewish law. Our Savior was “officially” arrested after midnight on Wednesday, April 5 in 30 A.D. The arrest would soon lead to Jesus' crucifixion later in the day.

1. After saying these things, Jesus went out with His disciples to a place beyond the winter stream of Kidron, where there was a garden . . .

4. Jesus . . . went forward and said to them (Judas, the temple guards and religious leaders who came to arrest him), "Whom are you seeking?" 5. They answered Him, "Jesus the Nazarean." . . . Therefore, if you are seeking Me, allow these to go their way"; (John 18:1, 4 - 5, 8)

How do we know what Jesus said?

One common question is how all of Jesus' words could have been recorded if the disciples were falling asleep at the time.

Consider the following. No human being was around to witness the actual events of creation or the creation of Adam. In such cases, God simply supplies the events or words of the account in question to one of his prophets (in this case, Moses), even when the prophet (or other inspired writer) was not around to witness them (cf. II Timothy 3:16 - 17; 2Peter 1:19 - 21).

Furthermore, in the case of Jesus' speaking in Gethsemane, it's extremely unlikely that all of his words spoken in prayer as recorded in John 17 would have been heard by the disciples even if they had remained awake. Notice that according to Matthew 26:36 - 45 He prayed at some distance from His disciples. Could they have really heard Him, even if He played aloud?

In a final note of irony, it was in Eden where man received the kiss of life. Mankind 'returned the favor' by giving Jesus, through the person of Judas, the kiss of death in the garden of Gethsemane.

Additional Study Materials
Was Jesus REALLY in the grave
for three days and three nights?
How did Judas get to sit next
to Christ at the Last Supper?
Location of
Jesus' Tomb
What Old Testament
prophecies did
Christ fulfill?
Timeline of
Jesus' last days
Picture of the
Mount of Olives
Place where Jesus
was crucified

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