Place of Jesus' arrest
Only twice in the King James Bible translation is the Garden of Gethsemane specifically mentioned by name (Matthew 26:36, Mark 14:32). It is also referenced in John 18:1 and Luke 22:40. The area it encompasses is flat and measures less than 57 square yards (47 1/2 square meters). 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.
30. And after singing a hymn (after Jesus' last Passover was completed in Jerusalem), they went out to the Mount of Olives . . . 36. Then Jesus came with them to a place (garden) called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here, while I go onward and pray" (Matthew 26:36, HBFV throughout)
32. Then they came to a place that was called Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, "Sit here while I pray" (Mark 14:32)
Composed of two Hebrew words (Gath, Strong's Concordance #H1660 and Shemen, Strong's #H8081), the English word Gethsemane can mean "valley of fatness" or fertile valley, "olive press" or "oil press." Although the Apostle John refers to this 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, a place commonly visited by him, 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)
Who heard his words?
One common Bible question concerns how all of Jesus' words spoken in Gethsemane could have been recorded if the disciples were falling asleep at the time. If we think about it, no human being was around to witness the actual events of creation or the creation of Adam mentioned in Genesis 1. In such cases, God simply revealed the events or words spoken in the account in question to one of his prophets (in these two examples he revealed them to Moses who wrote the first five Bible books), even when the prophet (or inspired writer) was not around to witness them (cf. 2Timothy 3:16 - 17, 2Peter 1:19 - 21).
Furthermore, in the case of Jesus' speaking in Gethsemane, it is 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 prayed aloud?