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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 21 - Verse 1

Verses 1-16. See also Mr 11:1-11; Lu 19:29-44

Verse 1. And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem. They were going up now from Jericho, Mt 20:29. The distance was about nineteen miles. The most of the way was a desert, or filled with caves, and rocks, and woods—a fit place for robbers. See Lu 10:30. The Mount of Olives, or Olivet, is on the east of Jerusalem. Between this and Jerusalem there runs a small stream called the brook Kidron, or Cedron. It is dry in the hot seasons of the year, but swells to a considerable size in time of heavy rains. See Barnes "Joh 8:1".

The Mount of Olives was so called from its producing in abundance the olive. It was from Jerusalem about a Sabbath day's journey, Ac 1:12. On the west side of the mountain was the garden of Gethsemane, Lu 22:39; Mr 4:32. On the eastern declivity of the mountain, were the villages of Bethphage and Bethany. Mark and Luke say that he came near to both those places. He came nearest to Bethphage, and sent his disciples to the village over against them, to Bethany, [Bethpage?]. Bethany was the place where Lazarus dwelt whom he raised from the dead, (Joh 11:1) where Martha and Mary dwelt; and where Mary anointed him with ointment against the day of his burying, Joh 12:1-7. These circumstances are omitted by the three first evangelists, but supplied by John, who wrote after them. The Mount of Olives is about a mile in length, and about seven hundred feet in height, and overlooks Jerusalem; so that from its summit almost every part of the city can be seen. The mountain is composed of three peaks or summits. Our Saviour is supposed to have ascended from the middle one. The olive is a fruit well known among us as an article of commerce. The tree blooms in June, and bears white flowers. The fruit is small. It is first green, then pale, and, when fully ripe, black. It incloses a hard stone, in which are the seeds. The wild olive was common, and differed from the other only in being of a smaller size. There are two roads from Jerusalem to Bethany; one around the southern end of the Mount of Olives, and the other across the summit. The latter is considerably shorter, but more difficult; and it was probably along this road that the Saviour went.

{w} "And when they" Mr 11:1; Lu 19:29

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