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The view from the summit of Olivet is one of the most interesting and impressive within the limits of the Holy Land. Southward the range of vision extends to Hebron; northward one may see the hills of Samaria; westward every object on the plateau of Jerusalem stands out with startling distinctness; while to the east is an unequalled panoramic view of the rugged wilderness, the Jordan valley, nearly 4,000 feet below, with portions of the Dead Sea, and the clearly cut outlines of the mountains of Moab and Gilead.
To-day Olivet covered with many ruins. Traditional sites are numerous. On the summit one is shown the so-called Mosque of the Ascension, and a lofty Greek church tower. Thousands of Hebrew graves, including some extensive rock-hewn tombs, are found on the side facing the Holy City. Olive, fig and other trees, in clumps or singly, are growing here and there on its slopes.
BETHPHAGE. Bethphage was a village near Bethany, where the disciples borrowed the colt for Jesus to ride upon. Its exact location is unknown.
THE GARMENT AS A CARPET. This use of the loose outer garment was a recognized act of homage. Jehu, when the officers of the army of Israel chose him as their ruler, walked on the garments which they spread beneath his feet (2 Kings 9: 13). Agamemnon, tempted to an act of barbaric pomp, after the manner of Eastern kings, entered his palace at Mycenae walking upon costly carpets (Æschylus, Agam. 891). So in later history the young Sir Walter Raleigh, when Queen Elizabeth came to a miry part in the road, took off his new and costly plush mantle and spread it on the ground for the queen to walk over. Herodotus records that when Xerxes was passing over the bridge of the Hellespont, the way before him was strewed with branches of myrtle, while burning perfumes filled the air. Quintus Curtius tells of the scattering of flowers in the way before Alexander the Great when he entered Babylon. Monier, in our own day, saw the way of a Persian ruler strewed with roses for three miles; while glass vessels filled with sugar were broken under his horses' feet—the sugar being symbolical of prosperity.
The PALM AS A SYMBOL. The palm is the commonest tree in Egypt, and grows on the coast plain of Palestine, being abundant about Jaffa, and growing as far north as Beirut. It was formerly abundant in the Jordan valley, and could easily be made to grow there again. No palms are now found on the slope of the Mount of Olives, where they flourished in the time of Christ. The use of the palm as an emblem was common even in Bible times, the Old Testament using it as a figure of speech, for prosperity, righteousness and grace of figure (Ps. 92:12; Cant. 7:7). It is used by the Hebrews, also, for architectural decoration (1 Kings 6:29; Ezek. 41:19). In Rev. 7:9 it is used as a symbol of triumph; the redeemed standing before the throne, robed in white and with palms in their hands. The use of the palm in the Triumphal Entry adds even greater sanctity and beauty to this sacred emblem. This use of the symbol has never been discontinued. It appears in very early Christian art, and is still one of the most constant as well as appropriate of Christian symbols.
THE PROPHECY OF THE TRIUMPHAL ENTRY. The prophecy which Jesus evidently had in mind in choosing the manner of his entry into Jerusalem, was one which the Jewish people had long associated with
the coming of their Messianic King. It is found in Zechariah 9: 9-10, and reads:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
An EARLIER TRIUMPHAL ENTRY It is common to associate with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem the triumphal procession when David brought the Ark from its obscurity to a place of honor in the new capital of the united nation. The analogy is a very natural and fitting one. After seven and onehalf years of reign at Hebron, David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites, and thither moved the visible symbol of the presence of Jehovah. Songs and rejoicing accompanied the event. It is thought by many that three of the psalms may relate to this event. Psalm 101 is regarded as a reflection of the king's consecration of himself and his official household, and Psalm 15 as a solemn answer to the question what kind of man he should be who is to live in the city where God makes his abode.
But more clearly than these Psalm 24 appears to echo the joy of the procession itself, the challenge rung down from the walls of the Jebusite city, "Who is this King of Glory?" and the answering chorus from those in the procession, “Jehovah of hosts he is the King of Glory. It is this spirit which makes the 24th Psalm so fitting for the opening of a Palm Sunday service.
The GOLDEN GATE.
The Golden Gate occupies the traditional site of the gate of the Triumphal Entry. The present walls of Jerusalem are comparatively modern, and this gate was erected in the fifth century A. D. Soon after the Crusades it was
to keep the Christians out. The Mohammedans have tradition that some Friday a Christian
conqueror will enter through this
gate, the Moslem regime' will end, and the city will fall before the conquering Christian Prince.
JERUSALEM. The name Jerusalem is found on cuneiform tablets. The city is called Uru-Salim, from which has come Jerusalem. The meaning is, “The City of the God of Peace.” It is in latitude 31° 40' 45' north, which is
nearly that of Natchez, Miss., and in longitude 35' 13' 25" east from Greenwich. In a direct line it is thirtytwo miles east from the Mediterranean Sea, and twentytwo miles west from the river Jordan. It is among the, mountains of the range that runs north and south through central Palestine. It has an elevation of nearly 2,500 feet above the Mediterranean, and 3,800 feet above the Dead Sea.
It is built upon four heights, Mount Moriah in the south-east, the traditional Mount Zion in the southwest, Acra in the north-west, and Bezetha in the northeast. The Tyropæon Valley, running south-east, then due south, separates three of these elevations. On the east runs the deep, rapidly descending Kidron Valley, also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. It reaches a depth of nearly 450 feet below the level of the streets of Zion. On the west is the broader valley of Hinnom, which, turning east, runs south of the city at a depth of over 300 feet below the streets of Zion. The lower portion of this valley is also called Gehenna.
The Jerusalem of our day may be considered the eighth city erected on the present site, for before the time of David there was a city there; the second was the city of Solomon; the third, that of Nehemiah; then came the magnificent city of Herod; then the Roman city, which grew on the ruins Titus had made: it was followed by the Mohammedan city; and that again by a Christian city; and now for six hundred years the modern city has stood on the ruins of those that preceded it.
The present population of Jerusalem is about 60,000. It is a walled-city, with seven gates and thirty-four towers. The walls rise abruptly from the edge of the hill, and are 381 feet in height. The city presents a very impressive appearance even at this day