(note: click on each image for a higher resolution)
The Dome of the Rock as seen from the top of the Mount of Olives. This building was completed in the year 691 A.D. The Muslims believe the large rock inside is a sacred stone where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. The Jews believed the rock is the place whre Abrahma prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac to God. Many Jews believe that this is the site of the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple. The first temple here was built by Solomon 967 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. This temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. King Herod built the second temple here in 19 B.C. The Romans destroyed Herod's Temple in 70 A.D.
This is the Golden gate as seen from the Mount of Olives. The Golden Gate is closed. No one enters the Temple Mount from the East today. The gate is blocked up "waiting for the return of the Mesiah." Ezekiel was a prophet of God who was among the 10,000 captives from Jerusalem who were taken to Babylon. Ezekiel had a vision of the Temple Mount. He saw "the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east." The Lord told him: "This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened and no man shall enter by it." "It is for the Prince; the Prince, He sahll sit on it to eat bread before the Lord; He shall enter by the way of the porth of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same." This present gate, at the same location of the second Temple gate, was built by Justinian in 520 A.D. The Sultan Suleiman sealed off the Golden Gate in 1541 A.D. to prevent the Messiah's entrance. The Muslims also built a cemetery in front of this gate to keep the prophet Elijah from entering. Where do you think this man is now who thought he could stop these two from entering the Temple Mount?
Jill Shannon and Cathy Minnick on the road across the Mount of Olives.
Allison, a member of our group, rides a camel.
The western slope of the Mount of Olives is filled with graves both Jewish and Muslim.
Holy Smoke! Maybe. This is a part of the city wall built by the Muslims.
See other posts which include more on our Thanksgiving week 2009 trip to Israel: