BETHPHAGE , village on the Mount of Olives in the immediate vicinity of *Jerusalem; it is named for green figs (paggim). In ancient times, it was surrounded by a wall. Bethphage marked the eastern confines of Jerusalem in the Second Temple period (Men. 11:2; Men. 75b). In the New Testament (Matt. 21:1–9; Mark 11:1–10; Luke 19: 29–38; John 12:12–19) it is mentioned as the place where *Jesus found the ass on which he entered Jerusalem. A church existed at this spot in the Byzantine period, and many pilgrims used it as a final stopping point on their journey to Jerusalem. The Crusaders put up many buildings in Bethpage, notably the Chapel of the Savior. It has been identified with the village of et-Ṭūr, on the southern of the three hills of the Mount of Olives. According to an ancient tradition the prophetess *Huldah was buried there. Recent excavations have uncovered the lower part of a Byzantine building, largely rock-hewn, which was used as an oil press.
Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 279; Press, Ereẓ, s.v.add. bibliography: S. Saller and E. Testa, The Archaeological Setting of the Shrine of Bethphage (1961); J. Wilkinson, Jerusalem Pilgrims Before the Crusades, (1977), 152–3; D. Pringle, The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, i, (1993), 157–9; Y. Tsafrir, L. Di Segni, and J. Green, Tabula Imperii Romani. Iudaea – Palaestina. Maps and Gazetteer. (1994), 85.
[Michael Avi-Yonah /
Shimon Gibson (2nd ed.)]