And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
Bethphage (from בֵּית פַּגָה; Βεθφαγή, or Βηθφαγή, in Aramaic “place of young figs”): Near the Mount of Olives and to the road from Jerusalem to Jericho; mentioned together with Bethany (Mt 21:1; Mk 11:1; Lk 19:29). The place occurs in several Talmudic passages where it may be inferred that it was near but outside Jerusalem; it was at the Sabbatical distance limit E. of Jerusalem, and was surrounded by some kind of wall. The medieval Bethphage was between the summit and Bethany. The site is now enclosed by the Roman Catholics. As regards the Bethphage of the NT, the most probable suggestion was that it occupied the summit itself where Kefr et Tur stands today. This village certainly occupies an ancient site and no other name is known. This is much more probable than the suggestion that the modern Abu Dis is on the site of Bethphage.
E. W. G. MASTERMAN
“Bethphage,” ISBE, paragraph 8693.
Bethphage was a small village on the Mount of Olives near Bethany. The name means “the house of unripe or early figs.” The Gospels name Bethphage as the starting point of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Luke 19:29; Mark 11:1; Matt. 21:1). In Talmudic literature Bethphage (Beth Pagi) marked the eastern limits of Jerusalem.
The Franciscan Chapel at Bethphage
In Bethphage located the Franciscan Chapel at Bethphage, from which the modern Palm Sunday ceremony commences, must be very near the location of the ancient village. Scattered finds (tombs, cisterns, a winepress) in the area indicate occupation dating from the 2nd century B.C. to the 8th century A.D.
“BETHPHAGE,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 174.
And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
Luke 19:28–38 KJV
Jesus on the Mount Olives
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Matthew 24:1–3 KJV
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
Mark 11:1–3 KJV
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?
And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.And the gospel must first be published among all nations.But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Mark 13:3–13 KJV