The Mount Scopus today is the home of Hebrew University and the are have on of most beautiful panoramic view to the Old City of Jerusalem.

The area of Mount Scopus is very rich in archaeological finds and historical description from the time of Judges over the ancient history to our modern days. The roman legions parking in this are before the destruction of Jerusalem during the Great Jewish Revolt.


The Mount of Olive ridge has three main summits, the northernmost of which is the highest, ca. 820 m. (2700 ft.) above sea level. This northern section has been identified as Mt. Scopus, meaning the mountain of the “lookout” (Josephus BJ 5.67–70). The central peak directly across the Kidron Valley from the temple is the Mount of Olives proper. The southernmost and lowest peak is usually identified as the Mount of Offense (or Corruption) where Solomon built shrines to foreign gods in “the high places that were east of Jerusalem” (2 Kgs. 23:13). The region has also been identified with Nob (1 Sam. 21:1[MT 20:42]; Isa. 10:32), but this is less certain.

“OLIVES, MOUNT OF,” Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, 985-986.

Mount Scopus during Solomon Kingdom

To complete David’s will Solomon had finally to eliminate Shimei, a member of the Benjaminite tribe and related to Saul, who had cursed king David. David had temporarily spared him (2 Sam. 16:5–14) but asked for judgment to be passed by Solomon (vv. 8–9). Solomon restricted Shimei to Jerusalem to cut him off from his estates in Bahurim (on the east slopes of Mount Scopus) and so prevent him plotting with fellow-Benjaminites against the throne.

Donald J. Wiseman, 1 and 2 Kings: An Introduction and Commentary, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993, 87.

Mount Scopus after Jesus, during the Jerusalem Siege

The siege of Jerusalem was one of the most terrible events in history. The Roman army took up its position in the Valley of Thorns and built a vast, awesome camp. Then in all their pomp, pride, and power, they moved toward the doomed city and established a second encampment near mount Scopus. One legion marched off to take up a position at the foot of the mount of Olives, and others leveled the entire space between mount Scopus and the city wall. Next the army positioned itself along the northern and western walls; the infantry was in front, the cavalry was in the rear, and the archers were in the middle. Once this impenetrable line was drawn, the Romans moved up their heavy equipment. Titus stationed himself about a quarter-mile from the outer wall near the tower of Psephina and a detachment was posted near the tower of Hippicus, some distance from the army headquarters.

John Phillips, Exploring Proverbs, Volume Two, John Phillips Commentary Series; Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1996, 162.

Important Discoveries at Mount Scopus

The process of crucifixion has been vividly illustrated by the discovery of the remains of a man executed in this manner. In 1968 a number of ossuaries were found in burial caves during a building project at Giv’at ha-Mivtar in northeast Jerusalem, slightly to the northwest of Mount Scopus. A full report on “Anthropological Observations on the Skeletal Remains from Giv’at ha-Mivtar” was published in IEJ, vol. 20, nos. 1, 2 (1970).

The gate separating the Court of the Women from the Court of Israel to the west was the ornate gate donated by Nicanor, a wealthy Alexandrian. At the beginning of this century an ossuary was discovered on Mount Scopus, bearing the name of Nicanor the Alexandrian. More recently an ossuary from Giv’at ha-Mivtar, Jerusalem, which bore the Aramaic inscription “Simon, builder of the temple,” was recovered.

Although its exact location is unknown, Nob is generally believed to lie just north of the city of Jerusalem. Possible locations include Ras el-Mesharif on the slope of Mount Scopus and Qu’meh (see Is 10:32). In David’s time it served as the sanctuary site and was served by Aaron’s descendants. Presumably it had been moved from Shiloh after the death of Eli and his sons (see 1 Sam 4:10–22).

John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews, and Mark W. Chavalas, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000, 311.