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BETHPHAGE (Βηθφάγη), a place on Mount Olivet, between Bethany and Jerusalem (St. Matth. 21.1; St. Luke, 19.29); for our Lord, having passed the preceding night at Bethany (St. John, 12.1), came on the following morning to “Bethphage and Bethany,” i. e., as Lightfoot explains it, to that part of the mountain where the district of Bethany met that of Bethphage. (Chorograph. Cent. ch. xxxvii.; Exercitations on St. Luke, 24.50; Horae Heb. &c. in Act. Ap. 1.12.) This writer denies that there was any village of Bethphage, but assigns the name to the whole western slope of Mount Olivet as far as the city, explaining it to mean the “place of figs,” from the trees planted on the terraced sides of the mount. (Chorograph. Cent. xxxvii.) Eusebius and St. Jerome, however, describe it as a small village on the Mount of Olives, and the latter explains the name to mean “villa (s. domus) sacerdotalium maxillarum” (Comment. in St. Matth. xxi.; Epitaph. Paulae), as being a village of the priests to whom the maxilla of the victims belonged.


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