On the Mount of Olives is the world’s oldest Jewish cemetery, where it is believed the resurrection of the dead will begin when the Messiah comes. Legend has it that a miraculous bridge will span the valley at the end of time, over which the righteous will pass on their way to the Temple Mount.
This part of the Kidron is also called the Valley of Jehosafat, where God will judge the nations of the world (Joel 3:12). Another name for the valley is the Vale of the King; it was once intensely cultivated and the revenues went to the king.
Many olive trees have recently been brought here to restore the ancient landscape. The Kidron also has the earliest tombs in the cemetery: Zechariah’s Tomb, named after a First Temple priest, the Tomb of the Sons of Hezir, a Second Temple-era priestly family, and Absalom’s Tomb.
The conical-roofed Absalom’s Tomb received its name because the Bible says this rebellious son of David built a monument here so he would be remembered. Absalom was eventually killed by his father’s men; Jerusalemites of old would bring their sons to pelt the tomb with stones and recall the fate of rebellious offspring.