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Mount Gerizim

E9 on the Map

Jebel et-Tur. The mountain of the Gerizzites, situated opposite Mt. Ebal and over the valley of Shechem, which was about 3 miles in length and not wider than will allow the hearing of a voice across. Gerizim is 2,889 feet above the Mediterranean and today is called Jebel el-Tor. From its summit much of Palestine can be seen.

It was the scene of the parable of the trees and brambles (Judg 9:7-15). Tradition attempts to locate here Abraham's altar built for the sacrifice of Isaac and also his interview with Melchizedek. After the captivity Manasseh, by permission of Alexander the Great, built a temple on Gerizim, and the Samaritans joined together the worship of idols and the true God (2 Kings 17:33). This temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus c. 128 B.C.

To this day the sect offers annual Paschal sacrifice on the top of the mount according to the prescriptions of Ex 12. Moses commanded (Deut 11:29; 27:12-13) that from Mt. Gerizim the blessings of the law should be proclaimed, while its curses should proceed from Mt. Ebal (cf. Josh 8:33).

Archaeologists have excavated at Tell er-Ras, a spur on the N slope of Mt. Gerizim, and found remains of a temple of Zeus built in the days of the Roman emperor Hadrian during the 2nd century AD. Under that were remains of a Hellenistic structure 68 by 65 feet, which may have been the Samaritan temple destroyed by Hyrcanus.

Deut. 11:29; 27:12; Josh. 8:33; Judg.9:7. (Mount Gerizim was later the holy mountain of the Samaritans, John 4:20).

See also Mount Ebal

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