Gerizim



a mountain of Samaria, about 3,000 feet above the Mediterranean. It was on the left of the valley containing the ancient town of Shechem (q.v.), on the way to Jerusalem. It stood over against Mount Ebal, the summits of these mountains being distant from each other about 2 miles (Deut. 27; Josh. 8:30-35). On the slopes of this mountain the tribes descended from the handmaids of Leah and Rachel, together with the tribe of Reuben, were gathered together, and gave the responses to the blessing pronounced as the reward of obedience, when Joshua in the valley below read the whole law in the hearing of all the people; as those gathered on Ebal responded with a loud Amen to the rehearsal of the curses pronounced on the disobedient. It was probably at this time that the coffin containing the embalmed body of Joseph was laid in the “parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor” (Gen. 33:19; 50:25). Josephus relates (Ant. 11:8, 2-4) that Sanballat built a temple for the Samaritans on this mountain, and instituted a priesthood, as rivals to those of the Jews at Jerusalem. This temple was destroyed after it had stood two hundred years. It was afterwards rebuilt by Herod the Great. There is a Samaritan tradition that it was the scene of the incident recorded in Gen. 22. There are many ruins on this mountain, some of which are evidently of Christian buildings. To this mountain the woman of Sychar referred in John 4:20. For centuries Gerizim was the centre of political outbreaks. The Samaritans (q.v.), a small but united body, still linger here, and keep up their ancient ceremonial worship.

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