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Fausset's Bible Dictionary


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(See EBAL.) The mount of the Gerazim, i.e. the dwellers in a shorn (desert) land; subdued by David. 1 Samuel 27:8, "Gezrites" or "Gerzites." Smith's Bible Dictionary identifies Gerazim with the mount on which Abraham offered Isaac, (see Moriah); it is objected to the temple mount being the site of Isaac's offering that "Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off," whereas the temple mount is not conspicuous from afar; also the Samaritans identify the site of the sacrifice with the natural altar on Gerazim. (See MORIAH.) But Genesis 22:4 means simply that Abraham saw the spot at such a distance as the place admitted. Abraham had uttered an unconscious prophecy, Genesis 22:8, "God will provide (or 'see') a lamb." Now in Genesis 22:14 he sees that "God" (the Εlohim whose resources he knew to be infinite) proves Himself to be JEHOVAH the Provider for the people in covenant with Him, "Jehovah-jireh."

The meaning of "Moriah" "what Jehovah has made one see", alluding to "the mount of the vision of Jehovah" (Genesis 22:14), favors the view that the name "Moriah" in Genesis 22:2 is used by anticipation, and originated in Abraham's words, Genesis 22:14. The identity of name favors the temple mount being the site (2 Chronicles 3:1). The distance, two days journey from Beersheba, which would bring him in sight of the temple mount at Jerusalem on the third day whereas Gerazim could not be reached on the third day from Beersheba, favors the same view. Gerazim commands one of the finest views in Palestine, being 2,500 ft. above the Mediterranean on the W. Hermon's snow-clad heights lie on the N., and the trans-jordanic mountains, cleft by the Jabbok, on the E. Manasseh, brother of Jaddua the high priest, married the daughter of Sanballat the Cuthaean (2 Kings 17:24), who in order to reconcile his son-in-law to this forbidden affinity obtained leave from Alexander the Great to build a temple on Gerazim (Josephus, Ant. 11:8, sections 2-4.)

Henceforward the Samaritans and Jews assumed mutual antagonism; but whereas the Jerusalem temple and worship were overthrown soon after our Lord's crucifixion, the Samaritan on Gerazim have continued from age to age, and the paschal lamb has been yearly offered by this interesting community; they possess a copy of the law, attributed to Manasseh, and known to the Christian fathers of the second and third centuries. To Gerazim our Lord alludes: "Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem (exclusively) worship the Father" (John 4:21). Lieut. Anderson within the ruin called "the castle" excavated the foundations and piers of an octagonal church, probably that built by Justinian. The church and castle were built on a rough platform of stones without mortar, including the so-called "twelve stones." On this platform perhaps the Samaritan temple stood.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Gerizim'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. 1949.

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