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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Gerizim

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GERIZIM . A mountain which with Ebal encloses the valley in which is built the town of Nâblus (Shechem). The Samaritan sect regard it as holy, it being to them what Jerusalem and Mount Zion are to the Jew. According to Samaritan tradition, the sacrifice of Isaac took place here. From Gerizim were pronounced the blessings attached to observance of the Law ( Joshua 8:33 ), when the Israelites formally took possession of the country. It was probably chosen as the fortunate mountain (as contrasted with Ebal, the mount of cursings), because it would be on the right hand of a spectator facing east. Here Jotham spoke his parable to the elders of Shechem ( Judges 9:7 ).

The acoustic properties of the valley are said to be remarkable, and experiment has shown that from some parts of the mountain it is possible with very little effort to make the voice carry over a very considerable area. A ledge of rock half-way up the hill is still often called ‘Jotham’s pulpit.’

On this mountain was erected, about 432 b.c., a Samaritan temple, which was destroyed about 300 years afterwards by Hyrcanus. Its site is pointed out on a small level plateau, under the hill-top. The Passover is annually celebrated here. Other ruins of less interest are to be seen on the mountain-top, such as the remains of a castle and a Byzantine church. The summit of the mountain commands a view embracing nearly the whole of Palestine. Contrary to the statement of Josephus, it is not the highest of the mountains of Samaria, Ebal and Tell ‘Azur being rather higher.

R. A. S. Macalister.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Gerizim'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/g/gerizim.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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