A mountain in Ephraim, between which and Ebal lay the city of Shechem, Jg 9:7. The world has beheld few scenes more awful and suggestive than when, having conquered Canaan, all the Israelites were summoned to this place, and six tribes were stationed on mount Gerizim to pronounce blessings on those who should obey God's law, and the other six on Mount Ebal to denounce curses on those who should break it; while all the people solemnly said, AMEN, De 11:29; 27:12-26; 28. See VIEW IN SHECHEM.
After the captivity, Manasseh, a seceding priest, by permission of Alexander the Great, built a temple on Gerizim, and the Samaritans joined the worship of the true God to that of their idols; "They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away form thence," 2Ki 17:33. See SAMARITANS and SANBALLAT.
This temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus; yet its site has always retained its ancient sacredness. In our Savior's time the true God was worshipped by the Samaritans, though ignorantly, Joh 4. Herod the Great having rebuilt Samaria, and called it Sebaste, in honor of Augustus, would have compelled the Samaritans to worship in the temple which he had erected; but they constantly refused and have continued to this day to guard their sacred Scriptures, to keep the law, to pray towards their holy place on the summit of Gerizim, and to worship God there four times in the year.
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 (De 27; Jos 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" (Ge 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 Ge 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 Joh 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.
Illustration: Sacred Rock on Mt Gerizim
(See EBAL .) The mount of the Gerazim, i.e. the dwellers in a shorn (desert) land; subdued by David. 1Sa 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 Ge 22:4 means simply that Abraham saw the spot at such a distance as the place admitted. Abraham had uttered an unconscious prophecy, Ge 22:8, "God will provide (or 'see') a lamb." Now in Ge 22:14 he sees that "God" (the Elohim 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" (Ge 22:14), favors the view that the name "Moriah" in Ge 22:2 is used by anticipation, and originated in Abraham's words, Ge 22:14. The identity of name favors the temple mount being the site (2Ch 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 (2Ki 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" (Joh 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.
A mountain which with Ebal encloses the valley in which is built the town of N
The mountain in Samaria on which the blessings on Israel were pronounced, in contrast to the curses given on mount Ebal. De 11:29; 27:12; Jos 8:33; Jg 9:7. History records that after the rebuilding of the temple in the time of Ezra a Samaritan temple was built on this mountain, where they had priests and sacrifices, which was the cause of great animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans. Though this temple was destroyed by Hyrcanus, the Samaritans clung to the mountain as the right place of worship, as the woman of Samaria said to the Lord. Joh 4:20. The Samaritans still eat the Passover lamb on the mountain. A church was also built there; but now there are only ruins. The mount is called Jebel et Tor, 32 12' N, 35 16' E. Its highest point is 2,849 feet above the sea.
(cutters), a limestone mountain, 2855 feet high (800 feet above the valley at its foot), in Ephraim, near Shechem (Sychar), from which the blessings were read to the Israelites on entering Canaan. [See EBAL] According to the traditions of the Samaritans it was here that Abraham sacrificed Isaac, that Melchizedek met the patriarch, that Jacob built an altar, and at its base dug a well, the ruins of which are still seen. Some scholars think there is ground for the first belief (so Smith); but careful observers of the locality discredit it and believe Moriah to be the spot. [See MORIAH] Gerizim was the site of the Samaritan temple, which was built there after the captivity, in rivalry with the temple at Jerusalem. [See SAMARITANS] Gerizim is still to the Samaritans what Jerusalem is to the Jews and Mecca to the Mohammedans.
See Ebal, Mount
GERIZIM, a mount near Shechem, in Ephraim, a province of Samaria. Shechem lay at the foot of two mountains, Ebal and Gerizim. Gerizim was fruitful, Ebal was barren. God commanded that the Hebrews, after passing the Jordan, should be so divided; that six tribes might be stationed on Mount Gerizim, and six on Mount Ebal. The former was to pronounce blessings on those who observed the law of the Lord; the others, curses against those who should violate it, De 11:29; 27:12. As to the original of the temple upon Gerizim, we must take Josephus's relation of it. Manasseh, the grandson of Eliashib, the high priest, and brother to Jaddus, high priest of the Jews, having been driven from Jerusalem in the year of the world 3671, and not enduring patiently to see himself deprived of the honour and advantages of the priesthood, Sanballat, his father-in- law, addressed himself to Alexander the Great, who was then carrying on the siege of Tyre; and having paid him homage for the province of Samaria, whereof he was governor, he farther offered him eight thousand of his best troops, which disposed Alexander to grant what he desired for his son-in- law, and for many other priests, who being married, as well as he, contrary to the law, chose rather to forsake their country than their wives, and had joined Manasseh in Samaria. When Antiochus Epiphanes began to persecute the Jews, A.M. 3836; B.C. 186, the Samaritans entreated him that their temple upon Gerizim, which hitherto had been dedicated to an unknown and nameless god, might be consecrated to Jupiter the Grecian, which was easily consented to by Antiochus. The temple of Gerizim subsisted some time after the worship of Jupiter was introduced into it; but it was destroyed by John Hircanus Maccabaeus, and was not rebuilt till Gabinius was governor of Syria; who repaired Samaria, and called it by his own name. It is certain, that, in our Saviour's time, this temple was in being; and that the true God was worshipped there, since the woman of Samaria, pointing to Gerizim, said to him, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship," Joh 4:20. We are assured, that Herod the Great, having rebuilt Samaria, and called it Sebaste, in honour of Augustus, would have obliged the Samaritans to worship in the temple which he had erected there, but they constantly refused.