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Gerizim and Ebal

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Gerizim and Ebal

Two mountains in the center of Palestine, Ebal being due north of Gerizim. Between them is a valley in which stood the ancient town of Shechem, close to the site of the modern town of Nablus. Gerizim is about 800 feet above the plain (2850 feet above sea-level), while Ebal is 100 feet higher; both have precipitous faces, the two summits being about one-third mile apart. In Deut. 11:29; 27:12, instructions are given that a blessing should be “set” on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount Ebal; for the fulfillment, see Josh. 8:33. It was from Gerizim that Jotham’s parable was delivered (Judg. 9:7). After the return from the Babylonian captivity, Gerizim again became a place of importance as the center of the Samaritan worship. A certain Manasseh, son or grandson of Joiada, a priest in Jerusalem (Neh. 13:28), had married the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite. Refusing to put her away, he was expelled from the priesthood and took refuge with the Samaritans, among whom, as a member of the high priestly family, he set up upon Mount Gerizim a rival temple and priesthood (John 4:20).