Mount Gerizim is a mountain next to Mount Ebal, overlooking the Valley of Shechem. It rises 2900 feet high. In Deuteronomy 11:29, Moses tells the Israelites that when the Lord brings them into the promised land, a blessing shall be proclaimed from Mount Gerizim, and a curse from Mount Ebal.
The tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin stood at Mount Gerizim, and the other six at Mount Ebal. Joshua then read to them all the statements of blessings and curses that Moses had written in the book of Gods laws. Every Commandment Moses had ever given was read before the entire assembly (Joshua 8:30-35).
Gideon's son Jotham, stood at the top of Mount Gerizim, and offered his solution to the men of Shechem, as to who would be the next Judge of Israel (Judges 9:7-20). In later times Gerizim became the Samaritan religious center.
In John 4:20, the Samaritan woman asks Jesus "Why is it that you Jews insist thet Jerusalem is the only place to worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here (at Mount Gerizim) where our ancestors worshiped."
A Samaritan temple was built there during the Persian occupatiom, and was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in 129 BC. Excavations on Mount Gerizim have uncovered a large structure which could be this temple.
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