GERIZIM "the desert bill," or, according to of the fertile plain of Mahn, and with Mount Ebal, which lies immediately to the north, forms a narrow valley in which lies the ancient town of Siehem or Shecheni. As seen from this point Gerizim is distinguished from ito tamer neighbour by the boldness of its crags, the richness of its verdure, and the number of its springs. Its southern slope however is much gentler than its northern, and both are almost bare of trees. On the summit stands at present a small Malioinetan chapel, and there are besides numerous traces of a fortress and church possibly dating from the time of Justinian. But the spot regarded by the Samaritans as the holiest upon earth is a small level plateau situated somewhat to the south of this. Here it is believed stood the temple built by Manasseh, the son of the Jewish Mel' priest in the days of Nehemiab,3 and destroyed by John Hyrcanus 300 years afterwards (Jos., Ant., xiii. 9. 1). According to the Samaritans and some modern writers, Gerizim was the scene of the incidents recorded in Genesis xxii. 9-13. Probably as being the hill on the right hand of the spectator who, standing in the valley of Shechem, looks to the sun rising, it was also the hill on which, according to Josh. viii. 33, 34 (comp Dent. xi. 29, 30, and xxvii. 12-20), after the conquest of Ai, the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin stood to pronounce the blessings connected with a faithful observance of the law, while the remaining tribes from mount Ebal confirmed the curses attached to specified violations of the divine commands. According to Eusebius and Jerome indeed, the Ebal and Gerizim described in Dent. xi. 30 were not the mountains now known by that name, but two smaller hills in the neighbourhood of Jericho. This view, however, may now be regarded as universally abandoned (see Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 236, note).
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