1 tc Smr reads “Mount Gerizim” for the MT reading “Mount Ebal” to justify the location of the Samaritan temple there in the postexilic period. This reading is patently self-serving and does not reflect the original. In the NT when the Samaritan woman of Sychar referred to “this mountain” as the place of worship for her community she obviously had Gerizim in mind (cf. <data ref="Bible:Jn 4:20">John 4:20data>).
1 sn <i>Mount Gerizim…Mount Ebali>. These two mountains are near the ancient site of Shechem and the modern city of Nablus. The valley between them is like a great amphitheater with the mountain slopes as seating sections. The place was sacred because it was there that Abraham pitched his camp and built his first altar after coming to Canaan (<data ref="Bible:Ge 12:6">Gen 12:6data>). Jacob also settled at Shechem for a time and dug a well from which Jesus once requested a drink of water (<data ref="Bible:Ge 33:18-20">Gen 33:18-20data>; <data ref="Bible:Jn 4:5-7">John 4:5-7data>). When Joshua and the Israelites finally brought Canaan under control they assembled at Shechem as Moses commanded and undertook a ritual of covenant reaffirmation (<data ref="Bible:Jos 8:30-35">Josh 8:30-35data>; <data ref="Bible:Jos 24:1">24:1data>, <data ref="Bible:Jos 24:25">25data>). Half the tribes stood on Mt. Gerizim and half on Mt. Ebal and in antiphonal chorus pledged their loyalty to the <span class="smcaps">Lordspan> before Joshua and the Levites who stood in the valley below (<data ref="Bible:Jos 8:33">Josh 8:33data>; cf. <data ref="Bible:De 27:11-13">Deut 27:11-13data>).