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 ( Deuteronomy 27 ; Joshua 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" ( Genesis 33:19 ; 50:25 ).
Josephus relates (Ant Genesis 11:8 Genesis 11:2-4 ) 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 Genesis 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 John 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.
(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.