Deuteronomy 27:12

Deuteronomy 27:12

These shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people,
widen ye are come over Jordan
Which was a mountain in Samaria opposite to Mount Ebal, a valley of a furlong broad lay between them {y}; and, according to Hillerus F26, had its name from being broken off from that, they being, as it should seem, originally one mountain, and now two tops of the same; so Burchard; but others think it signifies the mountain of the mowers or cutters down F1; that is, of grass or corn, being a very fruitful one; and Benjamin of Tudela says F2, that in his time, on Mount Gerizim were fountains and orchards; and being such a fertile mountain, it was very proper to bless upon. Mr. Maundrel {c}, a late traveller in those parts, says,

``though neither of the mountains have much to boast of as to their pleasantness, yet as one passes between them, Gerizim seems to discover a somewhat more verdant fruitful aspect than Ebal; the reason of which may be, because fronting towards the north it is sheltered from the heat of the sun by its own shade; whereas Ebal looking southward, and receiving the sun that comes directly upon it, must by consequence be rendered more scorched and unfruitful.''

Josephus F4 says, that Gerizim was on the right hand, and Ebal on the left; which may serve to strengthen the observation of Ainsworth, in allusion hereunto, that in the last judgment those on the right hand will be pronounced blessed, and those on the left hand cursed:

Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:
these appointed for blessing were children of the mistress, or free woman, as Aben Ezra and many others have observed; the four first were the sons of Leah, and the two last the sons of Rachel, and therefore employed in the most honourable and desirable service: and who so proper to pronounce or receive the blessing as the children of the free woman, of Jerusalem above, which is free, the mother of us all that are born again, and are made free by the Son of God, and are free indeed, and are entitled to all the blessings of grace and glory?


F25 Vid. Maundrel's Journey from Aleppo p. 59, 62.
F26 Onomastic. Sacr. p. 168.
F1 Reland. Dissert. de Monte Gerizim. p. 128.
F2 Itinerar. p. 40.
F3 Journey from Aleppo p. 61. Edit. 7.
F4 Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 44.