A mountain in Ephraim, between which and Ebal lay the city of Shechem, Judges 9:7. The world has beheld few scenes more awful and suggestive than when, having conquered Canaan, all the Israelites were summoned to this place, and six tribes were stationed on mount Gerizim to pronounce blessings on those who should obey God’s law, and the other six on Mount Ebal to denounce curses on those who should break it; while all the people solemnly said, AMEN, Deuteronomy 11:29 27:12-26 28:1-68. See VIEW IN SHECHEM.
After the captivity, Manasseh, a seceding priest, by permission of Alexander the Great, built a temple on Gerizim, and the Samaritans joined the worship of the true God to that of their idols; "They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away form thence," 2 Kings 17:33. See SAMARITANS and SANBALLAT.
This temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus; yet its site has always retained its ancient sacredness. In our Savior’s time the true God was worshipped by the Samaritans, though ignorantly, John 4:1- 54. Herod the Great having rebuilt Samaria, and called it Sebaste, in honor of Augustus, would have compelled the Samaritans to worship in the temple which he had erected; but they constantly refused and have continued to this day to guard their sacred Scriptures, to keep the law, to pray towards their holy place on the summit of Gerizim, and to worship God there four times in the year.