On This Mountain – The Biblical Mount Gerizim

Stand for Israel  |  May 10, 2022

Biblical mountain, Mount Gerizim
(Photo: Nati Harnik/GPO)

Mount Sinai. Mount Zion. Mount Carmel. The Mount of Olives.

Each of these biblical mountains surely rings a bell, as they are all sites we know from God’s Word and the story of His people.

One mountain in the Holy Land that is mentioned several times in the Bible is Mount Gerizim.

Mount Gerizim in the Bible

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were told, “When the LORD your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings” (Deuteronomy 11:29), while they were to proclaim curses on nearby Mount Ebal.

Even after entering the Promised Land, Joshua and the Israelites renewed their covenant with God atop the biblical mountain, as He had told them: “Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the LORD had formerly commanded when he gave instructions to bless the people of Israel” (Joshua 8:33).

And in the Christian Bible, Mount Gerizim is where Jesus met the woman at the well, telling her, “a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem” (John 4:23).

Mount Gerizim Today

But Mount Gerizim is not just a location from the Bible, from thousands of years ago. It is still a site in the Holy Land today. And recently, its history from biblical times has been revealed even further, The Jerusalem Post’s Judith Sudilovsky writes, with the discovery of a Samaritan lamp (the woman at the well was a Samaritan) by archaeologists excavating the mountain site:

A nearly completely intact clay oil lamp from 2,300 years ago was found near a stone bath during recent conservation work at the Mount Gerizim National Park.

“It is great to find something even after all those years of excavation,” said Netanel Elimelech, director of the park run by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. “We found a lot of clay sherds lying around, but to find something complete with signs of its use is pretty nice. You can still see the black marks of burning from when the lamp was used. It throws you back (in time.)…”

The lamp was discovered while workers were clearing out an area around the stone bath from debris by hand, said Elimelech…

The stone bath is believed to have been used for purification and cleansing by the Samaritans. Unlike a Jewish mikveh, the Samaritan bath is an actual element that, though heavy, can be moved.

The archaeological site on the Mount of Blessing at the top of Mount Gerizim spreads over 400 dunams…