Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin


43. Tur (Mount) Garizin - (Jabal al-Tur)

ORIGINAL TEXTS

Civitas Neapoli milia xv. Ibi est mons Agazaren: ibi dicunt Samaritani Abraham sacrificium obtulisse, et ascen-duntur usque ad summum montem gradi numero MCCC.
(Itinerarium Burdigalense, 587)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Itinerarium Burdigalense 587 (333 A.D.)
City of Neapolis (Nablus) - miles xv. Here is the Mount Gerizim. Here the Samaritans say that Abraham offered sacrifice, and one reaches the top of the mountain by steps, one thousand and three hundred in number.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

Deut 11:29-30 Blessings and curses
When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that you are entering to occupy, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal. 30 As you know, they are beyond the Jordan, some distance to the west, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oak of Moreh.

Deut 27:11-12; 28:1-14
The blessings proclaimed on Mount Garizim
The same day Moses charged the people as follows: 12 When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin...
... If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; 2 all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that you undertake; he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom - if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.

Josh 8:30-35 The reading of the Law on Mount Garizim
Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, 31 just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, "an altar of unhewn stones, on which no iron tool has been used"; and they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord, and sacrificed offerings of well-being.
And there, in the presence of the Israelites, Joshua wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. 33 All Israel, alien as well as citizen, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark in front of the levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, blessings and curses, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the aliens who resided among them.

Judg 9:7-15 Jotham's fable
When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and cried aloud and said to them, "Listen to me, you lords of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. 8 The trees once went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.' 9 The olive tree answered them, 'Shall I stop producing my rich oil by which gods and mortals are honored, and go to sway over the trees?' 10 Then the trees said to the fig tree, 'You come and reign over us.' 11 But the fig tree answered them, 'Shall I stop producing my sweetness and my delicious fruit, and go to sway over the trees?' 12 Then the trees said to the vine, 'You come and reign over us.' 13 But the vine said to them, 'Shall I stop producing my wine that cheers gods and mortals, and go to sway over the trees?' 14 So all the trees said to the bramble, 'You come and reign over us.' 15 And the bramble said to the trees, 'If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'

John 4:19-26 Jesus and the Samaritan woman
The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem." 21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us." 26 Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you."

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Josephus, War I, 63 (1st cent. A.D.)
(follows the Samaritan tradition) So he took Medaba and Samea, with the towns in their neighborhood, as also Shechem and Gerizzim; and besides these, [he subdued] the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt round about that temple which was built in imitation of the temple at Jerusalem; he also took a great many other cities of Idumea, with Adoreon and Marissa.

Hieronymus, Ep.108 (Peregrinatio Paulae) 13 (385 A.D.)
She passed on to Shechem (not, as some wrongly take it, "Sychar"), now called Neapolis, and near Mount Gerizim she went into the church built round the Well of Jacob.

Procopius, De aedificiis V,7 (6th cent. A.D.)
In Palestine there is a city named Neapolis, above which rises a high mountain, called Garizin. This mountain the Samaritans originally held; and they had been wont to go up to the summit of the mountain to pray on all occasions, not because they had ever built any temple there, but because they worshipped the summit itself with the greatest reverence. But when Jesus, the Son of God, was in the body and went among the people there, He had a conversation with a certain woman who was a native of the place.' And when this woman questioned Him about the mountain, He replied that thereafter the Samaritans would not worship on this mountain, but that the true worshippers (referring to the Christians), would worship Him in that place; and as time went on the prediction became a fact. For it was not possible that He who was God should not utter truth. And it came about as follows. During the reign of Zeno, the Samaritans suddenly banded together and fell upon the Christians in Neapolis in the church while they were celebrating the festival called the Pentecost, and they destroyed many of them, and they struck with their swords the man who at that time was their Bishop, Terebinthius by name, finding him standing at the holy table as he performed the mysteries; and they slashed at him and cut off the fingers from his hand; and they railed at the mysteries, as is natural for Samaritans to do, while we honour them with silence. And this priest straightway came to Byzantium and appeared before the ruling Emperor and displayed what he had suffered, setting forth what had happened and reminding the Emperor of the prophecy of Christ; and he begged him to avenge all that had been done. The Emperor Zeno was greatly disturbed by what had happened, and with no delay inflicted punishment in due measure upon those who had done the terrible thing. He drove out the Samaritans from Mt. Garizin and straightway handed it over to the Christians, and building a church on the summit he dedicated it to the Mother of God, putting a barrier, as it was made to appear, around this church, though in reality he erected only a light wall of stone. And he established a garrison of soldiers, placing a large number in the city below, but not more than ten men at the fortifications and the church. The Samaritans resented this, and chafed bitterly in their vexation and deplored their condition, but through fear of the Emperor they bore their distress in silence. But at a later time, when Anastasius, was holding the imperial office, the following happened. Some of the Samaritans, incited by a woman's suggestion, unexpectedly climbed the steep face of the mountain, since the path which leads up from the city was carefully guarded and it was impossible for them to attempt the ascent by that route. Entering the church suddenly, they slew the guards there and with a mighty cry summoned the Samaritans in the city. They, however, through fear of the soldiers, were by no means willing to join the attempt of the conspirators'. And not long afterwards the governor of the district (he was Procopius of Edessa, a man of learning) arrested the authors of the outrage and put them to death. Yet even after that no thought was taken for the fortifications, and no provision for proper defence was made at that time by the Emperor. But during the present reign, although the Emperor Justinian has converted the Samaritans for the most part to a more pious way of life and has made them Christians, he left the old fortification around the church on Garizin in the form in which it was, that is, merely a barrier, as I have said; but by surrounding this with another wall on the outside he made the place absolutely impregnable. There too he restored five shrines of the Christians which had been burned down by the Samaritans. Thus, then, have these things been done.

see also: 14. Gerizim
see also: 35. Neapolis - (Nablus)
see also:
38. Sychar which is now Sycchora - ('Askar)

see also: 39. The (place) of Joseph - (Qabr an-Nabi Yusuf)
see also: 40. Sychem also Sikima and Salim - (Tell Balatah)
see also: 41. Here is Jacob's well
see also: 42. Tur Gobel (Mount Ebal) - (Jabal Islamiyah)

Map Section 5 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 12:57:49
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000