Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin

42. Tur Gobel (Mount Ebal) - (Jabal Islamiyah)


Gebal mons in terra repromissionis, ubi ad imperium Moysi altare constructum est. Sunt autem iuxta Iericho duo montes vicini contra se invicem respicientes e quibus unus Garizin, alter Gebal dicitur. Porro Samaritani arbitrantur hos duos montes iuxta Neapolim esse, sed vehementer errant: plurimum enim inter se distant, nec possum invicem benedicentium sive maledicentium inter se audiri voces, quod scriptura commemorat.
(Jerome 65:9-15)


Eusebius, Onomasticon 64:9-15 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 65:9-15 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Gebal (Deut 11:29), a mountain in the Promised Land, where an altar was built at Moses' command. And there are two mountains near Jericho, standing close and facing one another, one of which is called Gerizim and the other Gebal. However, the Samaritans believe these two mountains to be near Neapolis, but they are grossly mistaken, for the mountains they indicate are very far the one from the other, and the voice of anyone blessing or cursing from one of them, as the Scripture says, cannot be heard from the other.


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 27:11-26 The curses on Mount Ebal
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. 13 And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14 Then the Levites shall declare in a loud voice to all the Israelites:
15 "Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent to the Lord, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret." All the people shall respond, saying, "Amen!"
16 "Cursed be anyone who dishonors father or mother." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
17 "Cursed be anyone who moves a neighbor's boundary marker." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
18 "Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind person on the road." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
19 "Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
20 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
21"Cursed be anyone who lies with any animal." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
22 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
23 "Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
24 "Cursed be anyone who strikes down a neighbor in secret." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
25 "Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood." All the people shall say, "Amen!"
26 "Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them." All the people shall say, "Amen!"

Josh 8:30-35 Joshua builts an altar on Mount Ebal
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.


Josephus, Antiquities 5.1.19 (1st cent. A.D.)
(68) The fifth year was not past, and there was not one of the Canaanites remained any longer, excepting some that had retired to places of great strength. So Joshua removed his camp to the mountainous country, and placed the tabernacle in the city of Shiloh, for that seemed a fit place for it, because of the beauty of its situation, until such time as their affairs would permit them to build a temple; (69) and from thence he went to Shechem, together with all the people, and raised an altar where Moses had beforehand directed; then did he divide the army, and place one half of them on Mount Gerizzim, and the other half on Mount Ebal, on which mountain the altar was;9 he also placed there the tribe of Levi, and the priests. (70) And when they had sacrificed, and denounced the [blessings and the] curses, and had left them engraven upon the altar, they returned to Shiloh.

see also: 13. Ebal
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: 43. Tur (Mount) Garizin - (Jabal al-Tur)

Map Section 5 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 12:57:29
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000