View of Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim

August 15, 2013

In our last post we referenced some biblical texts regarding Mt. Ebal, the “mount of cursing.” Our photo today shows the view from the east of Mt. Ebal (right) and Mt. Gerizim (left). Shechem is located between the two.

Mt. Ebal (right) and Mt. Gerizim (left). Shechem is at center. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Mt. Ebal (right) and Mt. Gerizim (left). Shechem is at center. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

When Joshua led Israel to Shechem (Josh. 8) they would have seen this view. Likewise this would have been the scene when Jesus went through Samaria en route to Galilee when he stopped here at Jacob’s well, and had that fascinating conversation with the woman who came to draw water. She left there knowing the Source of the Water of Life (John 4).

We have previously posted on Shechem here, here and here.

Click image for larger view.


Mount Ebal

August 13, 2013

The first mention of Mount Ebal is Deuteronomy 11:29: “Now it shall be, when the LORD your God has brought you into the land which you go to possess, that you shall put the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.”

More instructions were to follow in Deut. 27. When Israel crossed over to receive the promised land of Canaan, they were to go to Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal, which are situated opposite each other, with Shechem in between. Six tribes were to stand on Mount Gerizim (representing the blessings of the law, conditioned upon obedience), and the other six on Mount Ebal (representing the curses/punishment resultant from disobedience).

Joshua 8 shows Israel’s compliance with God’s instructions. The Levites and Joshua were positioned at Shechem. There all the blessings and curses of the law were read, and all the people shouted, “Amen.”

It is significant that Shechem is where childless Abraham stood when God promised Canaan to his descendants (Genesis 12:6,7). Now his descendants, the nation of Israel, were there to receive the promise, to stake their claim to the land. But more was involved than their receiving the land–it was based on their covenant relationship with their God.

Our photo shows Mount Ebal, the mount of cursing. You will notice how barren it is; very little grows there.

Mount Ebal, the mount of cursing. Six tribes ascended here in Josh. 8.

Mt Ebal, the mount of cursing. 6 tribes ascended here in Josh. 8. Photo: Leon Mauldin.

In the foreground you can see the ruins of ancient Shechem. Click image for larger view.

Mt. Ebal from Jacob’s Well

October 28, 2011

In Deuteronomy 27:111-26, Moses commanded the people to arrange six tribes on Mount Gerizim (blessing), and six tribes on Mount Ebal (cursing). The blessings and the curses of the Law were to be read–blessing conditioned upon obedience, and curses consequential of disobedience. These instructions were given just before Israel entered Canaan, in anticipation of the Conquest under Joshua.

When they arrived in the land, after taking Jericho and Ai, they immediately went north to obey these instructions. The record is in Joshua 8:30-35.

 Afterwards, Joshua read aloud all the words of the law– the blessings as well as the curses– according to all that is written in the book of the law. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read before the entire assembly of Israel, including the women, little children, and foreigners who were with them (Josh. 8:34-35, CSB).

Joshua also built an altar there (Josh. 8:30), made of whole stones (v.31), on which he wrote the law of Moses (v.32).

Today’s photo shows Mt. Ebal from Jacob’s well (well is to our right and out of sight).

Mt. Ebal from Jacob's Well. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Jacob’s well is mentioned in the New Testament as the setting for the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4).


Our 6-day meeting presenting the Visualized Survey of the Bible here in Lincoln, NE., with the Eastside church of Christ concludes tonight. I’m always thankful to God for such opportunities. Our son Seth preaches here, along with Nathan Quinn. So a special treat was our getting to be with family, including our daughter and her four children who were also here (from AL.) through Thurs. morning.

Our schedule this week has not allowed for frequent posting. Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for reading our blog!

%d bloggers like this: