Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gerizim or Ebal?

This is a rather interesting question...Ebal or Gerizim? Let's take a look at the texts of MT and SP and let's try to figure out what is the truth.

YLT Dt 11:29 'And it hath been, when Jehovah thy God doth bring thee in unto the land whither thou art going in to possess it, that thou hast given the blessing on mount Gerizim, and the reviling on mount Ebal; 
YLT Dt 27:4 'And it hath been, in your passing over the Jordan, ye raise up these stones which I am commanding you to-day, in mount Ebal, and thou hast plastered them with plaister,
YLT Dt 27:5 and built there an altar to Jehovah thy God, an altar of stones, thou dost not wave over them iron. 
YLT Dt 27:6 Of complete stones thou buildest the altar of Jehovah thy God, and hast caused to ascend on it burnt-offerings to Jehovah thy God, 
YLT Dt 27:7 and sacrificed peace-offerings, and eaten there, and rejoiced before Jehovah thy God, 
YLT Dt 27:8 and written on the stones all the words of this law, well engraved.'
So as you can see, we can gather the following facts from the traditional Jewish Torah:

  1. Mt. Gerizim is for blessing
  2. Mt. Ebal is for reviling/cursing.
  3. Mt. Ebal is the place for the stones of the Law and the stone altar. We are not commanded to put anything on Mt. Gerizim
Now, let's take a look at the Samaritan Pentateuch:
Exodus 20:17 And when it so happens that Yahuah God brings you to the land of Caanan, which you are coming to possess, you shall set-up there for you great stones and plaster them with plaster and you write on the stones all words of this law. And it becomes for you that across the Jordan you shall raise these stones, which I command you today, in mountain Grizim. And you build there the altar to the Yahuah your God. Altar of stones. Not you shall wave on them iron. With whole stones you shall build the altar to Yahuah your God. And you bring on it ascend offerings to Yahuah your God, and you sacrifice peace offerings, and you eat there and you rejoice before the face of the Yahuah your God. The mountain this is across the Jordan behind the way of the rising of the sun, in the land of Caanan who is dwelling in the desert before the Galgal, beside Alvin-Mara, before Shechem.
Deuteronomy 11:29 And it shall come to pass, when the Yahuah thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.
Deuteronomy 27:4 Therefore it shall be when ye be gone over Jordan, [that] ye shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Gerizim, and thou shalt plaster them with plaster. 
Deuteronomy 27:5 And there shalt thou build an altar unto the Yahuah thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up [any] iron [tool] upon them. 
Deuteronomy 27:6 Thou shalt build the altar of the Yahuah thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the Yahuah thy God: 
Deuteronomy 27:7 And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, and rejoice before the Yahuah thy God. 
Deuteronomy 27:8 And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly.
As you can see from the Samaritan Pentateuch, we have the following:
  1. Mt. Gerizim is for blessing
  2. Mt. Ebal is for reviling/cursing.
  3. Mt. Gerizim is the place for the stones of the Law and the stone altar. We are not commanded to put anything on Mt. Ebal.
So as you can see, the only difference between two Torahs is the #3. What does this mean?

This means that most likely Samaritan Pentateuch is correct. This is because Mt. Gerizim was for blessing as both Torahs state, so it is only logical to assume that we would not want to build an altar on the cursed mountain (Ebal), which means that the correct mountain is the Mt. Gerizim. So it is on the Mt. Gerizim we must place the Stones with the Law and the Stone Altar.

So the answer to the question if it is Gerizim or Ebal would be - it is Gerizim!

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