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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

1. The hill upon which the curses of the law were to be read; as on the opposite hill GERIZIM the blessings ( Deuteronomy 11:29-30;  Deuteronomy 27:12-13;  Joshua 8:30-35). The valley wherein Shethem or Sichem (now Nablous) lay runs between the two hills. Ebal the mount of the curse, is steeper and more barren; Gerizim, the mount of the blessing, more sloping, and having a ravine opposite the W. of Shechem full of fountains and trees. Gerizim, as the southernmost, was chosen for the blessing, light and life being associated with the S. by the Hebrew. The central position of these mountains adapted them for the scene of the reading. The associations of the locality were another recommendation. Here first in Canaan Abraham rested, and built an altar to Jehovah who appeared unto him ( Genesis 12:6-7). Here too Jacob dwelt upon returning from Mesopotamia, and bought a field from the children of Hamer, father of Shethem, and built the altar El-elohe-Israel ( Genesis 33:19-20).

On Gerizim the Samaritans in ages long after built their temple in rivalry of that at Jerusalem. The remains of the road to it still exist. There is still a rocky amphitheatrical recess on the side of Ebal, and a corresponding one of the same dimensions on the side of Gerizim; probably formed for the accommodation of the people, when all Israel, their elders, officers, and judges, stood: half of them, the six blessing tribes, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin (sprung from Jacob's proper wives), over against Gerizim; and half, the six cursing tribes (four sprung from Zilpah and Bilhah, and Reuben the incestuous oldest and Zebulun the youngest) over against Ebal: with the ark and the priests and Levites in the center between the two mountains. The priests pronounced after Joshua ( Joshua 8:33-34) the blessings and curses, the people responded Amen.

The voices of those standing on Ebal can be distinctly heard by those on Gerizim (such are the acoustic properties of the place, according to Tristram, etc.) and in the intermediate valley, which is about 1,600 ft. broad and runs from Gerizim S.E. to Ebal N.W. The voice of the priests in the middle would only have to traverse half the interval between the hills. The mountains are about 2,500 ft. high. On Ebal the great altar of unhewn stones was erected, plastered with lime and inscribed with the law ( Deuteronomy 27:2-8) immediately after entering the Holy Land, when Joshua had the first leisure after destroying Ai. It symbolized their setting up of Jehovah's law as the permanent law of Israel in their land of inheritance; and it was the pledge, in the event of their continued obedience, that Jehovah would conquer all their foes and establish them in security. The distance which Joshua had to march from Ai to Shechem was 30 miles in a straight line.

Translated in  Deuteronomy 11:30, "are they not on the other side Jordan, beyond ( 'Achiree ) the way (road) of the W." (the sunset), i.e. on the further side of the main route from Syria and Damascus to Jerusalem and Egypt, through the center of Palestine. This road skirts Ebal and Gerizim. Moses adds "over against Gilgal" (not the Gilgal near Jericho and the Jordan, first named by Joshua ( Joshua 5:9), but the modern Jiljulieh, 12 miles S. of Gerizim and on the brow of lofty hills, a suitable landmark,  2 Kings 2:1-2), "and beside the oaks (not 'plains,' but terebinths) of Moreh." These "terebinths of Moreh" near Shechem were familiar to the people, as marking the spot where Abraham first entered the land ( Genesis 12:6). The significance of the cursing and blessing is much increased by its scene being placed at Shechem in the heart of the country, equidistant between N. and S., E. and W., rather than on the outskirts of the country, at the Gilgal near Jericho.

"The Canaanites" are mentioned in  Deuteronomy 11:30, as in  Genesis 12:6, as then already in the land, which originally was held by a Semitic race, but was afterward taken by the Hamitic Canaanites whose original seat was near the Red Sea, from whence they migrated northwards. The conquest of the heart of the country by Joshua, mount Ephraim, Esdraelon or the Jezreel valley, is not detailed; but the narrative passes from his conquest of the S. and Gilgal to Merom waters in the far N., the Ebal altar building and the blessing and cursing being the only allusion to the central country. The Samaritan Pentateuch reads "Gerizim "for Ebal ( Deuteronomy 27:4) as the site of the altar and the plastered and law-inscribed stones; but all the Hebrew authorities are against it, and the site of the cursing is fitly the site of the altar where the penalty of the curse is borne by the typical victim.

Moreover, the cursings alone are specified in the context ( Deuteronomy 27:14-26), an ominous presage at the beginning of Israel's disobedience and consequent chastisement. The Samaritans' aim in their reading was to justify their erection of the temple on Gerizim. The curses of Ebal have been literally fulfilled on the literal Israelites. Why should not also the blessings be literally fulfilled to literal Israel? The cross, our glory, was Israel's stumbling-block. Why should the crown, both our and their glory, be our stumbling-block? See  Micah 5:7;  Zechariah 8:13;  Zephaniah 3:20;  Romans 11:12;  Romans 11:15.

2. EBAL, son of Shobal, son of Seir ( Genesis 36:23).

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

a celebrated mountain in the tribe of Ephraim, near Shechem, over against Mount Gerizim. These two mountains are within two hundred paces of each other, and separated by a deep valley, in which stood the town of Shechem. The two mountains are much alike in magnitude and form, being of a semicircular figure, about half a league in length, and, on the sides nearest Shechem, nearly perpendicular. One of them is barren; the other, covered with a beautiful verdure. Moses commanded the Israelites, as soon as they should have passed the river Jordan, to go directly to Shechem, and divide the whole multitude into two bodies, each composed of six tribes; one company to be placed on Ebal, and the other on Gerizim. The six tribes that were on Gerizim were to pronounce blessings on those who should faithfully observe the law of the Lord, and the six others on Mount Ebal were to pronounce curses against those who should violate it,  Deuteronomy 11:29 , &c; 27, and 28;  Joshua 8:30-31 .

This consecration of the Hebrew commonwealth is thought to have been performed in the following manner: The heads of the first six tribes went up to the top of Mount Gerizim, and the heads of the other six tribes to the top of Mount Ebal. The priests, with the ark, and Joshua at the head of the elders of Israel, took their station in the middle of the valley which lies between the two mountains. The Levites ranged themselves in a circle about the ark; and the elders, with the people, placed themselves at the foot of the mountain, six tribes on a side. When they were thus disposed in order, the priests turned toward Mount Gerizim, on the top of which were the six heads of the six tribes who were at the foot of the same mountain, and pronounced, for example, these words:— "Blessed be the man that maketh not any graven images." The six princes who were upon the top of the mountain, and the six tribes who were below at its foot, answered, "Amen." Afterward, the priests, turning toward Mount Ebal, upon which were the princes of the other six tribes, cried, with a loud voice, "Cursed be the man that maketh any graven image;" and were answered by the princes opposite to them and their tribes, "Amen." The Scripture, at first view, seems to intimate that there were six tribes upon one mountain, and six on the other; but beside that it is by no means probable that the tribes of the Israelites, who were so numerous, should be able to stand on the summits of these two mountains, it would not have been possible for them to have seen the ceremony, nor to have heard the blessings and curses in order to answer them. Moreover, the Hebrew particle, in the original, signifies, near, over against, as well as at the top,   Joshua 8:33 . Accordingly, we may say, that neither Joshua, nor the priests or tribes, went up to the top of the mountains, but the heads only, who in their persons might represent all the tribes.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

EBAL . 1. Name of a son of Joktan (  1 Chronicles 1:22 , in   Genesis 10:28 Obal ), probably representing a place or tribe in Arabia. 2. A son of Shobal son of Seir (  Genesis 36:23 ,   1 Chronicles 1:40 ).

EBAL . Now Jebel esh-Shemali , a mountain north of Nablus (Shechem), 1207 ft. above the valley, 3077 ft. above the sea. Ruins of a fortress and of a building called a ‘little church’ exist on its summit, as well as a Mohammedan shrine said to contain the skull of John the Baptist. The mountain commands an extensive view over almost the whole of Galilee, which includes points from Hermon to Jerusalem and from the sea to the Hauran. On this mountain Joshua built an altar and erected a monument bearing the law of Moses (  Joshua 8:30 ); and the curses for breaches of the moral law were here proclaimed to the assembled Israelites on their formally taking possession of the Promised Land (  Deuteronomy 11:29;   Deuteronomy 27:4;   Deuteronomy 27:13 ,   Joshua 8:33 ).

R. A. S. Macalister.

Holman Bible Dictionary [4]

 Genesis 36:23 2 1 Chronicles 1:22 Genesis 10:28

3. Mountain near Shechem on which Moses set up the curse for the covenant ceremony ( Deuteronomy 11:29;  Deuteronomy 27:13 ). An altar was also on Ebal ( Deuteronomy 27:4-5 ). Ebal rises 3100 feet with its stark rock, bare of vegetation, giving the appearance of curse. On the north of Shechem, it stands opposed to the fruitful Mount Gerazim, the mount of blessing to the south. Joshua carried out the covenant ceremony on Ebal and Gerazim ( Joshua 8:30-35; compare  Joshua 24:1-27 ), building an altar on Ebal. Later the Samaritans built their temple on Mount Ebal (compare  John 4:20 ). See Gerazim and Ebal.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

 Deuteronomy 27:1-28:68; a mountain in Ephraim, over against mount Gerizim, from which it is separated by a valley about five hundred yards wide and three miles long, in which stands the town of Shechem. Both mountains are much alike in length, height, and form, and their altitude is stated not to exceed seven hundred and fifty or eight hundred feet from the level of the valley. As you journey from Jerusalem, and turn to pass through the valley west-northwest to Shechem, mount Ebal is on the right hand and mount Gerizim on the left. Some have described the count of cursing as sterile and desolate, and Gerizim as smiling and fertile. But at present there is little difference between their opposing fronts, which are alike, steep and barren. Mount Gerizim, however, is said to have a more fertile background, and to be a little higher than mount Ebal. The base of the latter is full of sepulchral excavations. See Gerizim , Shechem .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [6]

Ebal ( Ç'Bal ), Stone, Stony. One of the two mountains by which Israel stood receiving blessings and cursings.  Deuteronomy 11:29;  Deuteronomy 27:4;  Joshua 8:30-35. Ebal and Gerizim are opposite each other, nearly meeting at their bases, but are a mile and a half apart at their summits. Mount Ebal, the northern peak, is rocky and bare; it rises 3077 feet above the sea and 1200 feet above the level of the valley, which forms a natural amphitheatre. From repeated experiments it has been found that the voice can be heard distinctly from the top of one mountain to the other and in the valley between. In the valley lay ancient Shechem, now Nablus.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

A mountain in the lot of Ephraim over against mount Gerizim. The name Ebal signifies, somewhat old and confused, from Balah, old. It was the famous spot from whence the curses were pronounced on the breaches of the law. And the place seemed to be well suited for this purpose, for it was a barren unfruitful spot. Whereas, Gerizim, which lay opposite to it, and from whence the blessings were delivered, was a beautiful and fruitful country. ( Deuteronomy 11:29; Deu 27:4;  Joshua 8:30-32)

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

  • A descendant of Seir the Horite ( Genesis 36:23 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Ebal'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/e/ebal.html. 1897.

  • Smith's Bible Dictionary [9]

    E'bal. (Stone, Bare Mountain).

    1. One of the sons of Shobal, the son of Seir.  Genesis 36:23;  1 Chronicles 1:40.

    2. Obal, the son of Joktan.  1 Chronicles 1:22. Compare  Genesis 10:28.

    Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [10]

    The mountains Ebal and Gerizim were in central Canaan and stood opposite each other on either side of the town of Shechem. The town and the mountains were closely linked in some important events in Israel’s history ( Joshua 8:32-35;  Joshua 24:1; for details see Shechem ).

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]

    1. Son ofShobal, a son of Seir.  Genesis 36:23;  1 Chronicles 1:40 .

    2. Son of Joktan, a descendant of Shem.  1 Chronicles 1:22 . Called OBAL in  Genesis 10:28 .

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

    (Hebrews עֵבָיל , Stone), the name of one or two persons, and also of a hill.

    1. (Sept. Γεμιάν [Vat. MS. omits], Vulg. Hebal.), A various reading for OBAL (See Obal) (q.v.), the son of Joktan ( 1 Chronicles 1:22; compare  Genesis 10:28).

    2. ( Γαιβήλ v. r. Ταιβήλ [1 Alex MS. Γαοβήλ ], Vulg. Ebal.) The fourth son of Shobal, son of Seir, the Horite of Idumaea ( Genesis 36:23;  1 Chronicles 1:40). B.C. ante 1694.

    3. (Sept. Γαιβάλ , Josephus Γίβαλος ,Vulg. Hebal.) A mountain on the northern part of the tribe of Ephraim, on the north-eastern side of the valley in which was situated the city of Shechem (now Nablous), in Samaria (q.v.). See Mills, Three Months At Nablus (London, 1864).

    1. It was here that the Israelites were enjoined to erect an altar, setting up plastered stones, and respond to the imprecations uttered in the valley, according to the divinely prescribed formula, upon those who should prove faithless to the Sinaitic law ( Deuteronomy 11:29;  Deuteronomy 27:4;  Deuteronomy 27:13), while the responses to the blessings were to be uttered by the other division of the tribal representatives stationed upon the opposite mountain, Gerizim. Both the benediction and the anathema were pronounced by the Levites, who remained with the ark in the center of the interval (compare  Deuteronomy 27:11-26, with  Joshua 8:30-35, with Joseph. Ant . 4, 8, 44, and with the comments of the Talmud, Sota, 36, quoted in Herxheimer's Pentateuch). But, notwithstanding the ban thus apparently laid on Ebal, it was further appointed to be the site of the first great altar to be erected to Jehovah: an altar of large unhewn stone, plastered with lime, and inscribed with the words of the law ( Deuteronomy 27:2-8). On this altar peace-offerings were to be offered, and round it a sacrificial feast was to take place, with other rejoicings ( Deuteronomy 27:6-7). Scholars disagree as to whether there were to be two erections a kind of cromlech and an altar; or an altar only, with the law inscribed on its stones. The latter was the view of Josephus (Ant. 4:8, 44; 5:1, 19), the former is unhesitatingly adopted by the latest commentator (Keil, Comment. on  Joshua 8:32). The terms of Moses' injunction seem to infer that no delay was to take place in carrying out this symbolical transaction. It was to be "on the day" that Jordan was crossed (Joshua 27:2), before they "went in unto the land flowing with milk and honey" (Joshua 27:3). Accordingly Joshua appears to have seized the earliest practicable moment, after the pressing affairs of the siege of Jericho, the execution of Achan, and the destruction of Ai had been dispatched, to carry out the command ( Joshua 8:30-35). After this Ebal appears no more in the sacred story. By a corruption of the above- cited texts, the Samaritans transferred the site of the appointed altar to the opposite mountain, which has hence attained the greater notoriety. (See Gerizim).

    2. The question now arises, where were Ebal and Gerizim situated? The all but unanimous reply to this is, that they are the mounts which form the sides of the fertile valley in which lies Nablu's, the ancient SHECHEM-Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south.

    (1.) It is plain from the passages already quoted that they were situated near together, with a valley between.

    (2.) Gerizim was very near Shechem ( Judges 9:7), and in Josephus' time their names appear to have been attached to the mounts, which were then, as now, Ebal on the north and Gerizim on the south. Since that they have been mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela (Asher, 1:66) and Sir John Maundeville, and among modern travelers by Maundrell (Mod. Trav. page 432). The main impediment to our entire reception of this view rests in the terms of the first mention of the place by Moses in  Deuteronomy 11:30 : A.V. "Are they not on the other side Jordan, by the way where the sun goeth down, in the land of the Canaanites, which dwell in the champaign over against Gilgal, beside the plains of Moreh?" Here the mention of Gilgal, which was in the valley of the Jordan near Jericho, of the valley itself (Arabah, mistranslated here only, "champaign"), and of the Canaanites who dwelt there, and also the other terms of the injunction of Moses, as already noticed seem to imply that Ebal and Gerizim were in the immediate neighborhood of Jericho. This is strengthened by the narrative of Joshua, who appears to have carried out the prescribed ceremonial on the mounts while his camp was at Gilgal (compare  Joshua 7:2;  Joshua 9:6), and before he had (at least before any account of his having) made his way so far into the interior of the country as Shechem.

    This is the view taken by Eusebius (Onomasticon, s.v. Γεβάλ ). He does not quote the passage in Deuteronomy, but seems to be led to his opinion rather by the difficulty of the mountains at Shechem being too far apart to admit of the blessings and cursings being heard, and also by his desire to contradict the Samaritans; add to this that he speaks from no personal knowledge, but simply from hearsay ( Λέγεται ), as to the existence of two such hills in the Jordan valley. The notice of Eusebius is merely translated by Jerome, with a shade more of animosity to the Samaritans (Vehementer Errant), and expression of difficulty as to the distance, but without any additional information. Procopius and Epiphanius also followed Eusebius, but their mistakes have been disposed of by Reland (Palaest. p. 5034; Miscell. pages 129-133).

    With regard to the passage in Deuteronomy it will perhaps assume a different aspect on examination.

    1. Moses is represented as speaking from the east side of Jordan, before anything was known of the country on the west, beyond the exaggerated reports of the spies, and when everything there was wrapped in mystery, and localities and distances had not assumed their due proportions.

    2. A closer rendering of the verse is as follows: "Are they not on the other side the Jordan, beyond ( אִחֲרַים , the word rendered 'the Backside of the desert' in  Exodus 3:1) the way of the sunset, in the land of the Canaanite who dwells in the Arabak, over against Gilgal, near the terebinths of Moreb?" If this rendering is correct, a great part of the difficulty has disappeared. Gilgal no longer marks the site of Ebal and Gerizim, but of the dwelling of the Canaanites, who were, it is true, the first to encounter the Israelites on the other side of the river, in their native lowlands, but who, we have it actually on record, were both in the time of Abraham ( Genesis 12:6) and of the conquest ( Joshua 17:18) located about Shechem. The word now rendered "beyond" is not represented at all in the A.V., and it certainly throws the locality much further back; and, lastly, there is the striking landmark of the trees of Moreh, which were standing by Shechem when Abraham first entered the land, and whose name probably survived in Morthia, or Mamortha, a name of Shechem found on coins of the Roman period (Reland, Miscell. page 137 sq.). (See Gilgal).

    In accordance with this is the addition in the Samaritan Pentateuch, after the words "the terebinths of Moreh," at the end of  Deuteronomy 11:30 of the words "over against Shechem." This addition is the more credible because there is not, as in the case noticed afterwards, any apparent motive for it. If this interpretation be accepted, the next verse (31) gains a fresh force: "For ye shall pass over Jordan [not only to meet the Canaanites immediately on the other side, but] to go in to possess the land [the whole of the country, even the heart of it, where these mounts are situated (glancing back to  Deuteronomy 11:29)], the land which; Jehovah your God giveth you; and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein." It may also be asked whether the significance of the whole solemn ceremonial of the blessing and cursing is not missed if we understand it as taking place directly a footing had been obtained on the outskirts of the country, and not as acted in, the heart of the conquered land, in its most prominent natural position, and close to its oldest city Shechem.

    This is evidently the view taken by Josephus. His statement (Ant. 5, 1, 19) is that it took place after the subjugation of the country and the establishment of the tabernacle at Silioh. He has no misgivings as to the situation of the mountains. They were at Shechema ( Ἐπὶ Σικίμων ), and from thence, after the ceremony, the people returned to Shiloh.

    The narrative of Joshua is more puzzling. But even with regard to this something may be said. It will at once be perceived that the book contains no account of the conquest of the center of the country, of those portions which were afterwards the mountain of Ephraim, Esdraelon, or Galilee. We lose Joshua at Gilgal, after the conquest of the south, to find him again suddenly at the waters of Merom in the extreme north ( Joshua 10:43;  Joshua 11:7). Of his intermediate proceedings the only record that seems to have escaped is the fragment contained in  Joshua 8:30-35. Nor should it be overlooked that some doubt is thrown on this in  Joshua 8:30-35, by its omission in both the Vat. and Alex. MSS. of the Sept.

    The distance of Ebal and Gerizim from each other is not such a stumbling- block to us as it was to Eusebius; though it is difficult to understand how he and Jerome should have been ignorant of the distance to which the voice will travel in the clear elastic atmosphere of the East. Stanley has given some instances of this (Sinai and Pal. page 13); others equally remarkable have been observed by those long resident in the neighborhood; who state that a voice can be heard without difficulty across the valley separating the two spots in question (see also Bonar, page 371).

    It is well known that one of the most serious variations between the Hebrew text of the Pentateuch and the Samaritan text is in reference to Ebal and Gerizim. In  Deuteronomy 27:4, the Samaritan has Gerizim, while the Hebrew (as in A.V.) has Ebal, as the mount on which the altar to Jehovah and the inscription of the law were to be erected. Upon this basis the Samaritans ground the sanctity of Gerizim and the authenticity of the Temple and holy place, which have existed there. The arguments upon this difficult question will be found in Kennicott (Dissert. 2), and in the reply of Verschuir (Leovard. 1775; quoted by Gesenius, De Pesst. Sam. page 61). Two points may merely be glanced at here which have apparently escaped notice.

    1. Both agree that Ebal was the mount on which the cursings were to rest, Gerizim that for blessings. It appears inconsistent that Ebal, the mount of cursing, should be the site of the altar and the record of the law, while Gerizim, the mount of blessing, should remain unoccupied by sanctuary of any kind.

    2. Taking into account the known predilection of Orientals for ancient sites on which to fix their sanctuaries, it is more easy to believe (in the absence of any evidence to the contrary) that in building their temple on Gerizim, the Samaritans were making use of a spot already enjoying a reputation for sanctity, than that they built on a place upon which the curse was laid in the records which they received equally with the Jews. Thus the very fact of the occupation of Gerizim by the Samaritans would seem an argument for its original sanctity. On the other hand, all critics of eminence, with the exception of Kennicott, regard this as a corruption of the sacred text; and when it is considered that the invariable reading in Hebrew MSS. and ancient versions, both in this passage and the corresponding one in  Joshua 8:30, is "Ebal,"' it seems strange that any scholar would for a moment doubt its correctness. Kennicott takes an opposite view, maintaining the integrity of the Samaritan reading, and arguing the point at great length; hut his arguments,are neither' sound nor pertinent (Dissertations On The Hebrew Text, 2:20 sq.). The Samaritans had a strong reason for corrupting the text, seeing that Gerizim was their sanctuary; and they desired to make it not merely the mountain of blessing, but the place of the altar and the inscribed law. (See Samaritans).

    3. Ebal is rarely ascended by travelers, and we are therefore in ignorance as to how far the question may be affected by remains of ancient buildings thereon. That such remains do exist is certain, even from the very meager accounts published (Bartlett, Walks About Jerusalem, App. page 251 sq.; and Narrative of Rev. J. Mills in Trans. Pal. Archeol. Assoc. 1855), while the mountain is evidently of such extent as to warrant the belief that there is a great deal still to discover.

    The report of the old travelers was that Ebal was more barren than Gerizim (see Benjamin of Tudela and Maundrell, in Early Travels in Palestine, pages 82, 433; Wilson, Lands of the Bible, 2:71); but this opinion probably arose from a belief in the effects of the curse mentioned above. At any rate, it is not borne out by the latest accounts, according to which there is little or no perceptible difference. They are not isolated mountains, but culminating points of a chain. Their declivities facing the vale bear a singular resemblance to each other. They are equally rugged and bare; the limestone strata here and there project, forming bold bluffs and precipices; but the greater portion of the slopes, though steep, are formed into terraces, partly natural and partly artificial. For this reason both mountains appear more barren from below than they are in reality, the rude and naked supporting walls of the terraces alone being thus visible. The soil, though scanty, is rich. In the bottom of the vale are olive groves, and a few straggling trees extend some distance up the sides. The broad summits and upper slopes have no trees, yet they are not entirely bare. The steeper banks are here and there scantily clothed with dwarf shrubbery; while in spring and early summer, rank grass, brambles, and thistles, intermixed with myriads of bright wild flowers-anemones, convolvulus, tulips, and. poppies-spring up among the rocks and stones. Ebal is "occupied from bottom to top by beautiful gardens" (Mills; see also Porter, Handbook, page 332). The slopes of Ebal towards the valley appear to be steeper than those of Gerizim (Wilson, pages 45, 71). It is also the higher mountain of the two. There is some uncertainty about the measurements, but the following are the results of the latest observations (Van de Velde, Memoir, page 178):

    Nablus, above sea, 1672 ft.

    Gerizim do. 2600 " ... above Nablus, 928 ft.

    Ebal do. about 2700" ... do. 1028

    According to Wilson (Lands, 2:71; but see Robinson, 2:277, 280, note), it is sufficiently high to shut out Hermon from the highest point of Gerizim. The structure of Gerizim is nummulitic limestone, with occasional outcrops of igneous rock (Poole, in Geograph. Journ. 26:56), and that of Ebal is probably similar. At its base above the valley of Nablus are numerous caves and sepulchral excavations. This was, doubtless, the necropolis of Shechem (Robinson, 3:131; Van de Velde, 2:290). The modern name of Ebal is Sitti Salamiyah, from a Mohammedan female saint, whose tomb is standing on the eastern part of the ridge, a little before the highest point is reached (Wilson, page 71, note). By others, however, it is reported to be called 'Imad ed-Din, "the pillar of the religion" (Stanley, page 238, note). The tomb of another saint, called Amad, is also shown (Ritter, page 641), with whom the latter name may have some connection. On the south-east shoulder is a mined site bearing the name of Askar (Robinson, 3:132). (See Sychar).