Bible Meaning: Cuttings off, cut up, rocky
Strong's Concordance #H1630
Mount Gerizim, at a present day elevation of 2,890 feet (881 meters), is located across a narrow valley from Mount Ebal. While the bases of both mountains almost touch each other, their summits are roughly 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) apart.
Gerizim is the place where a unique and highly symbolic Old Testament event took place. God commanded the Israelites to carry out this ceremony after they entered the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 27 - 28).
Joshua, after Jericho and Ai were conquered, had the Israelite tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph (composed of Ephraim and Manasseh) and Benjamin stand of Mount Gerizim. They then shouted the manifold blessings that would come, on all those who obeyed God, to the others tribes stationed on Mount Ebal. When they finished, those on Ebal then shouted all the curses (punishments) that would befall those who refused to listen to their Creator and King.
Hidden New Testament reference
The Samaritans, at the time of Jesus, were not strictly Israelites. They were a mixed group of people who were descended from pagan Assyrians who intermarried with the poorest Israelites left in the land by the Assyrians (see our article on The Good Samaritan for more info).
When Jesus met a woman at Jacob's well she stated that, "our fathers worshipped in this mountain . . ." (John 4:20). The unnamed mountain referenced is Gerizim. Worship was carried out at the location through a temple built around 432 B.C. by a priest grateful for the help he received from the Samaritans.
And it shall come to pass, when Jehovah thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt set the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.
Deuteronomy 27:3, 12 - 13
And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee.
These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin: And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
And all Israel, and their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on this side of the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, that bare the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, as well the sojourner as the homeborn: half of them in front of mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of mount Ebal . . .
And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.