On Top of Mount…
Without question, Mount Sinai is the best known mountain in the Bible. In the days before highways, street signs or GPS, geographic landmarks played an important role in people’s lives. Many of the significant events in Biblical history are associated with mountains. Today’s Jewish Treat will be a taste of Biblical Geographic: Mountain Edition.
Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim – These two mountains are located near the city of Shechem. In Deuteronomy 27, God instructs the Israelites that, when they will come into the Promised Land, they “set up great stones, and plaster them with plaster: And you shall write upon them all the words of this law” (27:2-4). Upon Mount Gerizim the stone was to be inscribed with a list of blessings, while the stone on Mount Ebal was to be inscribed with a list of curses. Additionally, the tribes were themselves divided into two groups of six, and told to stand upon the two mountains. Simon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph (Ephraim and Menashe) and Benjamin were to stand upon Mount Gerizim, while Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali were to stand upon Mount Ebal. Joshua 8 records the fulfillment of this commandment.
Mount Hor – The name of the mountain on which Aaron passed away and was buried.
Mount Moriah – The name of the mountain to which Abraham brought Isaac when he was asked to sacrifice his son. Moriah later became the location of Jerusalem.
Mount Nebo – Deuteronomy 32:49 lists Mount Nebo (also referred to as the Mountain of the Abarim) as the location of Moses’ passing. He died there after looking out over the Promised Land that he could not enter.
Mount Sinai/Horeb – The mountain the Moses ascended in order to receive the Torah. According to tradition, it is also the mountain where Moses encountered the burning bush.