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Mount Ebal

Mount Ebal, from the Hebrew word pronounced ay-bawl, meaning rocky, is a mountain in Samaria, in central Israel. At a height of 3,077 feet / 937 meters above sea level, and 1,200 feet / 365 feet above the level of the adjacent valley, it was located on the north side of the ancient city of Shechem. Mount Gerizim was to the south of Shechem on the opposite side of the valley.

Mount Ebal Well within sight of each other, Mount Ebal's rather barren appearance contrasted with the more profusely-covered Mount Gerizim. This difference was used in a ceremony to symbolize the blessings for those who obey God, and the curses for those who disobey - a principle that applies as much now as at any other time during Bible History.

Moses' Instruction Before They Entered The Promised Land

"Now Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, "Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. And on the day you pass over the Jordan to the land which The Lord your God gives you, you shall set up large stones, and plaster them with plaster; and you shall write upon them all the words of this law, when you pass over to enter the land which The Lord your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as The Lord, the God of your fathers [see Rock Of Ages], has promised you. And when you have passed over the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, concerning which I command you this day, on Mount Ebal, and you shall plaster them with plaster. And there you shall build an altar to The Lord your God, an altar of stones; you shall lift up no iron tool upon them." (Deuteronomy 27:1-5 RSV)

"And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, "When you have passed over the Jordan, these shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And these shall stand upon Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali." (Deuteronomy 27:11-13 RSV) (see The Tribes Of Israel)

If You Choose To Obey God

"And if you obey the voice of The Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments [see The Ten Commandments - Your Keys To Life] which I command you this day, The Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of The Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out." (Deuteronomy 28:1-6 RSV)

If You Choose To Disobey God

"But if you will not obey the voice of The Lord your God or be careful to do all His Commandments [see The Ten Commandments Now?] and His statutes which I command you this day, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading-trough. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock. Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and frustration, in all that you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your doings, because you have forsaken Me." (Deuteronomy 28:15-20 RSV)

Fact Finder: Did Joshua build an altar to The Lord on Mount Ebal after the Israelites entered The Promised Land?
Joshua 8:30-35

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