Gerizim, Mount

An update to Vol. 2, pp. 484–491.

By Yitzhak Magen


Archaeological finds—pottery, coins, and radiocarbon dating—indicate that the temple on Mount Gerizim was first built in the mid-fifth century BCE. A city began to grow up around it at the end of the fourth century BCE, after the city of Samaria was destroyed by Alexander the Great. At the beginning of the second century BCE, in the days of Antiochus III, the temple and its compound were rebuilt and the city expanded greatly. Based on the coins found at the site, it is clear that the temple and the city were destroyed by John Hyrcanus around 110 BCE, and not in 128 BCE as recounted by Josephus, who writes that immediately after the death of Antiochus VII Sidetes (128 BCE), Hyrcanus launched a campaign against Mount Gerizim (Antiq. XIII, 254–257; War I, 62).

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