Are you ready to take a trip back in time by exploring the ancient home of the Samaritans? Mount Gerizim National Park is located in the West Bank; close to the city of Nablus. Here you can find thousands of years of history preserved in the ruins. Also within the Mount Gerizim National Park; multiple excavations have been performed and revealed fascinating ruins. Among the ruins are interesting finds like an ancient temple; hundreds of thousands of animal bones; tens of thousands of coins; and an entire city!
Mount Gerizim was even mentioned in the bible as the Mount of Blessings; with Mount Ebal being its counterpart as the Mount of Curses. Mount Gerizim National Park is a destination of religious significance; cultural history, archaeological fascination, and simple beauty. So I invite you to join me on a private tour of Mount Gerizim National Park; so that we can walk through history together! In any case, there is a lot to know about them I promise and if you want you can always can in touch, and we can tour the area of Samaria together.
The Samaritans And Mount Gerizim National Park
Have you ever wondered about where the term “Good Samaritan” came from? This term dates back thousands of years to the Book of Luke in the New Testament in a parable that told of a Samaritan (a resident of Samaria) who stopped to help a man who had been injured and robbed; while others just ignored him. So, who were the residents of Samaria? The Samaritans are an ancient people and ethnic group who view themselves as direct descendants of the original Israelites. They speak an ancient Arabic language; which is similar to ancient Hebrew. During the Roman era, there were over a million Samaritans in Israel. However, due to riots and massacres, their people’s population dramatically fell, and now only 800 Samaritans are left in the world today, all living in Israel.
Main Differences Between Jews and Samaritans
The Samaritans believe only the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and that’s it! Also not like Jews that kept on interpreting the Pentateuch (the Torah) along the ages that it would fit the changing times. On the contrary, the Samaritans do not use total interpretation at all; but follow the religious law to the letter. For example, they still, till this perform sacrifice a lamb at Passover, at the top of Mt. Gerizim. While Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple stopped the animal sacrifice.
So what makes Mount Gerizim National Park so fascinating is the religious tension between the Samaritans and the Jews. The Samaritans’ religion; Samaritanism, is very similar to that of Judaism with two key differences. First, the Samaritans believe that Samaritanism is the true religion of the ancient Israelites preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel. In contrast, the Jews believe that the true religion was brought back by those returning from Babylonian captivity.
Secondly, and that is the main difference; is that the Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of Israel known as Mt. Moria, where the Sacrifice of Isaac occurred. The Jews, however, believe that it is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Due to this, all of the Samaritan culture, religious practices, and festivals occurred in what is now Mount Gerizim National Park.