Jabal Jirzīm

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    • Day25


      May 31, 2015 in Palestine ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

      Yesterday, we visited the Israel Museum and studied for our exam. As we wandered through the day, I was struck by a continued though I wanted to share. This whole idea of layering Bible stories, one on top of the other, onto a particular place has been such a revolutionary way of thinking about Scripture. I know I’ve talked about how this works before, but in case you haven’t read any of that, the basic idea is that each place carries with it stories from the history of Israel.

      In America, our history only goes back a few hundred years, so it’s harder to relate to this, but imagine the grassy-green field that Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address. Now jump ahead four hundred years into the future, and this is also becomes the exact site where we regain our independence from some imagined occupation. Six hundred years after that, it becomes the place where a great battle is fought and thousands of faithful Christians lose their lives.

      Now, let’s take a little class of cute 6th graders to that very field and we’ll tell them about the world-changing events that happened on the soil under their sneakers. Can you start to understand what it means to layer events onto a place? To read the Bible “like a walker?” Pile up Biblical event upon Biblical event and then walk the land and see if there isn’t some connection.

      For example, we visited the city of Shechem. Not much to look at in the photos below, but this is the location of Jacob’s well. But, before I get to that, back in Genesis 12:1-7, this is where Abram built an altar to the Lord and God told him, “To your offspring, I will give this land.” This land. Where we stood. In Shechem. Then jump to Deuteronomy 27 and God is telling Moses to write the words of the law on stones and then, here at Shechem, Moses is to build an altar of stones and offer burnt offerings to God. Jump ahead yet again to Joshua 8 when Joshua renews the covenant with God and, just as Moses had done before him, he writes the words of the law on stones here at Shechem.

      That’s all very interesting, but then the next time we see this place, something much more sinister happens. In fact, the previous stories are stories of hope. Stories of forgiveness. But in 1 Kings 12 Rehoboam is made king on this very spot at Shechem and because of the oppression that he institutes, the Kingdom of Israel is split in two.

      Such a devastating and cataclysmic event happens on the very spot that God gives to Abram. The very spot that Moses and Joshua wrote the law of God out on stones. It seems like a dismal end to this sad little spot.

      But the story of Shechem isn’t over.

      Because this is also the site of John 4:4 when, by Divine guidance, Jesus is led to this very spot to have a conversation with a less-than-faithful woman from Samaria. Here, on the hard soil of Shechem, He speaks of the life-giving water he can provide to a thirsty woman. And then, for the first time we know of, Jesus publicly and clearly proclaims that He is the Messiah. “I who speak to you am He.” Here on this spot.

      Because on this spot, God is playing out the story of humanity. It is a story of faithfulness and infidelity. It is a story of remembering the laws of God and a story of forgetting the fear of God. It is the story of humanity’s up and down relationship with the Sovereign God.

      And this spot carries the story of Jesus who ultimately comes and fixes the mistakes. Of course He would do it here. The place is loaded.
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      Rita Boyd

      Wow. That was cool. I never made those connections.

    • Day12

      Mt. Gerizim (Samaria)

      April 16, 2019 in Palestine ⋅ 🌫 16 °C

      High up in the hills of Samaria are Mt Gerizim and Mt Ebal. The city of Shechem is in the valley between the mountains. The 12 tribes assembled here before entering the promised land. Gerezim means "blessing" and Ebal means "cursings" and the Israelites were warned what would be their fate according to their behaviour.
      The township is comprised of Samaritans - there is only a few thousand left in the world.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Jabal Jirzīm, Jabal Jirzim, جبل جرزيم, Q31249023

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