Zertal’s reference to Benjamin Mazar’s paper is very strange. Mazar refers to a hypothetical enclosure at the foot of Mt. Ebal, not on it, just outside the city walls of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem). Anyone who reads Mazar’s paper would certainly not get the impression that he believes that an altar was built on Mr. Ebal. Being very cautious, Mazar speaks about “old traditions” of a cult place in Shechem.

Albrecht Alt’s view of the sanctuary of Yahweh in Shechem (which Zertal mentions) is a similar case where Zertal reads what is not in the text. I leave it to the many disciples of Alt to explain to Zertal Alt’s concept of the development of Israelite religion.