Courtesy Adam Zertal

Pondering the evidence, the distinguished Israeli historian and archaeologist Benjamin Mazar, left, and the author examine the altar site on Mt. Ebal. Mazar has lent support to Ernst Sellin’s idea of an Israelite entry into Canaan in the north. According to Mazar, whose great expertise is historical geography, the valley of Succoth (east of the Jordan River) lies at the confluence of the Jabbok and Jordan Rivers. The valley of Succoth plays an important part in the patriarchal narratives. West of the Jordan, directly opposite the valley of Succoth, is the Wadi Far’ah, which leads across the desert fringes to the hill country and Mt. Ebal.