Could Mt. Ebal Be Deuteronomy’s “Place of the Name”?
A vexing irony inhabits the Book of Deuteronomy. On the one hand, the book makes exclusive worship at a single site chosen by Israel’s God Yahweh the defining criterion of community faithfulness. On the other hand, the book fails to identify the sanctuary’s location. The quest to resolve this conundrum has directed scholarly attention to Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Gilgal, Gerizim, and, most recently, Mt. Ebal—all sacred sites identified in early Israel’s settlement traditions. This lecture reviews linguistic, historical and archaeological evidence that may help us identify where Deuteronomy’s “place of the name” was actually located.