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Moriah (Hebrew: מוֹרִיָּה, Modern Moriyya Tiberian Môriyyā ; "ordained/considered by the LORD") (Arabic: مروة Marwah) is the name given to a mountain range by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is the location of the sacrifice of Isaac. Traditionally Moriah has been interpreted as the name of the specific mountain at which this occurred, rather than just the name of the range.
In modern translations[which?] of the Bible, the word Moriah is used only twice:
In the book of Chronicles it is reported that the location of Araunah's threshing floor is "in mount Moriah" and that the Temple of Solomon was built over Araunah's threshing floor. This has led to the classical rabbinical supposition that this is at the peak of Moriah.
There is debate as to whether the two references (Genesis 22:2 and Chronicles 3:1) are correctly translated as the same word. For example, in the LXX, these verses are translated as:
Some interpretations of a biblical passage concerning Melchizedek would indicate Jerusalem was already a city with a priest at the time of Abraham, and thus is unlikely to have been founded after this, at the site of a sacrifice made by Abraham in the wilderness. However the view that Salem refers to Jerusalem (then Jebus) and not peace (shalome, shelomo) is of heavy debate between many sects of Jews and Christians. Moria is now the birth place for the Zion Christian Church (ZCC).
In consequence of these traditions, Classical Rabbinical Literature theorised that the name was a (linguistically corrupted) reference to the Temple, suggesting translations like the teaching-place (referring to the Sanhedrin that met there), the place of fear (referring to the supposed fear that non-Israelites would have at the Temple), the place of myrrh (referring to the spices burnt as incense). Targum Pseudo-Jonathan interprets the name as land of worship, while the Samaritan Targum regards it as being land of vision.
Most modern biblical scholars, however, regard the name as a reference to the Amorites, the initial a via aphesis; the name is thus interpreted as meaning land of the Amorites. This also agrees with the biblical text as it appears in the Syriac Peshitta – where the near-sacrifice occurs at the land of the Amorites, and in the Septuagint, where, for example, 2 Chronicles 3:1 refers to the location as Ἀμωρία – Amōriā. This would give it the same etymological root as Hamor, a person's name in the narrative at Genesis 34 which concerns Shechem. Some scholars also identify it with Moreh, the location near Shechem at which Abraham built an altar, according to Genesis 12:6. Hence a number of scholars believe that Moriah refers to a hill near Shechem, supporting the Samaritan belief that the near-sacrifice of Isaac occurred on Mount Gerizim – a location near Shechem.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Jewish Encyclopedia. 1901–1906.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Easton, Matthew George (1897). "article name needed". Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
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