Ask a question about 'Moriah'
Start a new discussion about 'Moriah'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Moriah (
{{About|the biblical location}}
Moriah (
{{About|the biblical location}}
Moriah ({{Hebrew Name|hebrew={{Script/Hebrew|מוֹרִיָּה}} |stan=Moriyya |tiber=Môriyyā |means="ordained/considered by the {{sc"}}) (Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

: مروة Marwah) is the name given to a mountain range by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is giv. the location of the sacrifice of Isaac
Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac Akedah or Akeidat Yitzchak in Hebrew and Dhabih in Arabic, is a story from the Hebrew Bible in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah...

. 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 of the Bible, the word Moriah is used only twice.

Biblical references

In modern translations of the Bible, the word Moriah is used only twice:
  • Genesis {{bibleverse-nb||genesis|22:2|HE}}: "And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'"
  • 2 Chronicles {{bibleverse-nb|2|chron|3:1|HE}}: "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."

However, there is debate as to whether these two references are correctly translated as the same word. For example, in the LXX, these verses are translated as:
  • Genesis 22:2: "And he said, Take thy son, the beloved one, whom thou hast loved—Isaac, and go into the high land, and offer him there for a whole-burnt-offering on one of the mountains which I will tell thee of"
  • 2 Chronicles 3:1: "And Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in the mount of Amoria, where the Lord appeared to his father David, in the place which David had prepared in the threshing-floor of Orna the Jebusite."

Speculation and debate

In the book of Chronicles it is reported that the location of Araunah's threshing floor
Araunah was a Jebusite who was mentioned in the Books of Samuel who owned the threshing floor on the summit of Mount Moriah that David purchased and used as the site for assembling an altar to God. The Scholar renders his name as Arunah....

 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.

Some interpretations of a biblical passage concerning Melchizedek
Melchizedek or Malki Tzedek translated as "my king righteous") is a king and priest mentioned during the Abram narrative in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis....

 would indicate Jerusalem was already a city with a priest at the time of Abraham
Abraham , whose birth name was Abram, is the eponym of the Abrahamic religions, among which are Judaism, Christianity and Islam...

, 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.

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
The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three judges appointed in every city in the Biblical Land of Israel.The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme court of ancient Israel made of 71 members...

 that met there), the place of fear (referring to the supposed fear that non-Israelites would have at the Temple), the place of myrrh
Myrrh is the aromatic oleoresin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which grow in dry, stony soil. An oleoresin is a natural blend of an essential oil and a resin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum....

(referring to the spices burnt as incense
Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

). Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan is a western targum of the Torah from the land of Israel . Its correct title is Targum Yerushalmi , which is how it was known in medieval times...

 interprets the name as land of worship, while the Samaritan
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

 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
In phonetics, apheresis is the loss of one or more sounds from the beginning of a word, especially the loss of an unstressed vowel.-Apheresis as a historical sound change:...

; 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 {{polytonic|Ἀμωρία}}Amōriā. This would give it the same etymological
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 root as Hamor, a person's name in the narrative at Genesis 34 which concerns Shechem
Shechem was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Amarna letters, and is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel...

. Some scholars also identify it with Moreh
Moreh is a name of a location, commonly used in the Genesis.-Torah locality:Translators who consider the obscure elon moreh of Genesis 12:6 to be the name of a locality, render it as "the plains of Moreh". Translators who consider the term to be a sacred tree or grove, often render it "terebinth",...

, 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
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

 belief that the near-sacrifice of Isaac occurred on Mount Gerizim – a location near Shechem.