Section of the Jerusalem map (1925) showing location of Mount Moriah according to the TaNaKh sources
|Elevation||768 m (2,520 ft) (Mount Moriah)|
|Location||Jerusalem (according to Jewish sources)|
|Parent range||Judean (Mount Moriah)|
Moriah (Hebrew: , Modern: Moriyya, Tiberian: Môriyy?, Arabic: ?, romanized: Marwah) is the name given to a mountainous region by the Book of Genesis, in which context it is the location of the sacrifice of Isaac. Through association with the biblical Mount Moriah (the Temple Mount), Mount Moriah has been interpreted as the name of the specific mountain at which this occurred, although this identification is typically rejected by scholarship.
Muslims believe the historical mount is Marwah in Arabic, as mentioned in the Qur'an, located close to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. There has been an historical account of rams' horns preserved in the Kaaba until the year 683, which are believed to be the remains of the sacrifice of Ishmael.
Whereas the mention of Moriah in Genesis could be referring to any mountainous region, the book of Chronicles says that the location of Araunah's threshing floor is on "Mount Moriah" and that the Temple of Solomon was built over Araunah's threshing floor. This has led to the classical rabbinical supposition that Moriah was in Jerusalem. 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). On the other hand, some interpretations of a biblical passage concerning Melchizedek, king of Salem, would indicate Jerusalem was already a city with a priest at the time of Abraham, and thus is unlikely to have been founded on the lonely spot where Abraham tried to sacrifice Isaac. However, the view that the word Salem in this passage actually refers to Jerusalem (in David's time, Jebus) and not peace (shalome, shelomo) is much debated between many sects of Jews and Christians.
There is also debate as to whether the two references (Genesis 22:2 and 2 Chronicles 3:1) are correctly understood as the same word. Ancient translators seem to have interpreted them differently: whereas all ancient translations simply transliterated the name in Chronicles, in Genesis they tended to try to understand the literal meaning of the name and to translate it. For example, in the Greek Septuagint translation, these verses are translated as:
Some modern biblical scholars, however, regard the name as a reference to the Amorites, having lost the initial a via aphesis; the name is thus interpreted as meaning land of the Amorites. This agrees with the Septuagint, where, for example, 2 Chronicles 3:1 refers to the location as .
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.