Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal make up the sides of the east-west pass into the Valley of Shechem. When Joshua conquered central Israel, he used these mountains as symbols, pronouncing blessings from Mount Gerizim and punishments from Mount Ebal (Josh. 8:30–35). Perhaps because of its historical importance, Jotham chose Mount Gerizim as the place to tell his prophetic story about the trees and the bramble bush (Judg. 9:7–21).