HOME

TheInfoList




Shechem (), also spelled Sichem (; he, שְׁכָם, , , ; grc, Συχέμ LXX), was a
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ite and
Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near East, who inhabited a part of Canaan during the history of ancient Israe ...
city mentioned in the Amarna Letters, later appearing in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are almost exclusively in , with a few passages in (in the books of and , the verse 10:11, and some single words). The authoritativ ...

Hebrew Bible
as the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel following the split of the
United Monarchy The United Monarchy () is the name given to the united Israelite The Israelites (; he, בני ישראל ''Bnei Yisra'el'') were a confederation of Iron Age ancient Semitic-speaking peoples, Semitic-speaking tribes of the ancient Near Ea ...
. According to , it was located in the tribal territorial allotment of the
tribe of Ephraim According to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, with a ...

tribe of Ephraim
. Traditionally associated with the city of
Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ', ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις, Νeápolis) is a city in the northern , approximately north of (approximately by road), with a population of 126,132.PCBS02007 Loca ...

Nablus
, it is now identified with the nearby site of
Tell Balata Tell Balata ( ar, تل بلاطة) is the site of the remains of an ancient Canaanite/Israelite city located in the Palestinians, Palestinian West Bank. The built-up area of Balata al-Balad, Balata, a Palestinian village and suburb of Nablus, covers ...

Tell Balata
in the Balata al-Balad suburb of the
West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, הגדה המערבית ' or ') is a landlock A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...
.


Geographical position

Shechem's position is indicated in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; : , or ), is the of scriptures, including the , the , and the . These texts are almost exclusively in , with a few passages in (in the books of and , the verse 10:11, and some single words). The authoritativ ...

Hebrew Bible
: it lay north of
Bethel Bethel (Ugaritic Ugaritic () is an extinct North-West Semitic language, classified by some as a dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , , "discourse", from , , "through" and , , "I speak") is used in two dist ...

Bethel
and Shiloh, on the high road going from
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusałē ...

Jerusalem
to the northern districts (
Judges A judge is an official who presides over a court. Judge or Judges may also refer to: Roles *Judge, an alternative name for an adjudicator in a competition in theatre, music, sport, etc. *Judge, an alternative name/aviator call sign for a member ...
xxi, 19), at a short distance from Michmethath (
Joshua Joshua () or Yehoshua ( he, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ''Yəhōšūaʿ'') ''Yēšūʿ''; syr, ܝܫܘܥ ܒܪ ܢܘܢ ''Yəšūʿ bar Nōn''; el, Ἰησοῦς, ar , يُوشَعُ ٱبْنُ نُونٍ '' Yūšaʿ ibn Nūn''; la, Iosue functioned ...
17:7) and of Dothain (
Genesis Genesis may refer to: Literature and comics * Genesis (DC Comics), a 1997 DC Comics crossover * Genesis (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics villain * Genesis, a fictional character from the ''Preacher (comics), Preacher'' comic-book series * ''Genes ...

Genesis
37:12–17); it was in the hill-country of
Ephraim Ephraim (; he, אֶפְרָיִם/, ''ʾEfrayim'') was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph (Genesis), Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Ancient Egypt, Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter ...
(Joshua 20:7; 21:21; 1 Kings 12:25; 1 Chronicles 6:67; 7:28), immediately below
Mount Gerizim Mount Gerizim (; Samaritan Hebrew Samaritan Hebrew () is a reading tradition used liturgically by the Samaritans The Samaritans (; Samaritan Hebrew: , ' (, 'Guardians/Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah)'); he, שומרונים, ''Shomronim'' ...
(Judges 9:6–7). These indications are substantiated by
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century and military leader, best known for ', who was born in —then part of —to a father of descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry. He initially fought a ...

Josephus
, who says that the city lay between
Mount Ebal Mount Ebal ( ar, جبل عيبال ''Jabal ‘Aybāl''; he, הר עיבל ''Har ‘Eival'') is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the city of Nablus in the West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, ...
and Mount Gerizim, and by the
Madaba map The Madaba Map, also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map, is part of a floor mosaic in the Byzantine architecture, early Byzantine Church (building), church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map depicts part of the Middle East and contains ...

Madaba map
, which places Sychem, also called Sikima, between the "Tour Gobel" (Ebal) and the "Tour Garizin" (Garizim). The site of Shechem in patristic sources is almost invariably identified with, or located close to, the town of Flavia Neapolis (
Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ', ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις, Νeápolis) is a city in the northern , approximately north of (approximately by road), with a population of 126,132.PCBS02007 Loca ...

Nablus
).


History

Shechem was a very ancient commercial center due to its position in the middle of vital trade routes through the region. A very old " Way of the Patriarchs" trade route runs in the north–south direction.


Chalcolithic

The oldest settlement in Shechem goes back to about six thousand years ago, during the
Chalcolithic The Chalcolithic (),The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) , p. 301: "Chalcolithic /,kælkəl'lɪθɪk/ adjective ''Archaeology'' of, relating to, or denoting a period in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC, chiefly in the Near East and SE Europe, ...

Chalcolithic
period (4000-3500 BCE). At that time agriculture was already practiced.


Bronze Age

Subsequently, during the Early
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
, activity seems to have moved to the nearby area of Khirbet Makhneh el-Fauqa.The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land
Volume 3. Ephraim Stern, ed. Israel Exploration Society & Carta, 1993
Some publications claim that Shechem is mentioned in the third-millennium
Ebla tablets The Ebla tablets are a collection of as many as 1,800 complete clay tablets, 4,700 fragments, and many thousands of minor chips found in the palace archives of the ancient city of Ebla, Syria. The tablets were discovered by Italian archaeologist ...
, but this has been denied by competent archaeologists. The first substantial building activity at Shechem dates from the Middle Bronze Age IIA (c. 1900 BCE). It became a very substantial
Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have ...

Canaan
ite settlement, and was attacked by Egypt, as mentioned in the
Sebek-khu Stele The Sebek-khu Stele, also known as the Stele of Khu-sobek, is an inscription in honour of a man named Sebek-khu (Khu-sobek), who lived during the reign of Senusret III (reign: 1878 – 1839 BC) discovered by John Garstang in 1901 outside Khu-sobe ...

Sebek-khu Stele
, an
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning the and the of . It is bordered by the to , the () and to , the to the east, to , and to . In the northeast, the , which is the northern arm of the R ...

Egypt
ian
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...
of a noble at the court of
Senusret III Khakaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or the hellenised form, Sesostris III) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth ...

Senusret III
(c. 1880–1840 BCE). In the Amarna Letters of about 1350 BCE, ''Šakmu'' (i.e., Shechem) was the center of a kingdom carved out by
Labaya Labaya (also transliterated as Labayu or Lib'ayu) was a 14th-century BCE ruler or warlord in the central hill country of southern . He lived contemporaneously with Pharaoh . Labaya is mentioned in several of the (abbreviated "EA", for 'el '). He ...
(or Labayu), a Canaanite warlord who recruited mercenaries from among the
Habiru Habiru (sometimes written as Hapiru, and more accurately as ʿApiru, meaning "dusty, dirty"; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & C ...

Habiru
. Labaya was the author of three Amarna letters ( EA 252, EA 253, and EA 254), and his name appears in 11 of the other 382 letters, referred to 28 times, with the basic topic of the letter, being Labaya himself, and his relationship with the rebelling, countryside Habiru. Shechem may be identical to the ''Sakama'' mentioned in an account dated to the
Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt (notated Dynasty XIX), also known as the Ramessid dynasty, is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom of Egypt, New Kingdom period, lasting from 1292 BC to 1189 BC. The 19th Dynasty and ...
(around 1200 BCE). (See
Papyrus Anastasi I{{More footnotes, date=March 2017 Papyrus Anastasi I (officially designated papyrus British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London. It is considered a fashionable residential area, ...
).


Classical antiquity

During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Shechem was the main settlement of the
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
, whose religious center stood on Mount Gerizim, just outside the town. In 6 CE, Shechem was annexed to the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman
Province of Judea. Of the Samaritans of Sichem not a few rose up in arms on Mt. Gerizim at the time of the Galilean rebellion (67 CE), which was part of the
First Jewish–Roman War The First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), sometimes called the Great Jewish Revolt ( he, המרד הגדול '), or The Jewish War, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Isra ...
. The city was very likely destroyed by Cerealis, during that war. In 72 CE, a new city, Flavia Neapolis, was built by
Vespasian Vespasian (; la, Vespasianus ; 17 November AD 9 – 23/24 June 79) was a Roman emperor who reigned from 69 to 79 AD. The fourth and last emperor who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors, he founded the Flavian dynasty that ruled the Empire ...

Vespasian
2 kilometers to the west of the old one. This city's name was eventually corrupted to the modern
Nablus Nablus ( ; ar, نابلس, Nābulus ; he, שכם, Šəḵem, Biblical ', ''Škem''; el, Νεάπολις, Νeápolis) is a city in the northern , approximately north of (approximately by road), with a population of 126,132.PCBS02007 Loca ...

Nablus
.
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century and military leader, best known for ', who was born in —then part of —to a father of descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry. He initially fought a ...

Josephus
, writing in about 90 CE (''
Jewish Antiquities ''Antiquities of the Jews'' ( la, Antiquitates Iudaicae; el, Ἰουδαϊκὴ ἀρχαιολογία, ''Ioudaikē archaiologia'') is a 20-volume historiographical work, written in Greek, by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the 13th ye ...
'' 4.8.44), placed the city between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. Elsewhere he refers to it as Neapolis. In Emperor
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

Hadrian
's reign, the temple on Mt. Gerizim was restored and dedicated to Jupiter. Like Shechem, Neapolis had a very early Christian community, including the early saint
Justin Martyr Justin Martyr ( el, Ἰουστῖνος ὁ μάρτυς, Ioustinos ho martys; c. 100 – c. 165) was an early Christian apologist and philosopher. Most of his works are lost, but two apologies and a dialogue did survive. The ''First Apology ...

Justin Martyr
; we hear even of bishops of Neapolis. On several occasions the Christians suffered greatly from the Samaritans. In 474 the emperor, to avenge what Christians considered an unjust attack by the Samaritans, deprived the latter of Mt. Gerizim and gave it to the Christians, who built on it a church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.


Later history

The city of Nablus was islamicized in the Abbasid and Ottoman periods. In 1903 near Nablus, a German party of archaeologists led by Dr. Hermann Thiersch stumbled upon the site called
Tell Balata Tell Balata ( ar, تل بلاطة) is the site of the remains of an ancient Canaanite/Israelite city located in the Palestinians, Palestinian West Bank. The built-up area of Balata al-Balad, Balata, a Palestinian village and suburb of Nablus, covers ...

Tell Balata
and now identified as ancient Shechem. Nablus is still referred to as Shechem by Israelis and Hebrew speakers.


The Bible


In the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

Shechem first appears in the Hebrew Bible in
Genesis Genesis may refer to: Literature and comics * Genesis (DC Comics), a 1997 DC Comics crossover * Genesis (Marvel Comics), a Marvel Comics villain * Genesis, a fictional character from the ''Preacher (comics), Preacher'' comic-book series * ''Genes ...

Genesis
12:6–8, which says that
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...

Abraham
reached the "great tree of
Moreh Givat HaMoreh (Hebrew: גבעת המורה) is a hill in northern Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a count ...
" at Shechem and offered sacrifice nearby. Genesis,
Deuteronomy The Book of Deuteronomy (literally "second law" from Greek ''deuteros'' + ''nomos'') is the fifth book of the Jewish , where it is called ''Devarim'' ( he, דְּבָרִים), "the words f Moses F, or f, is the sixth Letter (alphabet), let ...
,
Joshua Joshua () or Yehoshua ( he, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ''Yəhōšūaʿ'') ''Yēšūʿ''; syr, ܝܫܘܥ ܒܪ ܢܘܢ ''Yəšūʿ bar Nōn''; el, Ἰησοῦς, ar , يُوشَعُ ٱبْنُ نُونٍ '' Yūšaʿ ibn Nūn''; la, Iosue functioned ...
and
Judges A judge is an official who presides over a court. Judge or Judges may also refer to: Roles *Judge, an alternative name for an adjudicator in a competition in theatre, music, sport, etc. *Judge, an alternative name/aviator call sign for a member ...
hallow Shechem over all other cities of the land of Israel. According to Genesis (12:6–7) Abram "built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him… and had given that land to his descendants" at Shechem. The Bible states that on this occasion, God confirmed the
covenant Covenant may refer to: Religion * Covenant (religion) In religion, a covenant is a formal alliance or agreement made by God with a religious community or with humanity in general. The concept, central to the Abrahamic religions The Abraha ...
he had first made with Abraham in Harran, regarding the possession of the land of Canaan. In Jewish tradition, the old name was understood in terms of the Hebrew word ''shékém'' – "shoulder,
saddle The saddle is a supportive structure for a rider of an animal, fastened to Mammal#Anatomy, an animal's back by a girth (tack), girth. The most common type is the equestrian saddle designed for a Back (horse), horse. However, specialized sad ...
", corresponding to the mountainous configuration of the place. On a later sojourn, two sons of
Jacob Jacob (; ; ar, يَعْقُوب, Yaʿqūb; gr, Ἰακώβ, Iakṓb), later given the name Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State ...

Jacob
,
Simeon (Hebrew Bible) According to the Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis,, "''Bərēšīṯ''", "In hebeginning" the first book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew languag ...
and
Levi Levi (; ) was, according to the Book of Genesis The Book of Genesis,, "''Bərēšīṯ''", "In hebeginning" the first book of the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection o ...

Levi
, avenged their sister
Dinah In the Book of Genesis, Dinah (; ) was the daughter of Jacob, one of the Patriarchs (Bible), patriarchs of the Israelites, and Leah, his first wife. The episode of her violation by Shechem, son of a Canaanite or Hivite prince, and the subsequen ...

Dinah
's rape by "
Shechem Shechem , also spelled Sichem (; he, שְׁכָם / Standard ''Šəḵem'' Tiberian ''Šeḵem'', "shoulder"; grc, Συχέμ LXX), was a Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic: ; Phoenician lang ...
the son of Hamor the
Hivite The Hivites ( he, ''Ḥīvvīm'') were one group of descendants of Canaan A 1692 map of Canaan, by Philip Lea Canaan (; Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semiti ...
, the prince of the land" of Shechem. Shimon and Levi said to the Shechemites that, if "every male among you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you and take your daughters to ourselves." Once the Shechemites agree to the mass circumcision, however, Jacob's sons repay them by killing all of the city's male inhabitants. Following the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan after their
Exodus Exodus or the Exodus may refer to: Religion *Book of Exodus, second book of the Hebrew Torah and the Christian Bible *The Exodus, the biblical story of the migration of the ancient Israelites from Egypt into Canaan Historical events * Jujuy E ...

Exodus
from Egypt, according to the biblical narrative,
Joshua Joshua () or Yehoshua ( he, יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ''Yəhōšūaʿ'') ''Yēšūʿ''; syr, ܝܫܘܥ ܒܪ ܢܘܢ ''Yəšūʿ bar Nōn''; el, Ἰησοῦς, ar , يُوشَعُ ٱبْنُ نُونٍ '' Yūšaʿ ibn Nūn''; la, Iosue functioned ...

Joshua
assembled the Israelites at Shechem and asked them to choose between serving the GOD of Abraham who had delivered them from Egypt, or the false gods which had served on the other side of the
Euphrates River The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography, regions are a ...
, or the gods of the
Amorites The Amorites (; Sumerian 𒈥𒌅 ''MAR.TU''; AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''Th ...

Amorites
in whose land they now lived. The people chose to serve the GOD of the Bible, a decision which Joshua recorded in the Book of the Law of God, and he then erected a memorial stone "under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord" in Shechem. The oak is associated with the Oak of
Moreh Givat HaMoreh (Hebrew: גבעת המורה) is a hill in northern Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל; ar, إِسْرَائِيل), officially known as the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, '), is a count ...
where Abram had set up camp during his travels in this area. Shechem and its surrounding lands were given as a
Levitical city In the Hebrew Bible, the Levitical cities were 48 cities in ancient Ancient Israel, Israel set aside for the tribe of Levi, who were not allocated their own territorial land when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. Book of Numbers, Numbers ...
to the
Kohathites The Kohathites were one of the four main divisions among the Levites A Levite (or Levi) (, ) is a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating ...
. Owing to its central position, no less than to the presence in the neighborhood of places hallowed by the memory of Abraham (Genesis 12:6, 7; 34:5),
Jacob's Well Jacob's Well ( ar, بئر يعقوب, ''Bir Ya'qub'', gr, Φρέαρ του Ιακώβ, ''Fréar tou Iakóv'', he, באר יעקב, ''Be'er Yaaqov''; also known as Jacob's fountain and Well of Sychar) is a deep well constructed from rock that ha ...

Jacob's Well
(Genesis 33:18–19; 34:2, etc.), and (Joshua 24:32), the city was destined to play an important part in the history of Israel. , whose home was at
Ophrah Ophrah ( he, עֹפְרָה), ( or ) is a name in the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language fam ...
, visited Shechem, and his concubine who lived there was mother of his son
Abimelech Abimelech (also spelled Abimelek or Avimelech; ) was the name of multiple mentioned in the . Etymology The name or title ''Abimelech'' is formed from Hebrew words for "father" and "king," and may be interpreted in a variety of ways, including ...
(
Judges A judge is an official who presides over a court. Judge or Judges may also refer to: Roles *Judge, an alternative name for an adjudicator in a competition in theatre, music, sport, etc. *Judge, an alternative name/aviator call sign for a member ...
8:31). She came from one of the leading Shechemite families who were influential with the "Lords of Shechem" (Judges 9:1–3, wording of the
New Revised Standard Version The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) is an of the published in 1989 by the . It is a revision of the , which was itself an update of the .New American Bible Revised Edition The New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) is an English-language Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek l ...
).Gill's Exposition
of Judges 9, accessed 29 October 2016
After Gideon's death, Abimelech was made king (Judges 9:1–45).
Jotham Jotham or Yotam (; el, Ιωαθαμ, Ioatham; la, Joatham) was the eleventh king of Judah Judah may refer to: Historical ethnic, political and geographic terms The name was passed on, successively, from the biblical figure of Judah, to the I ...
, the youngest son of Gideon, made an allegorical speech on
Mount Gerizim Mount Gerizim (; Samaritan Hebrew Samaritan Hebrew () is a reading tradition used liturgically by the Samaritans The Samaritans (; Samaritan Hebrew: , ' (, 'Guardians/Keepers/Watchers (of the Torah)'); he, שומרונים, ''Shomronim'' ...
in which he warned the people of Shechem about Abimelech's future tyranny (Judges 9:7–20). When the city rose in rebellion three years later, Abimelech took it, utterly destroyed it, and burnt the temple of Baal-berith where the people had fled for safety. The city was rebuilt in the 10th century BC and was probably the capital of
Ephraim Ephraim (; he, אֶפְרָיִם/, ''ʾEfrayim'') was, according to the Book of Genesis, the second son of Joseph (Genesis), Joseph and Asenath. Asenath was an Ancient Egypt, Egyptian woman whom Pharaoh gave to Joseph as wife, and the daughter ...
(1 Kings 4). Shechem was the place appointed, after
Solomon Solomon (; he, , ), ''Šlēmūn''; : سُلَيْمَان ', also : ' or '; el, Σολομών ''Solomōn''; : Salomon) also called Jedidiah (, ), was, according to the and Christian , a fabulously wealthy and wise monarch of the who suc ...

Solomon
's death, for the meeting of the people of Israel and the investiture of his son
Rehoboam Rehoboam (; , ; , ; la, Roboam) was, according to the Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (; Hebrew: , or ), is the Biblical canon, canonical collection of Hebrew language, Hebrew scriptures, including the Torah, the Nevi'im, and the Ket ...
as king; the meeting ended in the secession of the ten northern tribes, and Shechem, fortified by
Jeroboam Jeroboam I (; Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and thei ...

Jeroboam
, became the capital of the new kingdom (1 Kings 12:1; 14:17; 2
Chronicles Chronicles may refer to: * ''Books of Chronicles The Book of Chronicles ( he, דִּבְרֵי־הַיָּמִים ) is a Hebrew language, Hebrew prose work constituting part of Judaism, Jewish and Christian scripture. It contains a genealogy s ...
10:1). After the kings of Israel moved, first to Tirzah () and later on to
Samaria Samaria, , also known as , 'Nablus Mountains' () is a historical and biblical name used for the central region of the Land of Israel, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south. For the beginning of the Common Era, Josephus set t ...

Samaria
, Shechem lost its importance, and we do not hear of it until after the fall of Jerusalem (587 BC; ). The events connected with the restoration were to bring it again into prominence. When, on his second visit to Jerusalem,
Nehemiah Nehemiah is the central figure of the Book of Nehemiah, which describes his work in rebuilding Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. He was governor of Yehud Medinata, Persian Judea under Artaxerxes I of Persia (465–424 BC). The name i ...

Nehemiah
expelled the grandson of the high priest
EliashibEliashib ( ''’Elyāšîḇ'', "El (God), El restores") the High Priest is mentioned in Book of Nehemiah, Nehemiah 12:10,22 and 3:1, 20-21,13:28 and possibly the Book of Ezra of the Hebrew Bible as (grand)father (Nehemiah 12:22) of the high priest J ...
(probably the Manasse of Josephus, ''Antiquities'', XI, vii, viii) and with him the many Jews, priests and laymen, who sided with the rebel, these betook themselves to Shechem; a schismatic temple was then erected on Mount Garizim and thus Shechem became the "holy city" of the
Samaritans Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an originating from the of historical . They are native to the and adhere to , an , and in t ...

Samaritans
. The latter, who were left unmolested while the orthodox Jews were chafing under the heavy hand of
Antiochus IV Antiochus IV Epiphanes (; grc, Ἀντίοχος ὁ Ἐπιφανής, ''Antíochos ho Epiphanḗs'', "God Manifest"; c. 215 BC – November/December 164 BC) was a Hellenistic king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early m ...
( ''Antiquities'', XII, v, 5, see also Antinomianism in the Books of the Maccabees) and welcomed with open arms every renegade who came to them from Jerusalem (Antiq., XI, viii, 7), fell about 128 BC before
John Hyrcanus John Hyrcanus (; ''Yōḥānān Hurqanōs''; grc, Ἰωάννης Ὑρκανός, Iōánnēs Hurkanós) was a (an) and Jewish of the 2nd century BCE (born 164 BCE, reigned from 134 BCE until his death in 104 BCE). In he is often referred t ...

John Hyrcanus
, and their temple was destroyed (''Antiquities'', XIII, ix, 1).


New Testament

Shechem is mentioned in The Book of Acts (). It is not known whether the
Samaritan Samaritans (; ; he, שומרונים, translit=Shomronim; ar, السامريون, translit=as-Sāmiriyyūn) or Samaritan people are members of an ethnoreligious group originating from the Israelites of historical History of ancient Israel a ...

Samaritan
city of Sychar in the
Gospel of John The Gospel according to John ( el, Εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ἰωάννην, translit=Euangélion katà Iōánnēn, also known as the Gospel of John, or simply John) is the fourth of the four canonical gospels. It contains a highly sc ...
( refers to Shechem or to another nearby village: "So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son
Joseph Joseph is a common masculine given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). The form "Joseph" is used mostly in English, French and partially German-speaking (alongside "Josef") countries. This spelling is also found as a variant in th ...

Joseph
." mentions one of the women of Sychar going to
Jacob's Well Jacob's Well ( ar, بئر يعقوب, ''Bir Ya'qub'', gr, Φρέαρ του Ιακώβ, ''Fréar tou Iakóv'', he, באר יעקב, ''Be'er Yaaqov''; also known as Jacob's fountain and Well of Sychar) is a deep well constructed from rock that ha ...

Jacob's Well
. Some scholars believe the location of Sychar is at the foot of
Mount Ebal Mount Ebal ( ar, جبل عيبال ''Jabal ‘Aybāl''; he, הר עיבל ''Har ‘Eival'') is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the city of Nablus in the West Bank The West Bank ( ar, الضفة الغربية '; he, ...
, but other scholars disagree because the proposed location is 1 km from Jacob's Well, which they think is not close enough for the women of Sychar to have fetched their water there. Based on John 4:15, these scholars have argued that Shechem is the Samaritan city of Sychar described in the Gospel of John. Shechem is also the location of Jacob's Well, where describes
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
' meeting with the woman of
Samaria Samaria, , also known as , 'Nablus Mountains' () is a historical and biblical name used for the central region of the Land of Israel, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south. For the beginning of the Common Era, Josephus set t ...

Samaria
. Some of its inhabitants were of the number of the "Samaritans" who believed in
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
when he tarried two days in the neighborhood (). The city must have been visited by the
Apostles upright=1.35, Jesus and his Twelve Apostles, Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla">Chi_Rho.html" ;"title="fresco with the Chi Rho">Chi-Rho symbol ☧, Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome In Christian theology and ecclesiology, apostles, parti ...

Apostles
on their way from Samaria to Jerusalem ().


Distinguish from

*Sichem is an old spelling for
Zichem Zichem is a village in Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and t ...

Zichem
, a Flemish municipality which was named after the biblical Sichem; it is now merged into
Scherpenheuvel-Zichem Scherpenheuvel-Zichem (; french: Montaigu-Zichem) is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclope ...
. *Sekem is an
anthroposophical Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded in the early 20th century by the esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spirituality, spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers ...
and
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic foundation and farming village centered on principles for
biodynamic agriculture Biodynamic agriculture is a form of alternative agriculture very similar to organic farming, but it includes various esoteric concepts drawn from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Initially developed in 1924, it was the first of the organi ...
in Egypt; this name refers to Shechem, and to the Ancient Egyptian
hieroglyph A hieroglyph (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximat ...
pronounced 'Sekem' meaning '
vitality Vitality (, , ) is the capacity to live, grow, or develop. More simply it is the property of having life. The perception of vitality is regarded as a basic psychological drive and, in philosophy, a component to the will to live. As such, people ...

vitality
' or 'life'.


See also

* Biblical archaeology * Kingdom of Israel


References


Sources

* Cornel Heinsdorff: "Christus, Nikodemus und die Samaritanerin am Jakobsbrunnen", Berlin/New York 2003, 218–220, *


External links

*
Full archaeological and biblical discussion of Shechem

Guide to the Jewish Communities around Shechem

''Jewish Encyclopedia:''
Shechem {{Authority control
Archaeological sites in the West Bank {{DEFAULTSORT:Archaeological Sites In The West Bank Archaeological sites in the State of Palestine History of the West Bank West Bank Buildings and structures in the West Bank ...
Samaritan culture and history Hebrew Bible cities Torah cities Canaanite cities Levitical cities Habiru Razed cities Former populated places in the State of Palestine Nablus
Kingdom of Israel (Samaria)Articles relating to the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) (c. 930–720 BCE). Ancient Israel and Judah Books of Kings Former monarchies of Asia, Israel, Kingdom of Jewish polities, Israel Political entities in the Land of Israel Samaria Wikipedia catego ...