Shechem and surrounding area

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Genesis 12:6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. The Canaanite was then in the land.

Genesis 33:18 Jacob came in peace to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Paddan Aram; and encamped before the city.

Genesis 35:4 They gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the rings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

Genesis 37:12 His brothers went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

Genesis 37:13 Israel said to Joseph, "Aren't your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them." He said to him, "Here I am."

Genesis 37:14 He said to him, "Go now, see whether it is well with your brothers, and well with the flock; and bring me word again." So he sent him out of the valley of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Joshua 17:7 The border of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, which is before Shechem. The border went along to the right hand, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah.

Joshua 20:7 They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron) in the hill country of Judah.

Joshua 21:21 They gave them Shechem with its suburbs in the hill country of Ephraim, the city of refuge for the manslayer, and Gezer with its suburbs,

Joshua 24:1 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Joshua 24:25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Joshua 24:32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

Judges 8:31 His concubine who was in Shechem, she also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech.

Judges 9:1 Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother's brothers, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying,

Judges 9:2 "Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shechem,'Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are seventy persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?' Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh."

Judges 9:3 His mother's brothers spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, "He is our brother."

Judges 9:6 All the men of Shechem assembled themselves together, and all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king, by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.

Judges 9:7 When they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said to them, "Listen to me, you men of Shechem, that God may listen to you.

Judges 9:18 and you have risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, seventy persons, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother);

Judges 9:20 but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech."

Judges 9:23 God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

Judges 9:24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers.

Judges 9:25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

Judges 9:26 Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him.

Judges 9:28 Gaal the son of Ebed said, "Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn't he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: but why should we serve him?

Judges 9:31 He sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, "Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers are come to Shechem; and behold, they constrain the city to take part against you.

Judges 9:34 Abimelech rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Judges 9:39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech.

Judges 9:41 Abimelech lived at Arumah: and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

Judges 9:57 and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem did God requite on their heads: and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

Judges 21:19 They said, "Behold, there is a feast of Yahweh from year to year in Shiloh, which is on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah."

1 Kings 12:1 Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

1 Kings 12:25 Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived in it; and he went out from there, and built Penuel.

1 Chronicles 6:67 They gave to them the cities of refuge, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim with its suburbs; Gezer also with its suburbs,

1 Chronicles 7:28 Their possessions and habitations were Bethel and its towns, and eastward Naaran, and westward Gezer, with its towns; Shechem also and its towns, to Azzah and its towns;

2 Chronicles 10:1 Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king.

2 Chronicles 10:2 It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt.

Jeremiah 41:5 that there came men from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men, having their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and having cut themselves, with meal offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to the house of Yahweh.

Hosea 6:9 As gangs of robbers wait to ambush a man, so the company of priests murder in the way toward Shechem, committing shameful crimes.

Acts 7:16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.


she'-kem (shekhem, "shoulder"; Suchem, he Sikima, ta Sikima, etc.; the King James Version gives "Sichem" in Genesis 12:6; and "Sychem" in Acts 7:16):

1. Historical:

This place is first mentioned in connection with Abraham's journey from Haran. At the oak of Moreh in the vicinity he reared his first altar to the Lord in Palestine (Genesis 12:6 f). It was doubtless by this oak that Jacob, on his return from Paddan-aram, buried "the strange (the American Standard Revised Version "foreign") gods" (Genesis 35:4). Hither he had come after his meeting with Esau (Genesis 33:18). Eusebius, in Onomasticon, here identifies Shechem with Shalem; but see SHALEM. To the East of the city Jacob pitched his tent in a "parcel of ground" which he had bought from Hamor, Shechem's father (Genesis 33:19). Here also he raised an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel, "God, the God of Israel" (Genesis 33:20). Then follows the story of Dinah's defilement by Shechem, son of the city's chief; and of the treacherous and terrible vengeance exacted by Simeon and Levi (Genesis 34). To the rich pasture land near Shechem Joseph came to seek his brethren (Genesis 37:12). It is mentioned as lying to the West of Michmethath (el-Makhneh) on the boundary of Manasseh (Joshua 17:7). It was in the territory of Ephraim; it was made a city of refuge, and assigned to the Kohathite Levites (Joshua 20:7; Joshua 21:21). Near the city the Law was promulgated (Deuteronomy 27:11 Joshua 8:33). When his end was approaching Joshua gathered the tribes of Israel here and addressed to them his final words of counsel and exhortation (chapter 24). Under the oak in the neighboring sanctuary he set up the stone of witness (24:26). The war of conquest being done, Joseph's bones were buried in the parcel of ground which Jacob had bought, and which fell to the lot of Joseph's descendants (24:33). Abimelech, whose mother was a native of the city, persuaded the men of Shechem to make him king (Judges 9:1-6), evidently seeking a certain consecration from association with "the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem." Jotham's parable was spoken from the cliff of Gerizim overhanging the town (Judges 9:7). After a reign of three years Abimelech was rejected by the people. He captured the city, razed it to the foundations, and sowed it with salt. It was then the seat of Canaanite idolatry, the temple of Baal-berith being here (Judges 9:4, 46). In the time of the kings we find that the city was once more a gathering-place of the nation. It was evidently the center, especially for the northern tribes; and hither Rehoboam came in the hope of getting his succession to the throne confirmed (1 Kings 12:1 2 Chronicles 10:1). At the disruption Jeroboam fortified the city and made it his residence (2 Chronicles 10:25; Ant, VIII, viii, 4). The capital of the Northern Kingdom was moved, however, first to Tirzah and then to Samaria, and Shechem declined in political importance. Indeed it is not named again in the history of the monarchy. Apparently there were Israelites in it after the captivity, some of whom on their way to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem met a tragic fate at the hands of Ishmael ben Nethaniah (Jeremiah 41:5). It became the central city of the Samaritans, whose shrine was built on Mt. Gerizim (Sirach 50:26; Ant, XI, viii, 6; XII, i, 1; XIII, iii, 4). Shechem was captured by John Hyrcanus in 132 B.C. (Ant., XIII, ix, 1; BJ, I, ii, 6). It appears in the New Testament only in the speech of Stephen (Acts 7:16, King James Version "Sychem"). Some (e.g. Smith, DB, under the word) would identify it with Sychar of John 4:5; but see SYCHAR. Under the Romans it became Flavia Neapolis. In later times it was the seat of a bishopric; the names of five occupants of the see are known.

2. Location and Physical Features:

There is no doubt as to the situation of ancient Shechem. It lay in the pass which cuts through Mts. Ephraim, Ebal and Gerizim, guarding it on the North and South respectively. Along this line runs the great road which from time immemorial has formed the easiest and the quickest means of communication between the East of the Jordan and the sea. It must have been a place of strength from antiquity. The name seems to occur in Travels of a Mohar (Max Muller, Asien u. Europa, 394), "Mountain of Sahama" probably referring to Ebal or Gerizim. The ancient city may have lain somewhat farther East than the modern Nablus, in which the Roman name Neapolis survives. The situation is one of great beauty. The city lies close to the foot of Gerizim. The terraced slopes of the mountain rise steeply on the South. Across the valley, musical with the sound of running water, the great bulk of Ebal rises on the North, its sides, shaggy with prickly pear, sliding down into grain fields and orchards. The copious springs which supply abundance of water rise at the base of Gerizim. The fruitful and well-wooded valley winds westward among the hills. It is traversed by the carriage road leading to Jaffa and the sea. Eastward the valley opens upon the plain of Makhneh. To the East of the city, in a recess at the base of Gerizim, is the sanctuary known as Rijal el-`Amud, literally, "men of the column" or "pillar," where some would locate the ancient "oak of Moreh" or "of the pillar." Others would find it in a little village farther East with a fine spring, called BalaTa, a name which may be connected with balluT, "oak." Still farther to the East and near the base of Ebal is the traditional tomb of Joseph, a little white-domed building beside a luxuriant orchard. On the slope of the mountain beyond is the village of `Askar; see SYCHAR. To the South of the vale is the traditional Well of Jacob; see JACOB'S WELL. To the Southwest of the city is a small mosque on the spot where Jacob is said to have mourned over the blood-stained coat of Joseph. In the neighboring minaret is a stone whereon the Ten Commandments are engraved in Samaritan characters. The main center of interest in the town is the synagogue of the Samaritans, with their ancient manuscript of the Pentateuch.

3. Modern Shechem:

The modern town contains about 20,000 inhabitants, the great body of them being Moslems. There are some 700 or 800 Christians, chiefly belonging to the Greek Orthodox church. The Samaritans do not total more than 200. The place is still the market for a wide district, both East and West of Jordan. A considerable trade is done in cotton and wool. Soap is manufactured in large quantities, oil for this purpose being plentifully supplied by the olive groves. Tanning and the manufacture of leather goods are also carried on. In old times the slopes of Ebal were covered with vineyards; but these formed a source of temptation to the "faithful." They were therefore removed by authority, and their place taken by the prickly pears mentioned above.

W. Ewing

SHECHEM, a town in the valley between the mountains Ebal and Gerizim, now Nablous, and supposed to be 2200 ft. above the Mediterranean. Pop. in 1880 about 10,000. It is 30 ms. n. of Jerusalem.

SICHEM, same as Shechem.

Strong's Greek
G4966: Suchem

Shechem, a city in Samaria

Shebarim (Ai)
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