Who is Shechem in the Bible?
If you’re looking for an answer to the question, “Who is Shechem in the Bible?” then you’ve come to the right place. Learn more about the early history of this town, its relationship to Abimelech, and its importance for Israel. We’ll also look at the Roman ruins of Shechem.
The story of Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well takes place near the Old Testament town of Shechem. The city was mentioned sixty times in the Old Testament, but by the time of Jesus, it had been abandoned. However, the small village of Sychar still existed nearby, and this village is mentioned in the gospel of John. Yet most Bible studies and commentaries do not acknowledge Shechem’s important role in the story of salvation.
Shechem first appears in the Biblical narrative in Genesis 12:6ff. When Abram left Haran for Canaan, he stopped at the oak of Moreh, near Shechem. There, he encountered the Canaanites, and Yahweh appeared to him. He then sought to renew the covenant with Yahweh and built an altar.
Shechem became the city of refuge for the Israelites, and it was assigned to the sons of Kohath as a Levitical city. Abimelech’s mother was a Shechemite. After Gideon died, Abimelech went to Shechem and persuaded the city’s people to make him king.
The history of Shechem is also interwoven with that of the Samaritans and Gerizim. Shechem was also the location of the coronation of Solomon, and its temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus in B.C. 129. The biblical account says that this event was a precursor to many of the troubles that would later plague Israel.
Its early history
Shechem’s early history in the Bible begins with the birth of Abram in Genesis 12:6. The narrative implies that Joseph will be the next in line for the birthright. Later, the two sons of Jacob are given birthrights, and Joseph’s older brothers are jealous of him. Later, Jacob sends Joseph to Shechem to check on them. After Jacob finds that Joseph’s brothers are not cooperating with him, he sells them into slavery.
Early historians believe that Shechem was the city of the patriarchs. The city was located in central Israel in a fertile valley between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. It was about 35 miles north of Jerusalem and seven miles south of Samaria. As such, it was the site of Abraham’s first contact with God. Abraham is said to have worshipped God at Shechem, so the name Shalem has been connected to this town.
After the Assyrian conquest of Israel, Shechem became a centre for idolatrous worship. This syncretism of Jewish and pagan beliefs resulted in a distorted form of worship. In addition, the Samaritans chose to worship other gods, breaking the promise to Joshua 24.
Shechem continued to exist and have some significance during the times of Jeremiah and Hosea. During the intertestamental period, it became an important Samaritan city. In the 4th century B.C., it was destroyed by John Hyrcanus. After this, the city remained a ruin until Tierschin rediscovered it in 1901.
Its relationship to Abimelech
Abimelech was considered a king by the “lords of Shechem” (9:6). In this context, the word “king” is used as there is no other term for the type of rulers in such societies. These rulers were chosen by the city and were dependent on it.
Zebal, the patriarch of Shechem, sent messengers to Abimelech in response to the events in Shechem. These messengers emphasized that Abimelech was a descendant of Hamor the Hivite, and sought support from the Hivite inhabitants of Shechem. Despite this, Abimelech was eventually defeated and forced to withdraw to Thebez. In this incident, the Israelites lost their allies and were driven out of Shechem.
The fortress of the city was an underground crypt within a temple complex. The town leaders took refuge in this crypt. While they were inside, Abimelech led his men to the woods of Mount Zalmon, which is typically identified as the wooded slope of Mount Gerizim or Mount Ebal. The name Zalmon means shadow or dark mountain.
Abimelech’s rule over Israel lasted three years. In this time, God sent discord between Abimelech and Shechem’s leaders. Abimelech then murdered the seventy sons of Jerubbaal. The blood of these sons would flow against the leaders of Shechem.
Its significance to Israel
The town of Shechem was a significant place in the history of Israel. During the time of Solomon, Israel was a kingdom, and Shechem was the capital of that kingdom. During the time of King Rehoboam, after Solomon’s death, all of Israel gathered in Shechem to crown him as king. The town was also a major site in the story of Jeroboam, who revolted against Solomon and returned from exile to lead the people away from God.
The town was situated in a rich plain called Mukhna. The well that Jacob dug there gave the city a great deal of value. This well enabled the people to avoid being dependent on the neighbors for water. After the Hebrews conquered the land, the city was given to the Levites, and was considered a place of refuge for those who fled to the area.
The town was an important center for Jewish rituals. It was also an important site for the re-liquification of the covenant. Located at the confluence of two mountain ranges, Shechem was a key location in the history of the nation. During the time of Joshua, Shechem was an important city, and the city was also an important place of worship. In the Bible, the town is also mentioned as a place where Jesus met a woman at the well.
While there are a number of competing theories regarding the location of the ancient city, the fact remains that Israel emerged from within Canaan. According to Norman K. Gottwald, “Israel emerged from within Canaan,” and “Shechem was a neutral Canaanite city.” According to Eusebius, the city was a center of worship for Ba’al-berith. This god was worshipped at both a tree outside the city and a sacred site inside the city. Judges 9:6 mentions a temple for Ba’al-berith. In addition, the town became a bishopric under the Romans.
Its location in Mount Ephraim
The Bible records Shechem’s location in Mount Ephraimit as being north of Bethel on the high road from Jerusalem. The city is located in the hill country of Mount Ephraim, immediately below Mount Gerizim. It was a major commercial center that traded in livestock, local produce, and pottery. The city was inhabited between the late Hellenic period and the middle Bronze Age.
The city was an important place to the Israelites during the time of Joshua, who called the nation to the mountain city. He reminded them of their past as idolaters. Joshua gathered the leaders and elders of the nation to Shechem, and told them to worship God there.
According to the Bible, Shechem was the original settlement of Jacob. It was near two sacred mountains, Gerizim and Ebal. Both of these mountains were sacred to the people and were the sites of important blessing and cursing ceremonies. The city of Shechem was home to Joshua, the national hero of Ephraim. From then until the establishment of Jerusalem by King David, Shechem was an important resort for large numbers of people from all over the land.
The city of Shechem first appears in the Bible in Genesis 12:6-8. Abraham’s journey to Canaan was completed at Shechem, where he reached the “great tree of Moreh.” Abraham built an altar to the Lord there and reaffirmed the covenant he had made with God in Ur.
Its connection to Jacob
In the Bible, there are multiple references to Shechem. The earliest mention of the town dates back to Joseph, who preached the Word in Sychem. The second reference to the town is found in Jos 24:32, where Joseph and other patriarchs are mentioned. This city was also the location of the Savior’s conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. It is unclear why the town was called “Sychar” by the New Testament writers, though it is likely that the word used in the Gospels is a mispronunciation of the word’suk’ in the Jewish language. The Savior stayed two days in Sychar.
Shechem’s location in the Bible is important because it served as the birthplace of the Israelite nation. The town was populated by the Hivite people and Jacob bought a field from the city’s chief, Hamor. He later bequeathed this land to his son Joseph, which was a fertile plain in the Mukhna River. In addition, Jacob dug a well in the field that increased the value of his land.
The city became a center for the Law and became the seat of the Levites. As a result, the city became an important site of law promulgation and a sanctuary. After the conquest of the land, Joshua buried Joseph’s bones there. He later called the nation of Israel to Shechem.