Shechem

Also known as Nablus, Tel/Tell Balatah, Nabulus, Neapolis, Shakim, Shekhem, Sichem, Sychar, Sychem

Mounts Gerizim and Ebal

Located between Mt. Gerizim (left) and Mt. Ebal (right) Shechem is preeminent in the biblical record, beginning with God's promise of the land to Abraham.

Later Jacob would return here with his family and settle shortly.  During the Conquest, the twelve tribes gathered on these two hills to recite God's Law and the blessings and curses that accompanied obedience and disobedience.

Mount Gerizim, Shechem, Mount Ebal from east

 

Middle Bronze wall at Shechem

Middle Bronze Wall

Vulnerable by location, Shechem was strongly fortified from its earliest history.  This wall was built of Cyclopean stones and continued in use through the Late Bronze Age without significant changes.

In the background, Mount Gerizim was the location of the Samaritan temple in the 4th-2nd centuries BC. 

 

Middle Bronze Gate

Part of the city's fortifications throughout the second millennium, this gate is typical for the Middle Bronze period with three piers and two chambers.  Only the stone foundations remain.

This gate most likely was in use in the time of Jacob and certainly was the main gate of the city in the days of Abimelech (Judges 9).

Middle Bronze gate at Shechem

 

Shechem from Mount Gerizim

Biblical Shechem

1. Abraham promised the land.
2. Jacob buys a plot of land; Dinah is raped.
3. Jacob's sons are tending the sheep here before Joseph finds them in Dothan.
4. The covenant is confirmed during the Conquest.
5. The city is set aside as a levitical city and a city of refuge.
6. Joseph is buried here.
7. The ten tribes reject Rehoboam.

 

Temple of Baal Berith

This fortified temple dates to the MB and LB periods and has walls 17 feet thick.  The excavators identified this building with the Temple of Baal Berith mentioned in Judges 9.  From this building funds were taken to finance Abimelech's kingship and here the citizens of the city took refuge against Abimelech's attack.

Temple of Baal Berith at Shechem

Related Websites

Shechem

Shechem (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references. 

The Geographical, Historical, & Spiritual Significance of Shechem (Biblical Studies Foundation)  An excellent article by Wayne Stiles, finding its foundations in the introductory statement, "geography affects history."  Examines geography in order to better understand the historical and spiritual significance of Shechem.

Sychar Well (Jacob's Well) (Christian Travel Study Program)  An excellent description of the site known as Jacob's Well, stressing the archaeological data supporting this supposition.  Includes a picture of the modern structure over the site.

Shechem (Bible History)  Highlights biblical events that occurred in the region.  Features a map of the region.

Shechem (Into His Own)  A brief, encyclopedia-type article with multiple links to related words and topics for further study.

Shechem (AboutBibleProphecy)  Brief article describing Shechem and all it biblical references.

Shechem (Nablus) (Travelnet)  A brief article highlighting the biblical significance of Shechem.

Sichem (Shechem) (The Catholic Encyclopedia)  Paints a vivid picture of life in this region in biblical times.  Text only, no photographs.

Shechem  (Biblical Studies)  A lengthy article  describing the history and archaeology of ancient city.

Mount Ebal

Mount Ebal (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references. 

Mt Ebal (Christian Travel Study Program)  A brief statement referencing the site's Old Testament history and the excavations.

The Cult Site on Mount Ebal (Haifa University, by Adam Zertal)  An extensive look at the results of the excavations of a "mysterious structure," the alleged altar found at Mount Ebal.

Mount Ebal (Daily Bible Study)  Studies biblical references to the site with links to topics related to biblical history, characters, and lessons.

Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim (Walking in Their Sandals)  Gives easy-to-read information on the location, biblical significance, etc.  Features links to photographs and on-line scripture references. 

Mt Gerizim (Christian Travel Study Program)  Features several good pictures with excellent identifying captions, accompanied by text highlighting interesting features of the site, including a description of the Samaritan community residing in the region.

Mount Gerizim (Personal Page, by Edward Fudge Ministries) A picturesque description of the mountain and its occupants.  

Samaritan Passover (BiblePlaces.com) Photos and information about the annual sacrifice on Mount Gerizim.