Located 7 miles (11.2 km) northeast of Shechem, Tirzah is usually identified with Tell el-Farah (North). Tirzah is located at the top (northwestern end) of Wadi Farah. In Song of Solomon 6:4, the author alludes to the beauty of this site, saying, “You are as beautiful, my darling, as Tirzah.” This photo shows the broader region of the Wadi Farah, with Tirzah in the distance, from the south.
Also known as Kh. Tell el-Far'ah, Tell el-Farah (north), Teiasir, Thebez, Tirza, Tulluzah
The Location of Tirzah
Battles at Tirzah
Tirzah is listed among the kings of the land that Joshua conquered (Josh 12:24). This is possibly the place where Abimelech was killed by a woman with an upper millstone (Judg 9:50-55; cf. 2 Sam 11:14-21 where reference is made to this defensive tactic).
The Capital of Israel
Apparently in preparation for the invasion of Pharaoh Shishak in 925 BC, Jeroboam I first moved his capital across the Jordan to Penuel, before returning to a new capital in Cisjordan at Tirzah (1 Kgs 14:17; 15:33; 16:23). It was sometime after 925 that the capital was moved to this location (Tell el-Farah in the Wadi Farah). Tirzah remained as the capital for 45 years. Jeroboam I, Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, Tibni and Omri all reigned from this location (1 Kgs 14:1-16:24) until Omri moved the capital to Samaria.
Wall Dividing the Rich and Poor
Excavations at Tirzah have uncovered evidence of social stratification. There were large, well-built, spacious homes for the upper class on one side of the wall, while small, poorly-built homes were huddle closely together on the other side of the wall. The remains give clear evidence of an existing class distinction in Tirzah at the time.
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