Shechem

Shechem is a town located in the hill country between Bethel and Megiddo. Abraham stopped here after he left Haran and set up camp. God appeared to Abraham here and Abraham built an altar to commemorate His visit (Genesis 12:6-7).

Jacob buried the idols and ear rings taken from the members of his household, under an oak tree near Shechem. Shechem was chosen as a city of refuge in the province of Ephraim.

Joshua called all the Israelites to Shechem and made a covenant between themselves and God, and rolled a large stone beneath an oak tree that was beside the Tabernacle, as a witness to the covenant.

Gideon's family lived at Shechem. Abimelech, Gideon's son, fought against the city of Shechem and demolished it, but a woman dropped a stone from a tower in Shechem and killed Abimelech (Judges 9:45-53).

After Solomon died, his son Rehoboam was crowned King in Shechem over all Israel, but when the country split into two, Jeroboam became King of the Northern Kingdom and made Shechem its capitol for a while. Shechem was conquered and destroyed several times.

In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great made it a rest camp for his army. It later became occupied by the Samaritans. It is believed that the village called Sychar (Sychem) in John 4:4-6, where the Samaritan woman gave Jesus a drink at Jacob's well, is the area of Shechem. Roman ruins were excavated at Shechem, including a theater.

Next Bible place: Seir

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