Shechem During Old Testament times

Genesis 12:5, 6 - "Abram took Sarai his wife, Lot his brother's son, all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they went to go into the land of Canaan. They entered into the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time, Canaanites were in the land."

Map of Shechem (Old Testament)
Map of Shechem in Old Testament Times

The Location of Shechem. Shechem was located in Central Israel in a beautiful fertile valley between Mount Ebal on the north and Mount Gerizim to the south west with their bases at Shechem. It was about 35 miles north of Jerusalem and about 7 miles to the south east of Samaria.

Abraham and Shechem. When Abraham made his journey to the promised land, the land of Canaan, he came to Shechem and the LORD appeared to him saying "I will give this land to your offspring," so Abraham built an altar to the LORD under the Terebinth Oak tree of Moreh at Shechem. The Bible says that at that time the "Canaanite was then in the land."

Jacob and Shechem. Abraham's grandson Jacob also came to Shechem and build a well there, known in the Bible as Jacob's Well. When he returned from Paddan-Aram in Mesopotamia and re-entered the land of Canaan he arrived at Shechem (Gen 33:18 and Gen 34). The Bible says that Shechem was a Hivite city and Hamor was chief. Jacob purchased a parcel of a field which contained the well that he had dug there. Later Joseph was buried there (Josh 24:32).

Shechem in Israel's History. When the land of Canaan was conquered and divided among the Israelites, Shechem was allotted to Ephraim, and finally assigned to the Levites as a city of refuge. It was here at Shechem that Joshua gave his final words before his death (Josh 24). This was of course the place where the blessings and curses were uttered from Mount Gerizim (Blessings), and Mount Ebal (Curses) Josh 8:33-35. Later the judge Gideon's son Abimelech convinced the Shechemites to revolt and elect him as king (Judges 9:1). Later he destroyed the city and sowed it with salt. Later when Solomon had died all of Israel had assembled at Shechem and his son Rehoboam was made king. It was also here at Shechem that the 10 tribes of Israel rebelled and turned from the House of David to follow Jeroboam (1 Kings 12:16). Shechem was made capital of the northen kingdom of Israel. Later in the New Testament Shechem is mentioned as the place (Sychar) where Jesus met the woman at the well. (John 4).

Genesis 12:9-10 - "And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land."

Also see: Faussetts (Shechem)

Map of the Journeys of Abraham and Map of Egypt in Biblical Times - Bible History Online

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The Story of the Bible - The Old Testament, Quick Summary, About, Divisions, Timeline, Charts, Maps, Creation, Adam and Eve, The Flood, The Tower of Babel, Abraham the First Hebrew, Isaac, Son of Promise, Jacob and the 12 Tribes, Joseph and Egypt, Moses and the Exodus, The Giving of the Law, The Tabernacle, The Wilderness Wanderings, Joshua and the Promised Land, The Judges, Samuel the Prophet, Saul, Israel's First King, King David, King Solomon, The Divided Kingdom, The Northern Kingdom of Israel, The Southern Kingdom of Judah, The Assyrian Captivity, The Babylonian Captivity, The Return From Babylon, The Prophets, The Messiah, Conclusion, Bibliography and Credits

Summary of the Old Testament Books - Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Read the Old Testament Stories - The 7 Days of Creation, The Fall of Man, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark


Bibliography Resources on the Old Testament

A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Revised and Expanded by Archer, 508 Pages, Pub. 2007

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