Friday, August 06, 2010


Shechem Baal Berith Temple
Shechem, Sichem, or Shkhem (Hebrew: שְׁכֶם‎ /שְׁכָם n. "Shoulder", v. to get up early, be awakened) was an Israelite city in the tribe of Ephraim, situated at Tell Balatah 32°12′11″N, 35°18′40″E, 2 km east of present-day Nablus) was the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel .

Archaeological evidence indicates that the city was razed and reconstructed up to 22 times before its final demise in 200 CE.

Within the remains of the city can still be found a number of walls and gates built for defense, a government house, a residential quarter and the ruins of a temple raised to Zeus by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the latter dating to the second century CE.

Its position is clearly indicated in the Bible: it lay north of Bethal and Silo, on the high road going from Jerusalem to the northern districts (Judges 21, 19), at a short distance from Machmethath (Joshua 17:7) and of Dothain (Genesis 37:12-17); it was in the hill-country of Ephraim (Joshua 20:7; 21:21; 1 Kings 12:25; 1 Chronicles 6:67; 7:28), immediately below Mount Gerizim (Judges 9:6-7).

These indications are completed by Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who says that the city lay between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, and by the Madaba Map, which places Sychem, also called Sikima between the Tour Gobel (Ebal) and the Tour Garizin (Garizim).


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