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Shechem(shē`kəm), town, central ancient Palestine, the modern Tell Balatan, between Mts. Gerizim and Ebal, near NablusNablus
, Heb. Shechem, city (2003 est. pop. 127,000), the West Bank. It is the market center for a region where wheat and olives are grown and sheep and goats are grazed. Manufactures include soap made from olive oil and colorful shepherds' coats.
..... Click the link for more information. . Excavations in the 20th cent. indicate a village there c.3500 B.C. Shechem's greatest period began c.1700 B.C. when the HyksosHyksos
[Egyptian,=rulers of foreign lands], invaders of ancient Egypt, now substantiated as the XV–XVIII dynasties. They were a northwestern Semitic (Canaanite or Amorite) people who entered Egypt sometime between 1720 and 1710 B.C.
..... Click the link for more information. rebuilt it. According to patriarchal narratives in the Book of Genesis, it was visited by Abraham, and Jacob built an altar to God there. Jacob pastured his flocks near Shechem; his well remains a landmark. The rape of Dinah, Jacob's daughter, by Shechemites provoked Jacob's sons to plunder the city. As related in the book of JoshuaJoshua
, book of the Bible. It is the first book of the Deuteronomic history (Joshua–2 Kings), in which the theological outlook of the Book of Deuteronomy is used to explain the fate of Israel.
..... Click the link for more information. , after the Canaanite conquest, Hebrew tribes gathered at Shechem. Solomon's son RehoboamRehoboam
, in the Bible, last king of the United Monarchy, first king of Judah, son of Solomon. Under him the northern tribes broke away from the rule of Jerusalem and set up a separate kingdom (called Israel) with Jeroboam I as their king.
..... Click the link for more information. was crowned (c.930 B.C.) there; Jeroboam IJeroboam I
, in the Bible, first king of the northern kingdom of Israel. He was an Ephraimite and led a revolt against Solomon, inspired probably by the restlessness of N Palestine under southern rule.
..... Click the link for more information. "built" Shechem. Thus it was the first northern capital, before Samaria. A small community of Samaritans still live in the area.