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Hebrew: שכם‎

Meaning: shoulder

This is the name of 2 biblical men and a city.


  1. Shechem, a son of Hamor the Hivite (Genesis 33:19)

  2. Shechem, a descendant of Manasseh (Numbers 26:31; Joshua 17:2)

Shechem, a city in Samaria on the highway to Jerusalem

also known as: Sichem (Genesis 12:6), Greek: Sychem (Acts 7:16), Sychar (John 4:5), Neapolis, Nablus, Tell Balatad

Site of biblical Shechem—satellite view

The name of this city first appears in Genesis 33:18. It was a very old Canaanite city that stood in a strategic narrow sheltered valley between Mount Ebal on the north and Mount Gerizim on the south, these mountains at their base being only some 500 yards apart. It is considered one of the oldest settlements in Canaan. After the Israelite conquest, Shechem belonged to the tribe of Manasseh (Joshua 17:7).

Biblical events here

This city is one of the world’s oldest and still remains in existence to the present day, under a different name. It is the modern Nablus, a contraction for Neapolis, the name given to it by Emperor Vespasian. It lies about 1½ miles up the valley on its southern slope, and on the north of Mount Gerizim, which rises about 1,100 feet above it, and is about 34 miles north of Jerusalem.

Modern Nabulus, in West Bank, Israel (population 126-thousand)—satellite view

A city called Gaza, near Shechem, only mentioned 1 Chronicles 7:28, has entirely disappeared. It was destroyed at the time of the Conquest, and its place was taken by Shechem.

Also see

Article Version: April 30, 2018