SHECHEM, called Sychar in the Syriac Gospels, is located about 38 miles north of Jerusalem at the eastern end of the beautiful valley between Mount Ebal [3130 feet] and Mount Gerizim [2930 feet] and was a major stop along the inland International Trade Route, known as the King's Highway, which linked Egypt and Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). SHECHEM was Abraham's first stop when he entered the Promised Land for the first time. There he built his first altar unto the Lord.
After returning from Padan-Aram, Jacob (Israel) bought his first piece of property and erected his first altar unto the Lord in SHECHEM. (Genesis 33:19-20). SHECHEM was assigned to Ephraim and Manasseh (Joseph's sons) when the promised Land was assigned to the twelve tribes of Israel. (Numbers 26:31 & Joshua 17:2-7) Six hundred years after Abraham built his first altar at SHECHEM, Joshua entered the Promised Land and followed the command Moses had given him to set up stones on Mount Ebal, stucco them and write all the words of the Law of God on them. (Deuteronomy 27:1-3)
At SHECHEM, the natural amphitheatre formed between Mount Gerazim (the Mount of Blessing) and Mount Ebal (The Mount of Cursing) allowed Joshua to be clearly heard by all men, women and children of Israel as the Book of the Law was read to them in a solemn ceremony. We see here a good example for parents - to teach God's Word at an early age to their children. At this time Israel became a covenant confederacy until the time when the people demanded a king and Samuel anointed Saul as first King of Israel.
After Israel entered the Promised Land on the Exodus from Egypt, the mummified body of Joseph was taken to the plat of ground which Jacob purchased at SHECHEM and remains there to this day. Joshua 24:32
Jacob's well ( building shown above) is the oldest continuously used artifact on the face of the earth. Jacob cut his well from solid rock four feet wide. A visitor measured it at 240 feet in A.D. 670. In 1697 another said it was 105 feet deep. By 1861 it was only 75 feet deep; this is due to all the pebbles that people have thrown in over the centuries. In SHECHEM at the foot of Mount Gerazim, Jesus stopped for a drink of water from Jacob's well.
Timeline of the third 1000 Years - continued
Moses born (1542)
1500 Iron technology developed in Asia Minor.
First Passover - Exodus from Egypt ( Friday April 15 )
Balaam's Prophecy "A Star Out of Jacob"
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