Shechem, a city of ancient Palestine, called also Sichem, Sychem, and Sychar, 30 m. N. of Jerusalem, on or near the site of the modern Nablus. The allusions to it in the Old Testament are numerous. Abraham worshipped under an oak near Shechem on his first visit to the land of promise; Jacob encamped near it, and the defilement of his daughter Dinah by the son of the local chieftain led to the capture of the place and slaughter of all the male inhabitants by his sons Simeon and Levi. After the conquest of Palestine Shechem was assigned to the Levites and became a city of refuge; the bones of Joseph were buried here in the field purchased by his father from Hamor; hither Joshua assembled the tribes to hear his last counsels. After the death of Gideon, his illegitimate son Abime-lech induced the Shechemites to revolt and make him their king. Three years later they expelled him, and he destroyed the city; but it was soon rebuilt, and the reign of Reho-boam was here inaugurated. Here the ten tribes renounced their allegiance to the house of David, and chose for their king Jeroboam, who made the city his capital.

After the captivity Shechem became the chief seat of Samaritan worship, and remained such until its destruction by Vespasian, after which it was rebuilt and called Neapolis. (See Nablus).