Tel Balata (Shechem) Becoming Tourist Friendly

February 4, 2016 — given the current “situation” I cannot recommend travel to this area of the country.  Hopefully, more peaceful conditions will return.

Original Post – ca August 2011.  On a recent trip to Israel I visited the OT site of Shechem (modern Nablus) for the first time since 2000. Shechem is identified with T. Balata and is located 30 mi. [48 km] N of Jerusalem, on E side of Nablus.

Twenty Seven Foot High Cyclopean Foundation for City Wall at Shechem—1600 BC

Shechem is mentioned close to 60 times in the Bible. It was an important non-Israelite center that figured prominently in the stories of Abraham, Jacob, and later Abimelech (Judges 9). During the days of Joshua it seems to have served as an Israelite tribal and religious center.

Shechem was located on the boundary between Manasseh and Ephraim (Josh 17:2, 7) and was designated as a Levitical city as well as a city of refuge (Josh 20:7; 21:21; 1 Chron 6:66, 67). It served briefly as the first capital of the N kingdom but was replaced by Tirzah and then Samaria.

I have posted 10 high-resolution images of Shechem—including two original drawings of the site by Balage Balogh—on my web site.  To view a map and images Click Here.

To visit a very useful (official?) web site on the modern (2011!) development of Tell Balata click here.  There you can download a pdf diagram of the tell, pdf maps on how to get to the site, and plans for future touristic development.  We wish them well!  To visit Balage Balogh’s web site Click Here.

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