Shechem, Sichem, Sychem, Sychar [Shē'chem]—shoulder.
1. A son of Hamor, a Hivite prince—“a prince of the country”—that is, of Shechem. It is not certain whether the Levitical city was named after the son of Hamor, or whether he was named after the city (Gen. 33:18, 19, 34; Josh. 24:32; Judg. 9:28).
Shechem, a neighbor of Jacob, took advantage of his daughter’s visit to the daughters of the Hivites. Doubtless Dinah was young and unaccustomed to the ways of the world, and taking advantage of her, Shechem proved himself unworthy of his high office. He was led into sin by what he saw, and while it is said that Shechem came to love the girl he had wronged and wanted to make her his wife, yet such a proposal was not possible, owing to God’s command about His people marrying those of Gentile nations. The scheme of Jacob’s sons need not be told. Suffice it to say that Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, treacherously slew Shechem for his betrayal of their sister. To the credit of Shechem it is said that “he was more honourable than all the house of his father.” As for Simeon and Levi, they earned a sad epitaph (Gen. 49:5-7).
2. A son of Gilead, son of Manasseh and founder of a tribal family (Num. 26:31; Josh. 17:2).
3. A son of Shemidah, a Manassite (1 Chron. 7:19).
Shechem is also a name renowned in history. Jacob rested there (Gen. 33:18). Jesus met the woman of Samaria at the one-time city of refuge and the first residence of the kings of Israel (John 4:12). It is said that Justin Martyr was born here, about a.d. 100.