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Jacobs Well

Sychar (See also wiki article Jacob's_Well.)

SYCHAR - 'A city of Samaria,' near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave his son Joseph (Jn.4.5). Jerome in Onomast, distinguishes Sychar from Shechem, but in Ep. Paul. and in Quaest. Gen. he identifies them, saying that the form Sychar is due to scribal error. The Old Syriac also reads Shechem. In AD 333 the Itinerary of Jerusalem places a Sechar one mile E. of Nablus. Some authorities have suggested identification of Sychar with 'Askar, a village on the skirt of Ebal, about 2 miles E. of Nablus. An objection to this is the presence there of a copious spring, more than sufficient to supply the village; while from Jn.4.15 we learn that the woman of Sychar was accustomed to go to Jacob's Well for water. Ancient Shechem, we now know, lay at Tell Balatah, which bears evidence of occupation from the period of the Hebrew monarchy to Roman times. Jacob's Well, according to unanimous and unbroken tradition, lies about half a mile to the E. of Tell Balatah, on the S. edge of the plain, at the foot of Gerizim. It was formerly of great depth (Jn.4.11). The sacred associations of the Well, and the 'lightness' of the water, compared with the hardness of that from the spring, would form attractions in early as in modern times. It seems certain that the story-teller meant Shechem. [Article: Dictionary of the Bible, J.Hastings, 2nd Ed., T&T.Clark, 1963 - W.E. - E.G.K.]