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Shechem

The twin peaks of and Mt Gerizim dominate this city in the Central Hill Country (30 miles north of ). Easy access to trade routes connecting the Coastal Plain the Via Maris to the west and fords of the and King’s Highway in the east make this site one of the major crossing points.  It is attached to Abraham’s entrance to here (Gen 12:6-7), Joshua’s covenant renewal ceremony following the conquest (Deut 11:29; Josh 24), and Rehoboam’s disastrous meeting with the tribal elders here (1 Kgs 12:1-17).  

Shiloh

Located in the Ephraimite Hill Country between Shechem and Bethel (10 miles north of Bethel and 20 miles northeast of Jerusalem) just east of the trade route (Judg 21:19).  Its fame originates with the story of Joshua’s division of the land (Josh 18:1), its use as a cultic center where the ark of the covenant resides in Eli’s time (1 Sam 4:3-4), and reference to its ruins as a sign of God’s displeasure (Jer 7:12-14; Ps 78:60).

Bethel

Mentioned 71 times (2nd only to ), the city is located 12 miles north of on the Ephraim-Benjamin border (Josh 16:2).  It is tied to both Abraham (Gen 12:8) and Jacob (Gen 28:19) and is the site of one of King Jeroboam’s two shrines (1 Kgs 12:32-33).  It is a target of the prophet Amos (Amos 5:5-6), and is rebuilt by returning exiles during the Persian period (Ezra 2:28).

Recurring Place Names

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