Ancient Sources

Mount Ephraim and Benjamin


38. Sychar which is now Sycchora - ('Askar)
ORIGINAL TEXTS

Sychar ante Neapolim iuxta agrum quem dedit Iacob filio suo Iosef in quo dominus noster atque salvator secundum Evangelium Ioannis Samaritanae mulieri ad puteum loquitur, ubi nunc ecclesia fabricata est.
(Jerome 165:1-4)


ENGLISH TRANSLATION

Eusebius, Onomasticon 164:1-4 (ca. 295 A.D.); Jerome 165:1-4 (ca. 390 A.D.)
Sychar (John 4:5) before Neapolis, near the field which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Here according to John our Lord and Saviour conversed with the Samaritan woman beside the well, and the place is known to this day. Now a church has been built there.

BIBLICAL BACKGROUND

John 4:1-7 Jesus comes to a Samaritan city called Sychar
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John" - although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized - he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."

MORE ANCIENT SOURCES

Itinerarium Burdigalense 588 (333 A.D.)
A mile from there is the place called Sychar, where the Samaritan woman went down to draw water, at the very place where Jacob dug the well, and our Lord Jesus Christ spoke with her. Some plane trees are there, planted by Jacob, and there is a bath which takes its water from this well.

Hieronymus, Ep.108 (Peregrinatio Paulae) (385 A.D.)
She passed on to Shechem (not, as some wrongly take it, "Sychar"), now called Neapolis, and near Mount Gerizim she went into the church built round the Well of Jacob. This is where the Lord sat down, hungry and thirsty, and was refreshed by the faith of the woman of Samaria, who had left her five husbands, (the books of Moses) and the sixth whom she boasted she had (the error of Dositheus), and found the true Messiah and Saviour.

Adamnanus, De locis sanctis II,21 (ca. 670 A.D.)
The holy priest Arculf travelled through Samaria, and arrived at a city of that district whose Hebrew name is Shechem, though in Greek and Latin it is normally called Sicima. It is commonly (though incorrectly) called Sychar. Close to this city and outside its wall he saw a church with four bays stretching out to the four points of the world,like a cross. There is a sketch of it below.
Inside this church, and in the centre of it, is the Spring of Jacob, often called the "Well".It is midway between these four bays. Here, one day at noon, the Saviour sat down, tired by the effort of his journey. At this noon time the Samaritan woman also came to the well to draw water. Amongst other things which the woman said to the Lord was this reply, "Lord,thou hast nothing with which to draw water, and the well is deep" (John:4.11). Arculf, who drank water from this well, had this to say about its depth, "the well I saw was forty orias deep" (this means forty cubits, since an oria or a cubit is the width of both hands stretched out side by side).
Shechem, also called Sicima, was once accounted a city of priests and a city of refuge in the tribe of Manasseh. It is in Mount Ephraim, and joseph's bones were buried there.

see also: 35. Neapolis - (Nablus)
see also: 39. The (place) of Joseph - (Qabr an-Nabi Yusuf)
see also: 40. Sychem also Sikima and Salim - (Tell Balatah)
see also: 41. Here is Jacob's well
see also: 42. Tur Gobel (Mount Ebal) - (Jabal Islamiyah)
see also: 43. Tur (Mount) Garizin - (Jabal al-Tur)

Map Section 5 Place Discussion

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Created Saturday, December 16, 2000 at 12:54:47
by Eugenio Alliata ofm in collaboration with Stefano de Luca ofm
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copyright - Studium Biblicum Franciscanum - Jerusalem 2000