Shamir (2)

Sha'mir (Heb. Shamir', שָׁמיר, a sharp point, as of a thorn [text in Chronicles Shamur', שָׁמוּר, tried]; Sept. Σαμίρ, v.r. [in Joshua] Σαφείρ, [in Judges] Σαμαρεία, [in Chronicles] Σαμήρ), the name of two places and of a man.

1. A town in the mountain district of Judah (Jos 15:48), where it is named in connection with Jattir and Socoh, in the group in the extreme south of the tribe, west of south from Hebron. Keil (Comment. ad loc.) suggests that it may be the ruined site Um Shaumerah mentioned by Robinson (Bib. Res. 1st ed. 3, Append. p. 115), which is perhaps the Somerah suggested by Lieut. Conder (Tent Work in Palestine, 2, 339), although the position of neither is exactly indicated. We venture to suggest its possible identity with the ruined village Simieh southwest of Hebron (Robinson, ibid. p. 116), and in the immediate vicinity required, being three miles west of Juttah.

2. A place in Mount Ephraim, the residence and burial place of Tola the judge (Jg 10:1-2). It is singular that this judge, a man of Issachar, should have taken up his official residence out of his own tribe. We may account for it by supposing that the plain of Esdraelon, which formed the greater part of the territory of Issachar, was overrun, as in Gideon's time, by the Canaanites or other marauders; of whose incursions nothing whatever is told us — though their existence is certain — driving Tola to the more secure mountains of Ephraim. Or, as Manasseh had certain cities out of Issachar allotted to him, so Issachar, on the other hand, may have possessed some towns in the mountains of Ephraim. Both these suppositions, however, are but conjecture, and have no corroboration in any statement of the records.

Bible concordance for SHAMIR.

Shamir is not mentioned by the ancient topographers. Schwarz (Palest. p. 151) proposes to identify it with Sanur, a place of great natural strength (which has some claims to be Bethulia), situated in the mountains, halfway between Samaria and Jenin, about eight miles from each. Van de Velde (Memoir, p. 348) proposes Khirbet Sammer, a ruined site in the mountains overlooking the Jordan valley, ten miles east southeast of Nablus. There is no connection between the names Shamir and Samaria, as proposed in the Alex. Sept. (see above), beyond the accidental one which arises from the inaccurate form of the latter in that version and in our own, it being correctly Shomron.

3. A Kohathite Levite, son of Michah, and a servant in the sanctuary in David's time (1Ch 24:24). B.C. cir. 1020.

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