Shu'nem (Heb. Shunem', שׁוּנֵ, uneven place [Furst] from שָׁנִ ם, or perhaps [Gesen.] for שׁוּנִיַ ם, two resting places; Sept. Σουνάμ or Σουνάν v.r. Σωνάμ or Σωμάν etc.), one of the cities allotted to the tribe of Issachar (Jos 19:18; where it occurs between Chesulloth and Haphraim). It is mentioned on two occasions. First as the place of the Philistines' first encampment before the battle of Gilboa (1Sa 28:4). Here it occurs in connection with Mount Gilboa and En-dor, and also, probably, with Jezreel (1Sa 29:1). Secondly, as the scene of Elisha's intercourse with the Shunammite woman and her son. (2Ki 4:8). Here it is connected with adjacent cornfields, and, more remotely, with Mount Carmel. It was, besides, the native place of Abishag, the attendant on king David (1Ki 1:8), and, according to some, of Shulamith, the heroine of the poem or drama of "Solomon's Song." By Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast.) it is mentioned twice, under Σουβήμ, and "Sunem," as five miles south of Mount Tabor, and the known as Sulem (Σουλήμ); and under "Sonam," as a village in Acrabattine, in the territory of Sebaste called Sanin. The latter of these two identifications probably refers to Sanur, a well known fortress some seven miles from Sebastiyeh and four from Arrabeh, a spot completely out of the circle of the associations which connect themselves with Shunem. The other has more in its favor, since except for the distances from Mount Tabor, which is nearer eight Roman miles than five — it agrees with the position of the present Solam or Sulem, a village on the southwest flank of Jebel Duhy (the so called "Little Hermon"), three miles north of Jezreel, five from Gilboa (J. Fukua), faull in view of the sacred spot on Mount Carmel, and situated in the midst of the finest cornfields in the world. It is named as Salem by the Jewish traveller Hap- Parchi (Asher, Benjamin, 2, 431). It had then its spring, without which the Philistines would certainly not have chosen it for their encampment. Now, according to the notice of Dr. Robinson (Researches, 2, 324), the spring of the village is but a poor one. The change of the n in the ancient name to l in the modern one is the reverse of that which has taken place in Zerin (Jezreel) and Beitin (Bethel). There is nothing specially to mark an ancient site in Sailem, for it is only a mud hamlet with cactus bushes. West of the houses there is a beautiful garden, cool and shady, of lemon trees, watered by a little, rivulet; and in the village are a fountain and trough (Conder, Tent Work in Palestine, 1, 123).

Bible concordance for SHUNEM.

Definition of shun

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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