And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem
Not Salem, of which Melchizedek was king, much less Jerusalem, for it was forty miles from it F23; more likely Salim near Aenon, where John was baptizing, ( John 3:23 ) ; though it perhaps is the same with Shechem; for the words may be read, he "came to Shalem, the city Shechem", a city which Hamor had built, and called by the name of his son Shechem, the same with Sychar, ( John 4:5 ) ; this was on this side Jordan, and therefore Jacob must have passed over that river, though no mention is made of it; it is said to be about eight miles from Succoth F24: though some think Shalem is not the name of a place, but an appellative, and to be rendered "safe [and] sound", or "whole"; and so the Jewish F25 writers generally understand it of his coming in peace, health, and safety: which [is] in the land of Canaan;
it belonged to that tribe of the Canaanites called Hivites; for Hamor, the father of Shechem, from whom it had its name, was an Hivite, ( Genesis 34:2 ) , so that Jacob was now got into the land of Canaan, his own country, and where his kindred dwelt: when he came from Padanaram;
from Mesopotamia, from Haran there; Shechem was the first place in the land of Canaan he came to, when he came from thence, and whither he came in the greatest safety, he himself, wives, children, and servants, in good health, without any loss of any of his cattle and substance; and without any ill thing befalling: him all the way thither, being delivered from Laban and Esau, and from every danger, and from every enemy: and to signify this is this clause added, which may seem otherwise superfluous: and pitched his tent before the city;
the city of Shechem, not in it, but near it.
F23 Bunting's Travels, p. 75.
F24 Ib. p. 72.
F25 Targum Jon. Jarchi, Aben Ezra & Ben Gersom in loc.