tur'-za (tirtsah; Thersa):
(1) A royal city of the Canaanites, the king of which was slain by Joshua (12:24). It superseded Shechem as capital of the Northern Kingdom (1 Kings 14:17, etc.), and itself gave place in turn to Samaria. Here reigned Jeroboam, Nadab his son, Baasha, Elah and Zimri (1 Kings 15:21,33; 16:6,8,9,15). Baasha was buried in Tirzah. Here Elah was assassinated while "drinking himself drunk" in the house of his steward; here therefore probably he was buried. Zimri perished in the flames of his palace, rather than fall into Omri's hands. In Tirzah Menahem matured his rebellion against Shallum (2 Kings 15:14). The place is mentioned in Song of Solomon 6:4 the King James Version, where the Shulammite is said to be "beautiful .... as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem." The comparison may be due to the charm of its situation. The name may possibly be derived from ratsah, "to delight." Several identifications have been suggested. Buhl (Geographic des alten Palestina, 203) favors et-tireh, on the West of the plain of Makhneh, 4 miles South of Nablus, which he identifies with the Tira-thana of Josephus. He quotes Neubauer to the effect that the later Jews said Tir`an or Tar`ita instead of Tirzah, as weakening the claim of Telluzah, which others (e.g. Robinson, BR, III, 302) incline to. It is a partly ruined village with no spring, but with ancient cisterns, on a hill about 4 miles East of North from Nablus. This was evidently the place intended by Brocardius--Thersa, about 3 miles East of Samaria (Descriptio, VII). A third claimant is Teiasir, a fortress at the point where the road from Abel-meholah joins that from Shechem to Bethshan, fully 11 miles Northeast of Nablus. It is impossible to decide with certainty. The heavy "T" in Telluzah is a difficulty. Teiasir is perhaps too far from Shechem. Buhl's case for identification with eT-Tireh is subject to the same difficulty as Telluzah.
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