Shamir

SHAMIR (shā'mêr, Heb. shāmîr, a sharp point)

A town allotted to Judah (Josh.15.48); now usually identified with the ruin Somerak, about thirteen miles (twenty-two km.) SW of Hebron.A town in Mount Ephraim; the residence and burial place of Tola, one of the judges (Judg.10.1-Judg.10.2). Its identification is still uncertain. The residence of Tola, of the tribe of Issachar, in a city of Ephraim has been explained as due either to the turbulent condition of Issachar’s territory or to the fact that Issachar had cities within Ephraim.A Levite, son of Micah; a temple attendant (1Chr.24.24).


SHAMIR shā’ mər (שָׁמִ֖יר; LXX, Σαμήρ; thorn, sharp point, diamond, adamant).

1. The word appears several times in the OT and signifies “hard stone.” Translated sometimes as “diamond” (Jer 17:1) and “adamant” (Ezek 3:9; Zech 7:12), the substance was used as a stylus.

2. A Levite, son of Micah (1 Chron 24:24).

3. A town in Ephraim, the home and burial place of “Tola the son of Puah, son of Dodo, a man of Issachar” (Judg 10:1, 2). The site is unidentified but may have been near what later was Samaria, as may be implied by the fact that LXX A has Σαμάρεια, G4899, for Shamir. Why Judge Tola from Issachar was living in Ephraim is a matter of speculation.

4. A city of Judah (Josh 15:48) c. thirteen m. W-SW of Hebron. The site is prob. el-Bireh c. one m. N of Khirbet Somerah which preserves the name of the Biblical Shamir.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(shamir; Sameir):

(1) Mentioned along with Jattir and Socoh (Jos 15:48) as one of the cities of Judah in the hill country. Possibly it is Khirbet (or Umm) Somerah, 2,000 ft. above sea-level, a site with ancient walls, caves, cisterns and tombs not far West of Debir (edh Dhatheriyeh) and 2 miles North of Anab (`Anab) (Palestine Exploration Fund, III, 262, 286, Sh XX).

(2) A place in the hill country of Ephraim (Jud 10:1) from which came "Tola, the son of Pual, a man of Issachar," who judged Israel 23 years; he died and was buried there. It is an attractive theory (Schwartz) which would identify the place with the semi-fortified and strongly-placed town of Sanur on the road from Nablus to Jenin. A local chieftain in the early part of the last century fortified Sanur and from there dominated the whole district. That Sanur could hardly have been within the bounds of Issachar is an objection, but not necessarily a fatal one. It is noticeable that the Septuagint’s Codex Alexandrinus has Samareia, for Shamir (Palestine Exploration Fund, II, Sh XI).


A Kohathite, son of Micah (1Ch 24:24).