SICHAR, Samaritan city described in the New Testament as situated near Jacob's well (John 4:5). According to the Mishnah, crops ripened earlier in its plain than elsewhere (Men. 10:2; cf. also 64b; Sot. 49b; TJ, Shek. 5:1, 48d). Jacob's well and the village of Sichar are shown separately on the Madaba Map, contrary to Eusebius' description of them as one unit (Onom. 164:1ff.). Other writers to mention the city are the fourth-century Bordeaux pilgrim (20:6ff.) and Jerome (Peregrinatio Paulae, 16). In the Middle Ages Samaritans settled there. It is identified with the Arab village ʿAskar, east southeast of Nablus and 595 ft. (183 m.) above sea level, with a plentiful spring.
G.A. Smith, Historical Geography of the Holy Land (18964), 305ff.; I. Ben-Zvi, Sefer ha-Shomeronim (1935), 63–67; O. Callaghan, in: DBI (1953), S.V. Madaba; Avi-Yonah, Madaba Mosaic Map (1954), no. 33.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.