(place of rest), a city of Ephraim. In Judges 21:19 it is said that Shiloh is “on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem and on the south of Lebonah.” In agreement with this the traveller of our own city, going north from Jerusalem, lodges the first night at Beitin, the ancient Bethel; the next day, at the distance of a few hours, turns aside to the right, in order to visit Seilun, the Arabic for Shiloh; and then passing through the narrow wady which brings him to the main road, leaves el-Lebban, the Lebonah of Scripture, on the left, as he pursues “the highway” to Nublus, the ancient Shechem (see Shechem). Shiloh was one of the earliest and most sacred of the Hebrew sanctuaries. The ark of the covenant, which had been kept at Gilgal during the progress of the conquest, was removed thence on the subjugation of the country and kept at Shiloh from the last days of Joshua to the time of Samuel (Joshua 18:10; Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 4:3). It was here the Hebrew conqueror divided among the tribes the portion of the west Jordan region which had not been already allotted (Joshua 18:10; 19:51). In this distribution, or an earlier one, Shiloh fell within the limits of Ephraim (Joshua 16:5). The ungodly conduct of the sons of Eli occasioned the loss of the ark of the covenant, which had been carried into battle against the Philistines, and Shiloh from that time sank into insignificance. It stands forth in the Jewish history as a striking example of the divine indignation (Jeremiah 7:12).
Smith's Bible Names Dictionary (1866)