Socoh; Soco

so'-ko (sokkhoh, "branches"), (sokho (in Chronicles only); Socho, most usual, but many forms in Septuagint and in the King James Version: Socoh, Shochoh, Shoco, Shocho):

(1) A city in the Shephelah of Judah mentioned along with Jarmuth, Adullam, Azekah, etc. (Jos 15:35); the Philistines "gathered together at Socoh, which belongeth to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah" (1Sa 17:1); it is mentioned as one of the districts from which Solomon drew his supplies (1Ki 4:10, the King James Version "Sochoh"); the association of Socoh in this verse with Hepher is worth noticing in connection with 1Ch 4:18 ("Heber"). Soco (the King James Version "Shoco") was one of the cities fortified by Rehoboam for the defense of Judah (2Ch 11:7); it was captured by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (2Ch 28:18). The site is, without doubt, Khirbet esh Shuweikeh (Shuweikeh is a diminutive of Shaukeh, "a thorn"), a rounded, elongated hilltop, showing clear traces of ancient city walls. The situation is one of considerable natural strength on the south side of the Vale of Elah just where the Wady ec Cur makes a sweep to the West and becomes the Wady es Sunt. Like so many such ancient sites, the hill has very steep slopes on 3 sides (South, West, and North), and is isolated from the ridge of higher ground to the East by a narrow neck of lower ground. In the valley to the Southwest is a plentiful spring. The site was known to Jerome in the 4th century. He described it as 8 or 9 Roman miles from Eleutheropolis (Beit Jibrin) (PEF, III, 53, 125, Sh XVII, BR, II, 21). The Sucathites (1Ch 2:55) were probably inhabitants of Soco.

(2) A city of Judah in the South, associated (Jos 15:48) with Shamir and Jattir. This is doubtless Khirbet Shuweikeh, a large ruin occupying a low hill, 10 miles Southwest of Hebron; there are many caves and rock-cut cisterns as well as drafted stones. Cheyne doubtfully locates the Socoh of 1Ki 4:10 here. See PEF , 404, 410, ShXXV ;B R , I, 494.

E. W. G. Masterman

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