What is…

also known as: Socoh (1 Chr. 4:18 KJV; 1 Chr. 4:18 NKJV; 1 Samuel 17:1 NASB),
Soco (1 Chr. 4:18 NASB; 2 Chr. 28:18 ESV),
So'choh or Sochoh (1 Kings 4:10 NKJV; 2 Chr. 28:18 NKJV),
Shochoh (1 Sam. 17:1 KJV; 1 Sam. 17:1 NKJV),
Shoco (2 Chr. 11:7 KJV),
Sho'co, Sokho, Sokhoh, Tel Socho and Shuweikah

Hebrew spellings: שׂוֹכֹה, שׂוֹכ֖ו and שֹׂכֹ֖ה

Meaning: a fence; hedge

This is the name of two cities in the territory of Judah.

  1. Sokho, in the Hebron hills district

    This city is mentioned in Joshua 15:48.

    Its ruins are identified with the twin ruins known as Khurbet Shuweikeh (aka Khirbet Shuwaikah Fauka and Tahta — Upper and Lower Shuwaikah), 3.7 miles (6 km) southwest of Eshtamoa, Israel.

  2. Sokho, overlooking the Elah Valley

    This is the city mentioned in Joshua 15:35, and is partly in the plain and partly in the lower Judaean Hills (aka Hebron Mountains).

    Sokho is where the Philistines encamped when they invaded the tribe of Judah after their defeat at Michmash. In this campaign Goliath was slain (1 Samuel 17:1), and the Philistines were completely routed.

    In later Byzantine times, a learned historian and Christian leader named Eusebius of Caesarea (aka Eusebius Pamphili) described this city at his time (Greek name: Σοκχωθ) as a double village at the 9th milestone between Eleutheropolis (Bet Guvrin) and Jerusalem.1

    Location of Tel Socho—satellite view

    Today the area of these ruins are more commonly known as Givat HaTurmusim (Hill of the Lupines), a popular tourist area.

King Rehoboam fortified a city by this name, but it is unclear which one (2 Chronicles 11:7).

Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built cities for defense in Judah. Thus he built

  1. Bethlehem
  2. Etam
  3. Tekoa
  4. Beth-zur
  5. Soco
  6. Adullam
  7. Gath
  8. Mareshah
  9. Ziph
  10. Adoraim
  11. Lachish
  12. Azekah
  13. Zorah
  14. Aijalon
  15. and Hebron,

which are fortified cities in Judah and in Benjamin. —2 Chronicles 11:5-10 NASB

The Philistines invaded and occupied the city for a while at the time of wicked King Ahaz (2 Chronicles 28:18).

The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland and of the Negev of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and they settled there. —2 Chronicles 28:18 NASB

  1. Eusebius of Caesarea, Onomasticon (On the Place-Names in the Holy Scripture)

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Article Version: July 27, 2021