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Socoh or Soco

SOCOH OR SOCO (Sokhko; Heb. שׂוֹכוֹ, שׂוֹכֹה).

(1) Town in the Shephelah of Judah, situated between Adullam and Azekah (Josh. 15:35). The Philistines camped between Socoh and Azekah prior to the encounter of David and Goliath (I Sam. 17:1). Rehoboam fortified the place (II Chron. 11:7). It was one of the cities occupied temporarily by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (II Chron. 28:18). In that period it served as an administrative or storage center, being one of the four cities named on the la-melekh stamps of the Judean monarchy. In Byzantine times, the name applied to a double village (Eusebius, Onom. 156:18ff.), which was still a center for pottery manufacture. The scholar *Antigonus of Sokho (Avot 1:3) was probably from this village or from the Judean town listed. It is identified with the twin mounds of Khirbat ʿAbbād (the site of the earlier occupation) and Khirbat Shuwayka (occupied in the Iron Age), overlooking Wadi-al-Samt (the valley of Elah), E. of Azekah.

(2) Judean town, situated in the southernmost mountain district (Josh. 15:48). It is the present-day Khirbat Shuwayka, W. of Eshtemoa.

(3) Canaanite town in the Sharon near Yaham, mentioned in the inscriptions of Thutmosis III (no. 67), Amenhotep II (15th century B.C.E.) and Shishak (no. 41; c. 920 B.C.E.). It was included in Solomon's third district (I Kings 4:10). In talmudic times it was a Samaritan settlement and under the crusaders it was known as Casal Soque. It is the present-day Khirbat Shuwaykat al-Raʾs, north of Tūlkarm.


M. Noth, in: PJB, 30 (1934), 35; M. Avi-Yonah, in: QDAP, 10 (1944), 169; Aharoni, Land, index; I. Ben-Zvi, Sefer ha-Shomronim (1935), 93; Alt, in: PIB, 25 (1929), 33; 28 (1932), 27.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.