Socoh (Shephelah)

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Socoh or Soco (Hebrew: שוכו, שוכה‎‎) was a 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 (Sam. 17:1). Rehoboam fortified the place (Chron. 11:7). It was one of the cities occupied temporarily by the Philistines in the time of Ahaz (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 Socoh (Avot. 1:3) was probably from this village or from another village by the same name. It is identified with the twin mounds of Khirbat Abbād (the site of the earlier occupation) and Khirbat Shuwayka (occupatied in the Iron Age), overlooking Wadi al-Samt (the valley of Elah), E. of Azekah.

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