Judges 2:5
And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Bochim.—(Comp. Genesis 35:8; Genesis 1:11.) It was like “the Jews’ wailing-place” in modern Jerusalem.

They sacrificed there unto the Lord.—It is not necessary to infer from this that Bochim must have been near the sanctuary at Bethel, Shechem, or Shiloh. Not only did kings and prophets seem to be tacitly excepted from the general rule against offering sacrifice at any place except the chosen sanctuary, but also sacrifice was always freely offered at places where there had been any manifestation of the Divine Presence—Judges 6:20 (Gideon); Jdg. 22:19 (Manoah); 2Samuel 24:25 (David), &c. On the other hand, it is improbable that all Israel would have been assembled at some unknown place, or that the memory of such a spot should not have been preserved.

2:1-5 It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Son of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who throw off communion with God, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, and will have nothing to say for themselves in the day of account shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with God's enemies. God often makes men's sin their punishment; and thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and not without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, no voice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation; but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves, and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worship of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment, cannot atone for sin.Bochim - i. e. weepers. It was near Shechem, but the site is unknown. Compare the names given to places for similar reasons in Genesis 35:8; Genesis 50:11. 4, 5. when the angel of the Lord spake these words … the people lifted up their voice, and wept—The angel's expostulation made a deep and painful impression. But the reformation was but temporary, and the gratifying promise of a revival which this scene of emotion held out, was, ere long, blasted by speedy and deeper relapses into the guilt of defection and idolatry. For the expiation of their sins, by which they had provoked God to this resolution; and for the regaining of God’s favour. And they called the name of that place Bochim,.... Which signifies "weepers", from the general lamentation of the people, which before had another name; very probably it was Shiloh itself since all Israel was gathered together, the tabernacle being now at Shiloh, and also because sacrifices were offered up, as follows:

and they sacrificed there unto the Lord; to atone for the sins they had committed; and if they did this in the faith of the great sacrifice of the Messiah, they did well; however, so far there was an acknowledgment of their, guilt, and a compliance with the appointments of God directed to in such cases.

And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Bochim] i.e. ‘Weepers.’ The author sees in this name of the place a recollection of the Angel’s reproof and the people’s repentance. But such a form as Bochim, active ptcp. plur., is very unusual in a place-name, and it has probably been adapted to suit the present occasion. Originally the name may have been Bekaim ‘balsam-trees,’ cf. 2 Samuel 5:23 f.; Psalm 84:6 (see RVm.).

and they sacrificed there] i.e. in Beth-el; see on Jdg 2:1 a, to which this sentence belongs. The appearance of the Angel consecrates the place, and an altar henceforward marks it as a sanctuary; cf. Jdg 6:24, Jdg 13:15-20, 2 Samuel 24:16; 2 Samuel 24:18. Another ancient tradition carried back the consecration of Beth-el to the times of the patriarch Jacob, Genesis 28, 35; according to the later view of the Priestly writer the religious centre of Israel was not at Beth-el, but at Shiloh, Joshua 18:1; Joshua 19:51; cf. ch. Jdg 21:12 n.

Verse 5. - They sacrificed. A clear intimation that they were near Shiloh, where the tabernacle was. Still less were the Danites able to drive the Canaanites out of their inheritance. On the contrary, the Amorites forced Dan up into the mountains, and would not suffer them to come down into the plain. But the territory allotted to the Danytes was almost all in the plain (see at Joshua 19:40). If, therefore, they were forced out of that, they were almost entirely excluded from their inheritance. The Amorites emboldened themselves (see at Deuteronomy 1:5) to dwell in Har-cheres, Ajalon, and Shaalbim. On the last two places see Joshua 19:42, where Ir-shemesh is also mentioned. This combination, and still more the meaning of the names Har-cheres, i.e., sun-mountain, and Ir-shemesh, i.e., sun-town, make the conjecture a very probable one, that Har-cheres is only another name for Ir-shemesh, i.e., the present Ain Shems (see at Joshua 15:10, and Rob. Pal. iii. pp. 17, 18). This pressure on the part of the Amorites induced a portion of the Danites to emigrate, and seek for an inheritance in the north of Palestine (see Judges 18). On the other hand, the Amorites were gradually made tributary by the powerful tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who bounded Dan on the north. "The hand of the house of Joseph lay heavy," sc., upon the Amorites in the towns already named on the borders of Ephraim. For the expression itself, comp. 1 Samuel 5:6; Psalm 32:4.
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