And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there to the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.Genesis 35:8; Genesis 50:11.
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. 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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