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Bochim, Bethel, and the Hidden Polemic (Judg 2,1-5)

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Chapter Summary

Bochim is called such, because it was there that the Israelites wept after they heard the words of the angel of God'. It is stated at the end of the passage: "When the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. Thus, the ongoing presence of the Canaanites in the land is perceived here as a kind of punishment for Israel 's violating the covenant and for their refusal to obey God. Bethel is associated with events of weeping. In the incident of the concubine in Gibeah, Bethel is twice explicitly mentioned as a place of weeping and of sacrifice. In prophetic literature, Bethel enjoys the status of a place of rebuke. Bethel, which is none other than Bochim, is a cause of weeping for future generations, because there the fate of Israel was sealed.

Keywords: Bethel; Bochim; Canaanites; Israelites; prophetic literature



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