So'coh (Heb. Sokoh', שׂוֹכֹה, Jos 15:35,48 [marg. Soko', שׂוֹכוֹ, which occurs in the text at 1Ch 4:18, "Socho;" 2Ch 11:7, "Shoco;" 28:18, "Shocho;" "Shochoh," 1Sa 17:1 twice], or שׂכֹה, 1Ki 4:10, "Sochoh;" another form for Socho [q.v.]), the name of two towns, both in the tribe of Judah (q.v.).
1. (Sept. Σαωχώ v.r. Σωχώ; Vulg. Soccho.) A place in the district of the lowland or Shephelah (Jos 15:35). It is a member of the same group with Jarmuth, Azekah, Shaaraim, etc., which were located in the N.W. corner (see Keil, Comment. ad loc.). The same relative situation is implied in the other passages in which the place (under slight variations of form) is mentioned. At Ephes-dammim, between Socoh and Azekah (1Sa 17:1), the Philistines took up their position for the memorable engagement in which their champion was slain, and the wounded fell down in the road to Shaaraim (ver. 54). Socho, Adullam, Azekah, were among the cities in Judah which Rehoboam fortified after the revolt of the northern tribes (2Ch 11:7), and it is mentioned with others of the original list as being taken by the Philistines in the reign of Ahaz (28:18). In the time of Eusebius and Jerome (Onomast. "Soccho") it bore the name of Soechoth (Σοηχώθ), and lay between eight and nine Roman miles from Eleutheropolis, on the road to Jerusalem. Paula passed through it on her way from Bethlehem (?) to Egypt (Jerome, Ep. Pauloe, § 14). As is not unfrequently the case in this locality, there were then twd villages, an upper and a lower (Onomast.). Dr. Robinson's identification of Socoh with esh- Shuweikeh (a diminutive of Shaukeh) in the western part of the mountains of Judah is very probable (Bibl. Res. 2, 21). It lies about one mile to the north of the track from Belt Jibrin to Jerusalem, between seven and eight English miles from the former. To the north of it, within a couple of miles, is Yarmuk, the ancient Jarmuth. Damun, perhaps Ephes-dammim, is about the same distance to the east, and Azekah and Shaaraim, no doubt, were in this neighborhood. To complete the catalogue, the ruins which must be those of the upper one of Eusebius's two villages stand on the southern slope of the Wady es-Sumt, which with great probability is the Valley of Elah, the scene of Goliath's death (see Tobler, Dritte Wanderung, p. 122). The ruins are extensive, with many caverns, "nearly half a mile above the bed of the wady, a kind of natural terrace covered with green fields (in spring), and dotted with gray ruins" (Porter, Handb. p. 249).
From this village probably came "Antigonus of Soco," who lived about the commencement of the 3d century B.C. He was remarkable for being the earliest Jew who is known to have had a Greek name; for being the disciple of the great Simon, surnamed "the Just," whom he succeeded as president of the Sanhedrim; for being the master of Sadok, the reputed founder of the Sadducees; but most truly remarkable as the author of the following saying which is given in the Mishna (Pirke Aboth, 1, 3) as the substance of his teaching, "Be not ye like servants who serve their lord that they may receive a reward. But be ye like servants who serve their lord without hope of receiving a reward, but in the fear of heaven." Socoh appears to be mentioned under the name of Sochus in the acts of the Council of Nice, though its distance from Jerusalem as there given is not sufficient for the identification proposed above (Reland, Palest. p. 1019).
2. (Sept. Σωχά v.r. Σωχώ; Vulg. Soccho.) Also a town of Judah, but in the mountain district (Jos 15:48). It is one of the first group, and is named in company with Anab, Jattir, Eshtemoh, and others. It has been discovered by Dr. Robinson, (Bibl. Res. 1, 494) in the Wady el-Khalil, about ten miles S.W. of Hebron; bearing, like the other Socoh, the name of esh-Shuweikeh, and, with Anab, Semoa, 'Attir, within easy distance of it.