It is not hard to see that some names in the Bible have a special sound to them that confuse you. Does that name refer to a person, a place, an animal, or who knows? On further inspection, if you continue reading or you quickly conduct small research, you will find that each word actually meant something back in those years. Unfortunately, there are other places, like Bochim. That carries less than fortunate names. The city can also be found in certain translations as Bokim, and the name translates to “weepers.”
When they were referring to people, or they named locations, they did so using distinct words that described and suited them. So, for instance, Beit Shemesh, one of the most important and loved ancient cities described in the Bible, actually means “the House of the Sun.”
Although none of us were there, we can’t know why Beit Shemesh was named “the House of the Sun.” But we know the city was especially important because of its location, having a 360 view that offered the people the advantage of seeing ahead. Therefore, the city was not trapped between trees or mountains. Logically, that means the sun was constantly present. This is just a small theory about the name of this city.
Why Is Bochim the City of Weepers?
Bochim or Bokim is known as the city of weepers in the Bible because that is the place where one of God’s angels appeared in front of the people of Israel. And scolded them for failing to get rid of their altars of worship and drive out the false gods. “When the angel of the Lord had spoken these things to all the Israelites, the people wept aloud. And they called that place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.” (Judges 2:1-5) Although we don’t know the exact location on the map. But the Bible leaves the impression that Bochim is west of the Jordan River.
If you are not familiar with other events in the Bible, let us refresh your memory. For example, you might wonder why God would send one of His angels to a land to criticize the people living there. Well, in order to understand that, you need to keep in mind that Christianity and religion were never the way they are today.
Most people would not divulge their religions because, sadly, many people would get killed. And because there were a lot of other influences, like Egypt. For example, where false gods were worshipped, some regions also started worshipping deities. And many even turned away from God.
The city of weepers received this name because they were supposed to serve God. And instead chose to pray to fake entities, angering God. When God sent His angel, the people realized their mistake, and they began to cry. Showing remorse for what they had done. However, they were not harshly punished, further proving just how merciful God is.
Why Is Bochim Important in the Bible?
Although the ancient city of Bochim might not be associated with many important characters, which are detailed in the Holy Book, like Mary Magdalene, Saint Dismas, and many others. But that does not mean the location is not crucial to the story the Bible tells. As Christians, we tend to focus a lot more on the stories that follow Jesus or stories where God Himself reveals Himself.
In reality, we should realize that each and every story detailed in the Bible is of the most importance and should not be overlooked. In addition, locations are extremely important because they help us get the “mental picture” of the land and make us better understand the surroundings.
Many people don’t understand why certain locations are described in the Bible, claiming they are just that, details. But they have a purpose, like everything that God shares with us. Even though you might be one of those who don’t consider the locations from the Bible that important. Think about it this way.
When you make a plan with a loved one, don’t you set a time and a place? Wouldn’t you want the best-looking venue for a wedding or special event? One that truly encapsulates the warm and happy feeling? Well, just like that, God left us with the locations mentioned in the Bible.
Take the city of Bochim, known as the city of weepers, for instance. When you hear “Bokim,” nothing too important comes to mind. But when you are presented with the word’s meaning, you suddenly get a disturbing feeling that that place was not very happy. We owe that to the best storyteller in the world – God.
What Was the Reason People of Bokim wept?
The people of Bochim wept after the angel of God came to them. And said, “I will bring you up from Egypt. And I brought you into the land that I had sworn to your ancestors. […] I will not violate my covenant with you forever. As for you, you shall not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You shall tear down their altars. But you have not heard my voice. What is this you have done? […] I will not drive them out from before you, and they will become [thorns] in your sides, and their gods will become snares to you.”
The Israelites were not always obeying God. As a matter of fact, most kings of Israel were wicked kings who chose to bring other entities into their “home” and stray from God. And because God always intended humankind to be His family on Earth, it is only fair that He got extremely upset when His “family” treated Him like this. Also, they do not acknowledge Him and turn to false gods instead of asking for His help and guidance.
Over the course of our lives, it is important always to see the signs. God always sends us multiple signs in hopes of bringing us back on the path of light. And, as the story of Saint Dismas tells us, you can be forgiven by the Almighty. Even when you find yourself in your last ever minutes on Earth. The reason the ancient city of Bokim wept is that they finally understood that, and they understood their grave mistake.