1. Exposition

Where is Bochim?

Judges 2:1 (ESV)

1 Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you,

Its location is unknown, but it must have been an important place. Judges 2:4 suggests that some kind of national assembly was being held there: it speaks of the angel addressing all the Israelites. Likely not every last Israelite was there, but at least a large number of the elders of the various tribes would have been.1 Many scholars believe this is a reference to Bethel (formerly Luz).2,3,4 If this is the case, then the movement of the angel of the Lord is on an east-west trajectory within the tribe of Ephraim. Although the exact reason for this movement is not explicitly stated, it occurs in a context where Israel is condemned for their covenant unfaithfulness, which is the first confrontation in Judges between the Lord and Israel, which brings into view the theme of covenant unfaithfulness, curse, and loss of blessing expressed by the east-west movement of the angel of the Lord.