high place

high place

An elevated location used for religious rites. In the OT, worship at such sites is characteristic of the Canaanite fertility religion and the worship of Baal (Jer 19:5; Jer 32:35), so it is generally strongly condemned, especially in Kings, Chronicles, and the Prophets. The rites practiced at the high places and the cultic objects found there are typically Canaanite: ritual prostitution (1Kgs 14:23-24; Ezek 16:16), child sacrifice (Jer 7:31; Jer 19:5; Jer 32:35; Ezek 16:20), sacrifices and the burning of incense (1Kgs 22:43; 2Kgs 12:3), the stone pillar symbolizing Baal, and the wooden pole symbolizing the goddess Asherah (1Kgs 14:23; 2Kgs 17:10). Certain OT passages reveal, however, that, before the centralization of worship at a single sanctuary, the high places were considered a legitimate feature of the worship of Yahweh. In (1Sam 9:12-24), we find Samuel sacrificing and presiding at the attendant meal at the high place of Ramah, and in (1Sam 10:5) a band of prophets has clearly been worshiping at the high place of Gibeath-elohim. It was the great prestige of Jerusalem that enabled the eventual implementation of Deuteronomy’s program by Josiah, who destroyed all the numerous high places in both the south and north (2Kgs 23:4-20) and left the Temple at Jerusalem as the sole place where Yahweh could be worshiped.

Jer 19:5

5and gone on building the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it enter ... View more

Jer 32:35

35They built the high places of Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did ... View more

1Kgs 14:23-24

23For they also built for themselves high places, pillars, and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree;24there were also male temple prostitu ... View more

Ezek 16:16

16You took some of your garments, and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore; nothing like this has ever been or ever shall be.

Jer 7:31

31And they go on building the high place of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did ... View more

Jer 19:5

5and gone on building the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it enter ... View more

Jer 32:35

35They built the high places of Baal in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, though I did not command them, nor did ... View more

Ezek 16:20

20You took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. As if your whorings were not enough!

1Kgs 22:43

43He walked in all the way of his father Asa; he did not turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord; yet the high places were not taken a ... View more

2Kgs 12:3

3Nevertheless the high places were not taken away; the people continued to sacrifice and make offerings on the high places.

1Kgs 14:23

23For they also built for themselves high places, pillars, and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree;

2Kgs 17:10

10they set up for themselves pillars and sacred poles on every high hill and under every green tree;

1Sam 9:12-24

12They answered, “Yes, there he is just ahead of you. Hurry; he has come just now to the town, because the people have a sacrifice today at the shrine.13As soon ... View more

1Sam 10:5

5After that you shall come to Gibeath-elohim, at the place where the Philistine garrison is; there, as you come to the town, you will meet a band of prophets co ... View more

2Kgs 23:4-20

4The king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, the priests of the second order, and the guardians of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the ... View more

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