Review of Haran, Menahem. “Temples and Cultic Open Areas as Reflected in the Bible.”

Haran, Menahem.  “Temples and Cultic Open Areas as Reflected in the Bible.”  In Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, 31-6.  Jerusalem: Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, 1981. [Israel/Canaan]

Haran discusses various special places of worship in Israel and differentiates between temples, high places, altars, and sanctuaries.  He defines or explains different important terms, several of which referred to the temple, such as bet Yahweh or Bet elohim for house of God; miqdas, a place or object of holiness.  He also carefully distinguishes between an altar and temple.  About a dozen temples are referred to in the Bible.  The “high place”bamah (bamot) is a distinct type of altar (p. 33).  It is accepted in pre-Deuteronomic writings, but considered absolutely illegitimate and detestable by the Deuteronomists and were wiped out in Josiah’s reforms (2 Kgs. 23:8-20).  There is very little real information about temples in the Bible.  He concludes with a brief discussion of open-cult areas.

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