Archaeology Sheds New Light on Israel's High Places
The Old Testament frequently and disapprovingly mentions the fact that the Israelites often built "high places." The Bible indicates that high places were worship centers where a pagan religion or a mix of Israelite and Canaanite religion was practiced.
Until recently, high places found by archaeologists revealed little about these sites of false worship. However, the discovery of a high place at Rehov tells a much more complete story – one consistent with what the Bible tells us. Its dating could make this high place one of those for which Jeroboam, son of Solomon, appointed priests. The sanctuary was a raised ten-foot square of mud brick. In the middle was a stone platform that was three feet square. One side of the platform had four large stones, two of them taller than the others. These may have been the "standing stones" mentioned in the Bible. In front of the platform was an offering table. Many of the bones of offered animals, often wild goats, were found at the site. Such offerings would have been against God's law. In addition, various figurines were found at the site. These included a bull, two female figures and another animal. Israel was forbidden to make such images.
This discovery challenges the skeptics and upholds the integrity of biblical history. Once again, the Bible's history has proven to be factual, even when reporting Israel's sins.