High Places

The outdoor "High Place" though associated in the Bible primarily with pagan worship was a regular feature of pre-exilic Israel's life. Several examples have been uncovered. The picture (from McMath) is of the Israelite high place at Tell Dan.

I Kgs 12:31 records the first Jeroboam building a bet bamah (temple/house of the high place) at both Dan and Bethel. Biran's excavations at Dan have uncovered this. The original platform was 6.7m by 18.5m and was associated with a temenos (wall round a sacred enclosure).

Later, possibly in Ahab's reign, the high place was enlarged to 19m by 19m. The impressive steps (on the left under the tree) were added, probably in the time of Jeroboam II as part of the splendid state-supported religion of which Amos speaks scathingly.

This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.