Why was it wrong to worship the Lord at the high places? (2 Chronicles 33:17) 17 The people, however, continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
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The term "high places" referred to elevated locations that were used for worship (based on the belief that worshipping on an elevated surface lifted the worshipper closer to God). These places are mentioned in the Bible as having at one time been used by Israel for the worship of God (as indicated in 1 Samuel 9:11-14, for example), but also by the inhabitants of the land of Canaan for the worship of false gods or idols. (Prior to Israel entering Canaan following the exodus from Egypt, God commanded that all these pagan high places were to be destroyed (Numbers 33:50-52), but Israel apparently did not fully carry out this directive.) After Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, it became the only place where God was to be worshipped, in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 12:5. (However, Solomon was also recorded as having built high places for his pagan wives (1 Kings 11:7).) Worshipping at the former high places thus became exclusively associated with idol worship. As such, the "good kings" of Judah (such as Hezekiah and Josiah) destroyed or desecrated them (2 Kings 18:4; 2 Kings 23:8).
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