流水不腐,戶樞不蠹

Arad is mentioned in the Bible as one of the cities located in the eastern Negev whose

inhabitants attacked Israelites and eventually were destroyed by Joshua and his army. (Num

21:1-3)

The archaeology Yohanan Aharoni found a unique Judean shrine here. Actually he guessed

there was a similar Judean shrine in Beersheba in his excavation. However, this one can be

clearly seen.

The Judean shrine had similar structure of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem . It is composed of

the Court of Sanctuary, the Sacrificial Altar and the Holy of Holies. There are two stones in

the Holy of Holies that seem to be belonged to two deities.

From the ink-inscribed or engraved writings on the ostraca found in this area and Egypt ,

Aharoni believed this was the Israelite Temple and the two deities the Israelites in Arad

worshipped were Yahweh and “his” Asherah.

Including the horned altar found in the Beersheba, the findings of these two places must be the

high places mentioned in the 2 Kings 18:3-4,

He(Hezekiah) did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it.

That period of time the Israelites did not follow God’s decree,

Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you please. Offer them only at the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you.” Deu 12:13-14

They just set high places as they wanted and even worshipped other Gods with Yahweh in

the same place. That was the reason why Yahweh abandoned them.

I was astonished for the structural similarity between the Temple in Jerusalem and the high

places in everywhere(e.g. Arad ). They are the real example of “having a form of religion, but turning their backs on the power of it”(2 Tim 3:5).

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