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Some Historical Aspects of Josiah's Reform (III) Josiah and the Bamoth

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Chapter Summary

The issue of cultic centralization, the elimination of alternative loci of state-sanctioned public worship of Yahweh, the patron god of the state, is the centerpiece of the final version of reform report and also stands out in the "original" version. If the report of Manasseh's "rebuilding" of the bamoth which Hezekiah had "destroyed" in "the cities of Judah" is credible, this endeavor must be understood in the context of the building program and the royal administrative system. The building program probably extended into Josiah's reign, and the administrative system certainly did. There is no biblical that these bamoth were physically destroyed. The bones used in the "defiling" of the bamoth in "the cities of Judah" may have replaced the cult objects there. Like Solomon's Temple, his bamah/oth had an altar which also was "defiled" by contact with human bones which in this instance were burned as weIl.

Keywords: bamoth; cultic centralization; Hezekiah; Josiah; Solomon's temple



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