(in ancient Semitic religions) a place of worship, usually a temple or altar on a hilltop.
(Old Testament) a place of idolatrous worship, esp a hilltop

an eminence, natural or artificial, where worship by sacrifice or offerings was made (1 Kings 13:32; 2 Kings 17:29). The first altar after the Flood was built on a mountain (Gen. 8:20). Abraham also built an altar on a mountain (12:7, 8). It was on a mountain in Gilead that Laban and Jacob offered sacrifices (31:54). After the Israelites entered the Promised Land they were strictly enjoined to overthrow the high places of the Canaanites (Ex. 34:13; Deut. 7:5; 12:2, 3), and they were forbidden to worship the Lord on high places (Deut. 12:11-14), and were enjoined to use but one altar for sacrifices (Lev. 17:3, 4; Deut. 12; 16:21). The injunction against high places was, however, very imperfectly obeyed, and we find again and again mention made of them (2 Kings 14:4; 15:4, 35:2 Chr. 15:17, etc.).


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