From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [1]

In the Old Testament the word miqdas [   Exodus 25:8 ), where the Israelites offered their various kinds of offerings and sacrifices to the Lord under the supervision of the priesthood. As in English, however, where the word "sanctuary" can sometimes refer to a "refuge, " there are two instances where the Lord refers to himself metaphorically as the "sanctuary" (i.e., refuge) of faithful Israelites in distress ( Isaiah 8:14;  Ezekiel 11:16 ). The more abstract term qodes ("holiness, sacredness") also many times refers concretely to a "holy place" (e.g.,   Exodus 30:13 ).

In the New Testament hagios [   Matthew 24:15;  Acts 6:13;  21:28 ). Other Old Testament and New Testament words may sometimes refer to or can even be translated "sanctuary" in some English versions, but none of them actually mean "sanctuary, " strictly speaking.

Although the Hebrew term miqdas [   Numbers 10:21 ), it most often refers to open air or housed sanctuaries as whole units, whether they be foreign "sanctuaries" ( Isaiah 16:12;  Ezekiel 28:18 ), multiple Israelite sanctuaries (whether illegitimate,  Leviticus 26:31;  Ezekiel 21:2;  Amos 7:9,13 , or legitimate, e.g.,  Joshua 24:26 ), the tabernacle complex (e.g.,  Exodus 25:8 ), the Solomonic temple (e.g.,  1 Chronicles 22:19;  28:10 ), the second temple ( Nehemiah 10:39 ), or the future temple on Mount Zion (e.g.,  Ezekiel 37:26,28;  44:9-16 ).

When referring to the tabernacle, miqdas [   Exodus 25:8 a) as the special sanctified dwelling place of the Lord among his people, in the midst of which was the building known as the "tabernacle" (25:9) and over which they stretched a "tent" (26:7). It can refer to the multiple holy precincts within the tabernacle or temple complex (note the plural "sanctuaries" in  Leviticus 21:23;  Psalm 73:17;  Jeremiah 51:51 ), the "holy place" where incense was offered (only once,  2 Chronicles 26:18 ), and possibly to "the Most Holy Place" (only once,  Leviticus 16:33 a).

Like miqdas [   Exodus 30:13;  36:1;  Leviticus 10:4;  2 Chronicles 29:5,7;  Psalm 74:3;  Ezekiel 44:27 ). However, it is also used alone or in various combinations to distinguish between certain holy precincts within the sanctuary, specifically, the area of the court near the altar sometimes referred to as "the holy place" ( Leviticus 10:17-18 ), the outer "Holy Place" in the tabernacle or temple building itself (e.g.,  Exodus 26:33;  1 Kings 8:10;  2 Chronicles 5:11;  Ezekiel 42:14 ), and the inner "holy place" ( Leviticus 16:2;  4:6 ]) which is the "Most Holy Place"), where the ark of the covenant was located. When these terms are used together in the same context, miqdas [מִקְדָּשׁ] tends to signify the whole complex as a unit within which one would find the tent or house structure known as the qodes [קֹדֶשׁ] and all its various furnishings.

The Lord determined that he would dwell in a sanctuary in the midst of his "kingdom of priests, " his "holy nation" ( Exodus 19:6;  Psalm 68:32-35 ). They were to stand in awe and fear of this ( Leviticus 19:30 ) as when they "trembled" at the Lord's appearance on Mount Sinai ( Exodus 19:16 ). This sanctuary was the primary place where the Lord manifested his presence in the midst of Israel ( Exodus 40:34-38 ) and, therefore, became the preeminent place of worship ( Leviticus 9:6,22-24 ).

The Lord sanctified the sanctuary and with it an officiating "Aaronic priesthood" ( Exodus 29:44;  Leviticus 8:10;  Numbers 7:1 ). To the latter he assigned the responsibility of maintaining the sanctity of the Lord's presence in the sanctuary ( Leviticus 10:10-11,17;  Numbers 18:1;  Deuteronomy 18:5 ) lest the people "die in their uncleanness for defiling my dwelling place, which is among them" ( Leviticus 15:31 ). However, because he was dealing with a sinful and unclean people who would inevitably defile the sanctuary, the Lord provided for its regular cleansing (see, e.g., the regular sin offering in  Leviticus 4:1-5:13 ) as well as the annual cleansing and (re)sanctifying of the defiled sanctuary ( Leviticus 16:19 ). Nevertheless, he warned that he would completely abandon his sanctuary if his covenant people abandoned him ( 1 Kings 9:6-7;  2 Chronicles 7:20 ), a threat he eventually acted upon.

Of course, the New Testament writers were, by and large, fully familiar with the Jerusalem sanctuary complex, but it was the writer of Hebrews who developed the theology of the "sanctuary" motif. He began with the "heavenly sanctuary" (8:22) as the model or "pattern" (8:5) of which the "earthly" and "man-made sanctuary" (9:1,24) was only a "copy" (9:23-24). In the Old Testament earthly sanctuary there was a tabernacle (tent) or building in which there was an outer room called "the Holy Place" separated by a veil from an inner room called "the Most Holy Place, " which only the high priest could enter and even he only once a year. Jesus entered the "holy of holies" of the "heavenly" sanctuary for us (9:25; cf. 8:1-5) when he sacrificed his own body as our High Priest once for all (9:24-25). By this means he, in fact, granted us direct access into the heavenly sanctuary and, indeed, the very presence of God (10:19; cf. 4:14-16).

Richard E. Averbeck

See also Altar; Offerings And Sacrifices; Priesthood Priest; Tabernacle; Temple

Bibliography . G. D. Alles, The Encyclopedia of Religion, 13:59-60; D. N. Freedman, Temples and High Places in Biblical Times, pp. 21-30; M. Haran, Temples and Temple-Service in Ancient Israel, pp. 13-57,149-204; P. P. Jenson, Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World  ; T. E. McComiskey, TWOT, 2:786-89; O. Procksch and K. G. Kuhn, TDNT, 1:88-115; R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 2:271-330; D. P. Wright, The Disposal of Impurity .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [2]

This term is used by Authorized Versionand Revised Version(1) in  Hebrews 9:1 for τὸ ἅγιον, which denotes the sacred tent in both its parts, as is implied by the synonymous σκηνή, ‘tabernacle,’ in the following verse; and (2) in  Hebrews 8:2 for τὰ ἅγια, the heavenly sanctuary or holy of holies (Revised Version margin ‘holy things’). The word represents ἅγια in  Hebrews 9:2 (Revised Version‘the Holy place’), where the omission of the article, in contrast to the invariable Septuagintusage ( Leviticus 10:4,  Numbers 3:22, etc.), serves to emphasize the holiness (M. Dods in Expositor’s Greek Testament, ‘Hebrews,’ 1910, in loco.). In this passage ἅγια stands in express contrast to ἅγια ἁγίων ( Hebrews 9:3), ‘the Holiest of all’ (Authorized Version), ‘the Holy of holies’ (Revised Version). But the simple τά ἅγια frequently denotes ‘the Holiest,’ and is so translated by the Authorized Versionin  Hebrews 9:8;  Hebrews 10:19, though elsewhere ( Hebrews 9:25,  Hebrews 13:11) ‘the holy place,’ which is the Revised Versionrendering in all these passages. This usage is justified by  Leviticus 16:2, etc., where קֹדָשׁ, Septuagintτὸ ἅγιον, denotes the holy place within the veil; Vulg.[Note: Vulgate.]sanctuarium quod est intra velum. It is now recognized by all scholars that the central sanctuary and elaborate ritual of the desert wanderings are not historical realities but products of religions idealism, based in all essential features upon the architectural plan and sacerdotal rubric of the Second Temple. But the argument of the writer of Hebrews is scarcely affected by the change from the traditional to the critical view. Whether the earthly sanctuary, which he at once magnifies and depreciates, was the creation of Moses or of Ezekiel and Ezra, it has now had its day and must cease to be, since the true high priest has passed into the heavenly sanctuary, and become the minister of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man ( Hebrews 9:1-2).

Literature.-articles ‘Tabernacle’ and ‘Temple’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols)and Encyclopaedia Biblica.

James Strahan.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [3]

1: Ἅγιον (Strong'S #39 — Adjective — hagion — hag'-ee-on )

the neuter of the adjective hagios, "holy," is used of those structures which are set apart to God, (a) of "the tabernacle" in the wilderness,  Hebrews 9:1 , RV, "its sanctuary, a sanctuary of this world" (AV, "a worldly sanctuary"); in  Hebrews 9:2 the outer part is called "the Holy place," RV (AV, "the sanctuary"); here the neuter plural hagia is used, as in   Hebrews 9:3 .

 Hebrews 9:8 Hebrews 9:24  Hebrews 9:25 Hebrews 13:11 Matthew 24:15 Hebrews 8:2 Hebrews 9:24,25 13:11  Hebrews 9:12 Hebrews 10:19

2: Ναός (Strong'S #3485 — Noun Masculine — naos — nah-os' )

is used of the inner part of the Temple in Jerusalem, in  Matthew 23:35 , RV, "sanctuary." See Temple.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [4]

A sanctuary was a sanctified place, a place set apart for God and therefore considered to be holy (see Sanctification ). Heaven, being God’s dwelling place, could be called God’s sanctuary ( Psalms 102:19;  Psalms 150:1). Usually, however, the sanctuary referred to God’s earthly dwelling place, the tabernacle, and later the temple ( Exodus 25:8;  1 Chronicles 28:10;  Psalms 68:24-26; see Tabernacle ; Temple ). The inner shrine, or Most Holy Place, was in particular known as the sanctuary; for there, over the ark of the covenant, God symbolically dwelt ( Leviticus 4:6;  Psalms 96:6;  Hebrews 13:11).

Since Israel trusted in God and God dwelt in the sanctuary, to trust in God was to trust in the sanctuary. A sanctuary therefore came to have a secondary meaning as a place of refuge ( Isaiah 8:14;  Ezekiel 11:16; cf.  Exodus 21:12-14;  1 Kings 2:29;  Numbers 35:6; see City Of Refuge ).

Other gods had their sanctuaries also. These were usually places where altars had been set up for the worship of false gods. The Baal sanctuaries, which Israelites often took over and used in their own form of false worship, were known as high places ( Amos 7:9; see Baal ).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

A holy place devoted to God. It appears to be the name sometimes of the entire temple,  Psalm 73.17;  Hebrews 9.1; sometimes of the "Holy place," where the altar on incense, the golden candlestick, and the showbread stood,  2 Chronicles 26:18   Hebrews 9:2; and sometimes of the "Holy of Holies," the most secret and retired part of the temple, in which was the ark of the covenant, and where none but the high priest might enter, and he only once a year on the day of solemn expiation. The same name was also given to the most sacred part of the tabernacle set up in the wilderness,  Leviticus 4:6 . See Tabernacle , and Temple .

The temple or earthly sanctuary is an emblem of heaven,  Psalm 102:19   Hebrews 9:1,24; and God himself is called a sanctuary,  Isaiah 8:14   Ezekiel 11:16 , in reference to the use of temples as a place of refuge for fugitives, because he is the only safe and sacred asylum for sinners pursued by the sword of divine justice.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [6]

 2 Chronicles 30:8 (b) This is a beautiful type of the fellowship and presence of GOD in the midst of His people. It is a picture of the Church in the New Testament whereby GOD is able to dwell among us in the Person of the Holy Spirit and feel at home with His children on earth. (See also  Psalm 20:2;  Psalm 68:24;  Psalm 73:17;  Psalm 77:13;  Psalm 96:6).

 Psalm 114:2 (a) GOD refers to the entire people of Judah as a holy place in which He can dwell and walk among them.

 Isaiah 8:14 (a) GOD calls Himself a place of holiness. GOD's people could and should find their place of worship in GOD's own person, in His presence. (See also  Ezekiel 11:16).

 Ezekiel 47:12 (a) This is a type of the Lord Jesus from whom the Holy Spirit comes to work on and in the people of GOD. The river is a type of the Holy Spirit. (See also under "RIVER").

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [7]

The Scriptures have several distinct meanings for this word, according as the word itself is made use of. The apostle to the Hebrews describes the sanctuary how it was appointed, ( Hebrews 9:1-5) No doubt the sanctuary was a type of JEHOVAH'S throne in heaven; hence ( Psalms 102:19) the Lord is represented as "looking down from the height of his sanctuary, from heaven did the Lord behold the earth?" The church of Christ is represented as the Lord's sanctuary under the type of the holy land. ( Exodus 15:17-18) And there is another very sweet and precious figure of the Lord's sanctuary, when his people are considered in this light. The psalmist celebrates this in one of the loftiest strains of sacred poetry: "When" ( Psalms 114:1-8) "Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion. The sea saw it and fled, Jordan was driven back."

King James Dictionary [8]

SANC'TUARY, n. L. sanctuarium, from sanctus, sacred.

1. A sacred place particularly among the Israelites, the most retired part of the temple at Jerusalem, called the Holy of Holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which no person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and that only once a year to intercede for the people. The same name was given to the most sacred part of the tabernacle.  Leviticus 4 .

 Hebrews 9 .

2. The temple at Jerusalem.  2 Chronicles 20 . 3. A house consecrated to the worship of God a place where divine service is performed.  Psalms 73 .

Hence sanctuary is used for a church.

4. In catholic churches, that part of a church where the altar is placed, encompassed with a balustrade. 5. A place of protection a sacred asylum. Hence a sanctuary-man is one that resorts to a sanctuary for protection. 6. Shelter protection.

Some relics of painting took sanctuary under ground.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

This is 'holy [place],' and is applied in the O.T. both to the tabernacle and to the temple as a whole, and to the 'holy [place]' and 'most holy' in distinction from the other parts: "Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary."  Psalm 77:13 . The sanctuary was where, in retirement from man and the world, God's glory was seen, and His mind apprehended; it was where the sacrifices were offered, and God was worshipped.

In the N.T. also the word sanctuary is applied to the holy and most holy parts of the tabernacle.  Hebrews 9:1-8;  Hebrews 10:19;  Hebrews 13:11 . Here it is called 'worldly,' (κοσμικός) in reference possibly to its order, and its contrast to the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man. The word 'sanctuary' in  Hebrews 8:2 is literally holy (places or things); of these Christ is minister. The sanctuary for the Christian consists in the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God is revealed without a veil.

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) A sacred place; a consecrated spot; a holy and inviolable site.

(2): ( n.) The most retired part of the temple at Jerusalem, called the Holy of Holies, in which was kept the ark of the covenant, and into which no person was permitted to enter except the high priest, and he only once a year, to intercede for the people; also, the most sacred part of the tabernacle; also, the temple at Jerusalem.

(3): ( n.) The most sacred part of any religious building, esp. that part of a Christian church in which the altar is placed.

(4): ( n.) A sacred and inviolable asylum; a place of refuge and protection; shelter; refuge; protection.

(5): ( n.) A house consecrated to the worship of God; a place where divine service is performed; a church, temple, or other place of worship.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [11]

 Exodus 15:17 Psalm 114:2 1 Chronicles 22:19 2 Chronicles 29:21 Exodus 25:8 Leviticus 12:4 21:12 Naos   Leviticus 4:6 Ephesians 2:21 Psalm 102:19 Revelation 21:22

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [12]

Sanctuary . See High Place; Tabernacle, 11 ( b ); Temple.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [13]

See Temple .

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [14]

saṇk´t̬ū́ - ā́ - ri , sank´t̬ū - a - ri ( מקדּש , miḳdāsh , מקּרשׁ , miḳḳedhāsh , קדשׁ , ḳōdhesh , "holy place"; ἅγιον , hágion ):

1. Nature of Article

2. The Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis

The Three Stages

3. Difficulties of the Theory

(1) Slaughter Not Necessarily Sacrificial

(2) Sacrifice and Theophany

(3) Alleged Plurality of Sanctuaries

(4) The Altar of God's House

(5) Local Altars in Deuteronomy

4. The Alternative View

(1) Lay Sacrifice

(2) Three Pilgrimage Festivals

5. The Elephantine Papyri

The Elephantine Temple


1. Nature of Article:

The present article is designed to supplement the articles on Altars; High Place; Pentateuch; Tabernacle; Temple , by giving an outline of certain rival views of the course of law and history as regards the place of worship. The subject has a special importance because it was made the turning-point of Wellhausen's discussion of the development of Israel's literature, history and religion. He himself writes: "I differ from Graf chiefly in this, that I always go back to the centralization of the cult, and deduce from it the particular divergences. My whole position is contained in my first chapter" ( Prolegomena , 368). For the purposes of this discussion it is necessary to use the symbols J, E, D, H, and the Priestly Code (P), which are explained in the article Pentateuch .

2. The Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis:

It is said that there are three distinct stages of law and history.

The Three Stages:

(1) In the first stage all slaughter of domestic animals for food purposes was sacrificial, and every layman could sacrifice locally at an altar of earth or unhewn stones. The law of Je is contained in  Exodus 20:24-26 , providing for the making of an altar of earth or stones, and emphasis is laid on the words "in every place ("in all the place" is grammatically an equally possible rendering) where I record my name I will come unto thee and I will bless thee." This, it is claimed, permits a plurality of sanctuaries. Illustrations are provided by the history. The patriarchs move about the country freely and build altars at various places. Later sacrifices or altars are mentioned in connection with Jethro ( Exodus 18:12 ), Moses ( Exodus 17:15 , etc.), Joshua ( Joshua 8:30 ), Gideon ( Judges 6:26 etc.), Manoah (  Judges 13:19 ), Samuel ( 1 Samuel 7:17 , etc.), Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:32 ), to take but a few instances. Perhaps the most instructive case is that of Saul after the battle of Michmash. Observing that the people were eating meat with blood, he caused a large stone to be rolled to him, and we are expressly told that this was the first altar that he built to the Lord ( 1 Samuel 14:35 ). While some of these examples might be accounted for by theophanies or other special circumstances, they are too numerous when taken together for such an explanation to suffice. In many instances they represent the conduct of the most authoritative and religious leaders of the age, e.g. Samuel, and it must be presumed that such men knew and acted upon the Law of their own day. Hence, the history and the Law of Ex 20 are in unison in permitting a multiplicity of sanctuaries. Wellhausen adds: "Altars as a rule are not built by the patriarchs according to their own private judgment wheresoever they please; on the contrary, a theophany calls attention to, or, at least afterward, confirms, the holiness of the place" (op. cit., 31).

(2) The second stage is presented by Deuteronomy in the Law and Josiah's reformation in the history. Undoubtedly,   Deuteronomy 12 permits local non-sacrificial slaughter for the purposes of food, and enjoins the destruction of heathen places of worship, insisting with great vehemence on the central sanctuary. The narrative of Josiah's reformation in   2 Kings 23 tallies with these principles.

(3) The third great body of law (the Priestly Code, P) does not deal with the question (save in one passage,   Leviticus 17 ). In Deuteronomy "the unity of the cult is commanded  ; in the Priestly Code it is presupposed .... What follows from this forms the question before us. To my thinking, this: that the Priestly Code rests upon the result which is only the aim of Deuteronomy" ( Prolegomena , 35). Accordingly, it is later than the latter book and dates from about the time of Ezra. As to   Leviticus 17:1-9 , this belongs to H (the Law of Holiness, Lev 17 through 26), an older collection of laws than the Priestly Code (P), and is taken up in the latter. Its intention was "to secure the exclusive legitimation of the one lawful place of sacrifice.... Plainly the common man did not quite understand the newly drawn and previously quite unknown distinction between the religious and the profane act" ( Prolegomena , 50). Accordingly, this legislator strove to meet the difficulty by the new enactment. See Criticism (The Graf-Wellhausen Hypothesis ).

3. Difficulties of the Theory:

(1) Slaughter Not Necessarily Sacrificial

The general substratum afforded by the documentary theory falls within the scope of the article Pentateuch . The present discussion is limited to the legal and historical outline traced above. The view that all slaughter of domestic animals was sacrificial till the time of Josiah is rebutted by the evidence of the early books. The following examples should be noted: in  Genesis 18:7 a calf is slain without any trace of a sacrifice, and in   Genesis 27:9-14 (Jacob's substitute for venison) no altar or religious rite can fairly be postulated. In   1 Samuel 28:24 the slaughter is performed by a woman, so that here again sacrifice is out of the question. If Gideon performed a sacrifice when he "made ready a kid" (  Judges 6:19 ) or when he killed an animal for the broth of which the narrative speaks, the animals in question must have been sacrificed twice over, once when they were killed and again when the food was consumed by flames. Special importance attaches to  Exodus 22:1 (Hebrew 21:37), for there the Je legislation itself speaks of slaughter by cattle thieves as a natural and probable occurrence, and it can surely not have regarded this as a sacrificial act. Other instances are to be found in  Genesis 43:16;  1 Samuel 25:11;  1 Kings 19:21 . In  1 Samuel 8:13 the word translated "cooks" means literally, "women slaughterers." All these instances are prior to the date assigned to Deuteronomy. With respect to   Leviticus 17:1-7 also, theory is unworkable. At any time in King Josiah's reign or after, it would have been utterly impossible to limit all slaughter of animals for the whole race wherever resident to one single spot. This part of theory therefore breaks down.

(2) Sacrifice and Theophany

The view that the altars were erected at places that were peculiarly holy, or at any rate were subsequently sanctified by a theophany, is also untenable. In the Patriarchal age we may refer to  Genesis 4:26 , where the calling on God implies sacrifice but not theophanies, Abram at Beth- el ( Genesis 12:8 ) and Mamre ( Genesis 13:18 ), and Jacob's sacrifices ( Genesis 31:54;  Genesis 33:20 ). Compare later Samuel's altar at Ramah, Adonijah's sacrifice at En-rogel (1 Ki 1), Naaman's earth (2 Ki 5), David's clan's sacrifice ( 1 Samuel 20:6 ,  1 Samuel 20:29 ). It is impossible to postulate theophanies for the sacrifices of every clan in the country, and it becomes necessary to translate  Exodus 20:24 "in all the place" (see supra 2, (1)) and to understand "the place" as the territory of Israel.

(3) Alleged Plurality of Sanctuaries

The hypothesis of a multiplicity of sanctuaries in Je and the history also leaves out of view many most important facts. The truth is that the word "sanctuary" is ambiguous and misleading. A plurality of altars of earth or stone is not a plurality of sanctuaries. The early legislation knows a "house of Yahweh" in addition to the primitive altars ( Exodus 23:19;  Exodus 34:26; compare the parts of  Joshua 9:23 ,  Joshua 9:27 assigned to J). No eyewitness could mistake a house for an altar, or vice versa.

(4) The Altar of God's House

Moreover a curious little bit of evidence shows that the "house" had quite a different kind of altar. In  1 Kings 1:50 f;   1 Kings 2:28 ff, we hear of the horns of the altar (compare   Amos 3:14 ). Neither earth nor unhewn stones (as required by the Law of Ex 20) could provide such horns, and the historical instances of the altars of the patriarchs, religious leaders, etc., to which reference has been made, show that they had no horns. Accordingly, we are thrown back on the description of the great altar of burnt offering in Ex 27 and must assume that an altar of this type was to be found before the ark before Solomon built his Temple. Thus the altar of the House of God was quite different from the customary lay altar, and when we read of "mine altar" as a refuge in   Exodus 21:14 , we must refer it to the former, as is shown by the passages just cited. In addition to the early legislation and the historical passages cited as recognizing a House of God with a horned altar, we see such a house in Shiloh where Eli and his sons of the house of Aaron ( 1 Samuel 2:27 ) ministered. Thus the data of both Je and the history show us a House of God with a horned altar side by side with the multiplicity of stone or earthen altars, but give us no hint of a plurality of legitimate houses or shrines or sanctuaries.

(5) Local Altars in Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy also recognizes a number of local altars in  Deuteronomy 16:21 (see ICC , at the place) and so does Later Deuteronomistic editors in  Joshua 8:30 ff. There is no place for any of these passages ia the Wellhausen theory; but again we find one house side by side with many lay altars.

4. The Alternative View:

(1) Lay Sacrifice

The alternative view seeks to account for the whole of the facts noted above. In bald outline it is as follows: In pre-Mosaic times customary sacrifices had been freely offered by laymen at altars of earth or stone which were not "sanctuaries," but places that could be used for the nonce and then abandoned. Slaughter, as shown by the instances cited, was not necessarily sacrificial. Moses did not forbid or discourage the custom he found. On the contrary, he regulated it in  Exodus 20:24-26;  Deuteronomy 16:21 f to prevent possible abuses. But he also superimposed two other kinds of sacrifice - certain new offerings to be brought by individuals to the religious capital and the national offerings of Nu 28; 29 and other passages. If the Priestly Code (P) assumes the religious capital as axiomatic, the reason is that this portion of the Law consists of teaching entrusted to the priests, embracing the procedure to be followed in these two classes of offerings, and does not refer at all to the procedure at customary lay sacrifices, which was regulated by immemorial custom. Deuteronomy thunders not against the lay altars - which are never even mentioned in this connection - but against the Canaanite high places. Deuteronomy 12 contemplates only the new individual offerings. The permission of lay slaughter for food was due to the fact that the infidelity of the Israelites in the wilderness (  Leviticus 17:5-7 ) had led to the universal prohibition of lay slaughter for the period of the wanderings only, though it appears to be continued by Dt for those who lived near the House of God (see  Leviticus 12:1-8 :21, limited to the case "if the place ... be too far from thee").

(2) Three Pilgrimage Festivals.

The Je legislation itself recognizes the three pilgrimage festivals of the House of God ( Exodus 34:22 f). One of these festivals is called "the feast of weeks, even of the bikkūrı̄m (a kind of first-fruits) of wheat harvest," and as  Exodus 23:19 and   Exodus 34:26 require these bikkūrı̄m to be brought to the House of God and not to a lay altar, it follows that the pilgrimages are as firmly established here as in Deuteronomy. Thus we find a House (with a horned altar) served by priests and lay altars of earth or stone side by side in law and history till the exile swept them all away, and by breaking the continuity of tradition and practice paved the way for a new and artificial interpretation of the Law that was far removed from the intent of the lawgiver.

5. The Elephantine Papyri:

The Elephantine Temple.

Papyri have recently been found at Elephantine which show us a Jewish community in Egypt which in 405 Bc possessed a local temple. On the Wellhausen hypothesis it is usual to assume that the Priestly Code (P) and Deuteronomy were still unknown and not recognized as authoritative in this community at that date, although the Deuteronomic law of the central sanctuary goes back at least to 621. It is difficult to understand how a law that had been recognized as divine by Jeremiah and others could still have been unknown or destitute of authority. On the alternative view this phenomenon will have been the result of an interpretation of the Law to suit the needs of an age some 800 years subsequent to the death of Moses in circumstances he never contemplated. The Pentateuch apparently permits sacrifice only in the land of Israel: in the altered circumstances the choice lay between interpreting the Law in this way or abandoning public worship altogether; for the synagogue with its non-sacrificial form of public worship had not yet been invented. All old legislations have to be construed in this way to meet changing circumstances, and this example contains nothing exceptional or surprising.


J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel , chapter i, for the critical hypothesis; H. M. Wiener, Epc , chapter vi, Ps passim for the alternative view; Pot , 173 ff.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [15]

Is the occasional rendering, in the A.V., of two Heb. and one Greek term. A general term is קֹדֶשׁ , Kodesh (" sanctuary,"  Exodus 30:13;  Exodus 30:24;  Exodus 36:1;  Exodus 36:3-4;  Exodus 36:6;  Exodus 38:25-27;  Leviticus 4:6;  Leviticus 5:15;  Leviticus 10:4;  Leviticus 27:3;  Leviticus 27:25;  Numbers 3:28;  Numbers 3:31-32;  Numbers 3:47;  Numbers 3:50;  Numbers 4:12;  Numbers 4:15;  Numbers 7:9;  Numbers 7:13;  Numbers 7:19;  Numbers 7:25;  Numbers 7:31;  Numbers 7:37;  Numbers 7:43;  Numbers 7:49;  Numbers 7:55;  Numbers 7:61;  Numbers 7:67;  Numbers 7:73;  Numbers 7:79;  Numbers 7:85-86;  Numbers 8:19;  Numbers 18:3;  Numbers 18:5;  Numbers 18:10;  1 Chronicles 9:29;  Psalms 20:2;  Psalms 58:2;  Psalms 68:24;  Psalms 74:3;  Psalms 77:13;  Psalms 114:2;  Psalms 150:1;  Isaiah 43:28;  Lamentations 4:1;  Ezekiel 41:21;  Ezekiel 41:23;  Ezekiel 42:20;  Ezekiel 44:27;  Ezekiel 45:2;  Daniel 8:13-14;  Daniel 9:26;  Zephaniah 3:4), which properly means Holiness (often so rendered, frequently as an attribute, and perhaps to be regarded as a concrete of the sacred edifice), and especially the "holy place" (as very often rendered). The more specific term is מַקְדָּשׁ , Mikdash (invariably rendered "sanctuary," except  Amos 7:13, "chapel," and twice in the plur. "holy place" [ Psalms 68:35;  Ezekiel 21:2]), which is from the same root, and signifies the local shrine. In the New Test. we have the corresponding Ἃγιον (" sanctuary,"  Hebrews 8:2;  Hebrews 9:1-2;  Hebrews 13:11; elsewhere "holy place" or "holiest"), which is simply the neut. of Ἃγιος , a general term for anything Holy. (See Holy Place); (See Tabernacle); (See Temple).