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By Knowles, M.D.

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22 CENTRALITY PRACTICED nation” a reference to the Jewish community, identified the “there” as the temple site. Haggai’s problem with the “there,” according to this judgment, was not its geography but its state of incompletion. 10 Although this is a possible argument, there is no grammatical reason to preclude an extra-Jerusalem location of the “there,” even if the worshippers are part of the Yahwistic community. That is, the text may indicate that Yahwists were sacrificing outside of the temple area.

34 CENTRALITY PRACTICED has no parallel in Samuel: “When David saw that YHWH had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he made his sacrifices (xbzyw) there. For the tabernacle of YHWH, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering (hlw(h xbzmw) were at that time in the high place at Gibeon; but David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was afraid of the sword of the angel of YHWH” (1 Chr 21:28–30). The story concludes with David declaring, “Here shall be the house of the God YHWH and here the altar of burnt offering (hl(l xbzm) for Israel” (1 Chr 22:1), a part of the story that again has no parallel in the Samuel text.

28 CENTRALITY PRACTICED In particular, two passages specifically criticize the practice of animal and non-animal sacrifice outside the city, Isa 57:1–13 and 65:1–12. The latter contains a polemic against those who “sacrifice (Myxbz) in gardens and offer grain (or food) offerings on platforms (Mynblh-l( Myr+qm), who sit inside tombs . 26 Such extra-temple sites for sacrifice are also criticized in Isa 57, although here they are mentioned along with impure sacrifice in the city itself. According to this text, the sons of the sorceress (hnn() have slaughtered (y+x#) their children in the valleys and under the clefts of the rocks, poured out a drink offering (Ksn) and brought a grain offering (hxnm) to the smooth stones of the valley (Isa 57:3– 6).

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