MALE SHRINE PROSTITUTES: "Sodomites" (AV). " 'Qadhesh'
denotes properly a male temple prostitute, one of the class attached to certain
sanctuaries of heathen deities, and 'consecrated' [the Heb rt word means lit,
and sarcastically, 'holy'!] to the impure rites of their worship. Such gross and
degrading practices in Yahweh's land could only be construed as a flagrant
outrage; and any association of these with His pure worship was abhorrent (Deu
23:17,18): The presence of Sodomites is noted as a mark of degeneracy in
Rehoboam's time (1Ki 14:24). Asa endeavored to get rid of them (1Ki 15:12), and
Jehoshaphat routed them out (1Ki 22:46). Subsequent corruptions opened the way
for their return, and Josiah had to break down their houses which were actually
"in the house of the Lord" (2Ki 23:7). The feminine 'qedheshah' is translated
'prostitute' in Gen 38:21,22; Hos 4:14; Deu 23:17 (the KJV mg has 'sodomitess';
the RV mg simply transliterates). The English word is, of course, derived from
Sodom, the inhabitants of which were in evil repute for unnatural vice"
HE DID NOT REMOVE THE HIGH PLACES: Specific mention is
made, several times, of the high places not being taken away: by Asa (1Ki
15:14); Jehoshaphat (1Ki 22:43); Jehoash (2Ki 12:3); Amaziah (2Ki 14:4);
Azariah/Uzziah (2Ki 15:4); and Jotham (2Ki 15:35) -- demonstrating the
importance of this action in God's sight. These kings did not make a full return
to God. The high places (which had been used for idol worship) might have been
out of use for the time being, but it seems they were not totally destroyed
until the time of Hezekiah (2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 32:12); and even then their
prohibition did not last beyond his reign (2Ch 33:3).
Do we have other shrines at which we worship? We must be sure
that we remove the "high places" from our lives completely, even if they are
currently "out of use".
THE HIGH PLACES: Poss not associated with idolatrous
worship, as were those in 2Ch 14:3,5.
"We read of a very early king of Israel, Baasha, making his
iron curtain. He fortified the border, 'that he might not suffer any to go out
or come in to Asa, king of Judah' (1Ki 15:17).
"Why did he do that? Other books of the Old Testament supply
the answer. Like the builders of the Berlin wall he was not concerned about
keeping an enemy out, but with keeping his own people in. All the God-fearing
people in the idolatrous north wanted to emigrate to the south, where the Temple
in Jerusalem kept true worship alive.
"Baasha's iron curtain was inefficient. He lacked the barbed
wire and minefields beloved of modern dictators. The Second Book of Chronicles
tells us that when good king Asa purged all the idols out of the Kingdom of
Judah, this was the result: 'He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and them that
sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh and out of Simeon. For they fell
to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with
him' (2Ch 15:9)" (GT).
BEN-HADAD: There are 3 Ben-hadads: (1) here; 2Ch
16:1-6; (2) 1Ki 20:1-34; 22:1-36; 2Ki 5:2; 6:18-23; 7:20); murdered by Hazael
(2Ki 8:7-15); and (3) son of Hazael (2Ki 13:3-13,22-25).
GIBBETHON: A town in west central Palestine in the
territory of Dan listed with Eltekeh and Baalath (Jos 19:44). It was assigned to
the Kohathite Levites (Jos 21:23). In early days of the northern kingdom
Gibbethon belonged to the Philistines. Nadab was slain by Baasha while besieging
it (1Ki 15:27). Omri was besieging it when he was made king to succeed Zimri. It
may possibly be identified with Kibbiah, which lies about 16 miles se of