I'm aware of the fact that traditionally, there was one Mishkan and, derivatively, one Temple. I completely understand the logic of it - one nation, one God, one Temple. On the other hand, there are some speculations to the opposite: historically, there were alternative Jewish temples in parallel to the one in Jerusalem, for example, in Egypt or Motzah near Jerusalem; Bamot services were allowed in parallel; multiple Temples do not undermine God's unity or universality; God says "אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר י"א בּוֹ" - "...the place that the LORD your God will have chosen", not specifying a place; and more.

I'm interested to know if there are scriptural prohibitions (not a Rabbinic interpretation, like "מקום" is single therefore only one Temple) against establishing more than one Temple, maybe one per tribe, one per country, etc.

  • Bamot were only allowed when the mishkan was in certain places and never since the building of the Temple. It's for this reason that Chazal explained that what Eliyahu did at Mt. Carmel was a temporary ruling. Other temples that existed parallel to the Temple were illegal. We are told in Melachim that at least two (from what I remember) of the kings did away with these temples/Bamot - Chizkiyahu and Yoshiyahu.
    – Harel13
    Mar 30 at 22:00
  • @Harel13 Right, but it still could signify some dispersion of divinity, allowing eventually for multiple temples.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 31 at 6:03
  • Sounds like you're describing an עברה גוררת מצווה situation.
    – Harel13
    Mar 31 at 6:06
  • @Harel13 I'm trying to figure out the essence of the prohibition - is it inherent to Judaism and God can't be worshipped in more than one place or not. Bamot and shuls prove that it is possible.
    – Al Berko
    Mar 31 at 6:14

We find in the book of Joshua ch. 22 that when the tribes on the other side of the Jordan built an altar on their land, that the entire Jewish people was ready to go to war with them:

וַיִּשְׁמְע֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הִנֵּ֣ה בָנ֣וּ בְנֵֽי־רְאוּבֵ֣ן וּבְנֵי־גָ֡ד וַחֲצִי֩ שֵׁ֨בֶט הַֽמְנַשֶּׁ֜ה אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֗חַ אֶל־מוּל֙ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֶל־גְּלִילוֹת֙ הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן אֶל־עֵ֖בֶר בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ A report reached the Israelites: “The Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar opposite the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan, across from the Israelites.” 12 וַֽיִּשְׁמְע֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּקָּ֨הֲל֜וּ כָּל־עֲדַ֤ת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ שִׁלֹ֔ה לַעֲל֥וֹת עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם לַצָּבָֽא׃ (פ) When the Israelites heard this, the whole community of the Israelites assembled at Shiloh to make war on them. 13 וַיִּשְׁלְח֨וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶל־בְּנֵי־רְאוּבֵ֧ן וְאֶל־בְּנֵי־גָ֛ד וְאֶל־חֲצִ֥י שֵֽׁבֶט־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַגִּלְעָ֑ד אֶת־פִּינְחָ֖ס בֶּן־אֶלְעָזָ֥ר הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ But [first] the Israelites sent the priest Phinehas son of Eleazar to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, 14 וַעֲשָׂרָ֤ה נְשִׂאִים֙ עִמּ֔וֹ נָשִׂ֨יא אֶחָ֜ד נָשִׂ֤יא אֶחָד֙ לְבֵ֣ית אָ֔ב לְכֹ֖ל מַטּ֣וֹת יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְאִ֨ישׁ רֹ֧אשׁ בֵּית־אֲבוֹתָ֛ם הֵ֖מָּה לְאַלְפֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ accompanied by ten chieftains, one chieftain from each ancestral house of each of the tribes of Israel; they were every one of them heads of ancestral houses of the contingents of Israel. 15 וַיָּבֹ֜אוּ אֶל־בְּנֵי־רְאוּבֵ֧ן וְאֶל־בְּנֵי־גָ֛ד וְאֶל־חֲצִ֥י שֵֽׁבֶט־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה אֶל־אֶ֣רֶץ הַגִּלְעָ֑ד וַיְדַבְּר֥וּ אִתָּ֖ם לֵאמֹֽר׃ When they came to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in the land of Gilead, they spoke to them as follows: 16 כֹּ֣ה אָמְר֞וּ כֹּ֣ל ׀ עֲדַ֣ת יְהוָ֗ה מָֽה־הַמַּ֤עַל הַזֶּה֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר מְעַלְתֶּם֙ בֵּאלֹהֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לָשׁ֣וּב הַיּ֔וֹם מֵאַחֲרֵ֖י יְהוָ֑ה בִּבְנֽוֹתְכֶ֤ם לָכֶם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לִמְרָדְכֶ֥ם הַיּ֖וֹם בַּיהוָֽה׃

  • Does it explain the reason for their enmity? Was it because it was outside Israel?
    – Al Berko
    Mar 30 at 21:17
  • According to Metzudas David and Malbim, they built it on the Western side of the Jordan.
    – N.T.
    Mar 31 at 0:17

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