Israel may only worship God in “the place that the LORD your God will choose,” that is, in Jerusalem.
Deuteronomy 12-26 forms the heart of the book and probably was the “book” (scroll) found in the The Jerusalem temple, unlike the tabernacle, was a permanent structure, although (like the tabernacle) it was a place of worship and religious activity. On one occasion Jesus felt such activity was unacceptable and, as reported in all four Gospels, drove from the temple those engaged... More that inaugurated Josiah’s religious reforms (2 Kings 22-23). The law code begins with the cardinal Deuteronomic principle of the centralization of worship in Jerusalem. Six times in this chapter it is affirmed that Israel may only Sacrifice is commonly understood as the practice of offering or giving up something as a sign of worship, commitment, or obedience. In the Old Testament grain, wine, or animals are used as sacrifice. In some New Testament writings Jesus' death on the cross as the... More in “the place that the LORD your God will choose” (vv. 5, 11, 14, 18, 21, 26). Exodus 20:24 had set forth the principle: “You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.” In other words, those places where God had been revealed became places of sacrifice; there was no one, centralized place for worship. Down through the generations, worship places were situated on hills or other high places, often in forests, sometimes in groves of trees. Many of these sites were former Canaanite places of worship. This, of course, became the problem. The priests responsible for Deuteronomy were wary of Israelite use of Canaanite high places for worship. The risk that elements of Baalism would corrupt their understanding of the faith was too great. This would especially be true if Deuteronomy began as a northern tradition, since the The Northern Kingdom consisted of ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and lasted for 200 years until it was destroyed by Assyria in 721 B.C.E. In the northern kingdom the kings were evil. Prophets like Elijah and Amos railed against them and their evildoing. More was plagued with numerous places of worship; every city had its own shrine, and, as we learn from the condemnations of the prophets (for example, Prophet to the northern kingdom who married a prostitute to show God's relationship to a faithless Israel More 8:11-14), they were as likely to be sacrificing to Baal as to the Lord. Such activity ultimately led to the destruction of the northern kingdom (2 Kings 17:7-18).
Deuteronomy 12 seeks to defend the purity of Israelite religion by reducing or eliminating the contamination of Baalism. This is accomplished by forbidding them to take over former Canaanite shrines, indeed, to “demolish [them] completely,” and by allowing sacrifice only “in the place that the LORD your God will choose.” This phrase is an oblique way of referring to “Jerusalem,” which could not explicitly be named before the time of Second king of Israel, David united the northern and southern kingdoms. More. To name it now would confuse the literary setting of Deuteronomy as a farewell address of Prophet who led Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land and received the law at Sinai More to the people prior to their entry into the promised land. This limitation of worship and sacrifice to Jerusalem affected every aspect of Israel’s individual and corporate life. It is the most important legislation in Deuteronomy.