Standing Stones in the Old Testament

Dr. Claude Mariottini - Professor of Old Testament

The people of ancient Israel set up standing stones as memorials and witnesses of God’s work in the life of the nation and in the life of individuals (Ben-Ami 2006:38-45). These monuments are associated with historical events such as deliverance in times of war, divine manifestation to individuals, and significant religious occasions. One of those occasions was the ratification of the covenant on Mount Sinai. There are two words in Hebrew that are associated with standing stones: the word ʼben and the word massebah.

Gezer’s Standing Stones
3000 years old standing stones from one of the largest Canaanite temples in Israel

Stone = ʼben

In ancient Israel stones were widely available for a variety of uses. Stones were used to build houses and buildings such as temples and palaces. Large stones were used to cover the entrance of wells. Jacob rolled the stone off the opening of a well…

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