To one who favoured simplicity of cult the new worship was a desecration of Yahweh, and, braving the anger of the king and queen, he foreshadowed their fate.
From the standpoint of the popular religion, the removal of the local altars, like Hezekiah's destruction of the brazen serpent, would be an act of desecration, an iconoclasm which can be partly appreciated from the sentiments of 2 Kings xviii.
Apart from these bitter provocations - the prohibition of the sign of the covenant and the desecration of the sacred place - the Jews had a leader who was recognized as Messiah by the rabbi Aqiba.
Shared in the devastation of Rome by the Goths under Vitiges in the 6th century and by the Lombards at a later period; and partly through the spoliation of these barbarian invaders, partly through the neglect of those who should have been their guardians, they sank into such a state of decay and pollution that, as the only means of preserving the holy remains they enshrined from further desecration, Pope Paul I., in the latter part of the 8th century, and Pope Paschal, at the beginning of the 9th, entered upon the work of the translation of the relics, which was vigorously carried on by successive pontiffs until the crypts were almost entirely despoiled of their dead.
In the Theodosian Code the various crimes which are accounted sacrilege include - apostasy, heresy, schism, Judaism, paganism, attempts against the immunity of churches and clergy or privileges of church courts, the desecration of sacraments, &c. and even Sunday.