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.
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.
It already, however, bore within it the germ of decay; the accumulation of treasure in the capital had led to a corruption of the simple manners of the earlier times; the exhaustion of the tribes through the heavy blood tax had roused discontent among them; the plundering of the holy places, the attacks on the pilgrim caravans under the escort of Turkish soldiers, and finally, in 1810, the desecration of the tomb of Mahomet and the removal of its costly treasures, raised a cry of dismay throughout the Mahommedan world, and made it clear even to the Turkish sultan that unless the Wahhabi power were crushed his claims to the caliphate were at an end.