Were very early used for religious worship, Genesis 21:33. "The groves were God’s first temples," and seem naturally fitted for such purposes. Groves were also resorted to by heathen idolaters. Some elevated spot was generally chosen for this purpose. "They sacrifice upon the tops of mountains, and burn incense upon the hills; under oaks and poplars and elms, because the shadow hereof is good," Hosea 4:13. It should be noticed, however, that the Hebrew word Asherah, which occurs in many passages, and is rendered grove in the English version, rather signifies an image of Astarte, 1 Kings 18:19 2 Kings 13:6; etc. See ASHTORETH, plural ASH’TAROTH. The "high places" spoken of in Scripture were used first, for the worship of Jehovah, 1 Kings 3:3,4; etc. This was, strictly speaking, and irregularity, since, according to the Law of Moses, every sacrifice was required to be brought to the altar of the sanctuary, Leviticus 17:8,9 Deuteronomy 11:13,16. The "high places" were also used, secondly, for the worship of idols, 2 Kings 23:15, etc.