Monday, May 10, 2010

Exodus 30:1-2 - The Altar Of Incense of the Tent of The Tabernacle - Part 1

Now, the description moves onto the Altar Of Incense(Mizbeach Ktoret), that was located inside the Tent of the Mishkan. Let's take a look:

Exodus 30:1-2
1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.

2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.

‎1 ‏וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ מִזְבֵּ֖חַ מִקְטַ֣ר קְטֹ֑רֶת עֲצֵ֥י שִׁטִּ֖ים תַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֹתֽוֹ׃

‎2 ‏אַמָּ֨ה אָרְכּ֜וֹ וְאַמָּ֤ה רָחְבּוֹ֙ רָב֣וּעַ יִהְיֶ֔ה וְאַמָּתַ֖יִם קֹמָת֑וֹ מִמֶּ֖נּוּ קַרְנֹתָֽיו׃
As the description states, the Altar Of Incense was made out of Shittim wood, just like the rest of the Mishkan. It was one(1) cubit long by one(1) cubit wide, meaning that it had a square cross section. The height of this Altar was two(2) cubits - a height of hips of an average man.

The Altar was hollow inside and did not have a bottom - only top. The thickness of the wood(the walls of the Altar) was also about a figerbreadth(~0.0225 cubits or ~1cm). On this image you can see the bottom of the Altar and its inside:

And just like the Altar of Burnt Offering, the Altar of Incense also had four(4) wooden Horns, coming out of its top corners. These Horns were relatively small in dimensions, probably 0.25-0.5 cubits, and were positioned at a 45 degree angle, relative to the plane of the corners of the Altar.

These Horns were also modeled after the Horns of some clean(kosher) animal: most likely a mountain sheep/goat, or a ram. Here is a photo by Evelyn Simak of a Norfolk Horn Ram at a sheep show.

The resulting Altar would look like this:

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