Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exodus 30:3 - The Altar Of Incense of the Tent of The Tabernacle - Part 2 - The Golden Overlay and The Golden Crown(Molding) of the Altar

Just like the rest of the artefacts of the Mishkan, The Altar of Incense was also overlayed with metal(Gold). Let's take a look:

Exodus 30:3

3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.

‎3 ‏וְצִפִּיתָ֨ אֹת֜וֹ זָהָ֣ב טָה֗וֹר אֶת־גַּגּ֧וֹ וְאֶת־קִירֹתָ֛יו סָבִ֖יב וְאֶת־קַרְנֹתָ֑יו וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ לּ֛וֹ זֵ֥ר זָהָ֖ב סָבִֽיב׃

As you can see, the entire Altar of Incense were to be overlayed with pure gold...

It's top side and its Horns were overlayed...

And all of his sides, including the inside of the Altar. And  the reason why the description tells what parts of the Altar to overlay, is to remind us that the Altar did not have a bottom side, but it was rather hollow inside.

The description also speaks of a special decorative element of the Altar - the Golden Crown(or Molding). It was fashioned after the cross section of the Altar (ie. it was square, 1x1 cubit). This Golden Crown was made completely of Gold, but it was relatively thin (probably no more than ~1-2mm in thickness) and most likely 5-10cm tall.  On this image the Crown is 8cm tall...

The Crown had also served a functional purpose: it was there to prevent the utensils that were put upon it from falling over. I'm not sure about exact design of the Crown, because I think that it really did not matter and it could have been arbitrary.
Here is a close-up view upon the Crown mounted upon the Altar.

And here is the resulting Altar, overlayed with Gold and molded with the Golden Crown.

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