Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Exodus 27:1 - The Copper Altar Of Burnt Offering (The Mizbeach)

The description now moves on to the Altar Of Burnt Offering. Lets' take a look:

Exodus 27:1
1 And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
‎1 ‏וְעָשִׂ֥יתָ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ עֲצֵ֣י שִׁטִּ֑ים חָמֵשׁ֩ אַמּ֨וֹת אֹ֜רֶךְ וְחָמֵ֧שׁ אַמּ֣וֹת רֹ֗חַב רָב֤וּעַ יִהְיֶה֙ הַמִּזְבֵּ֔חַ וְשָׁלֹ֥שׁ אַמּ֖וֹת קֹמָתֽוֹ׃
The Altar itself was a simple hollow square frame, made out of shittim wood. As the description states, its outer measurements were five(5) cubits long by five(5) cubits wide, and three(3) cubits tall. Frame thickness was equal to the thickness of the Boards of the Tent, and it was 0.0225 cubits (a fingerbreadth).

Here is what it looked like:
Notice the height of the frame: approximately the chest-height of an average man.

Also, this verse is one of the few in the description that provides us with the clue to the characteristics of the Shittim Wood. Since the Altar Frame was relatively thin, the wood it was made of(the shittim wood) would have to be able to withstand high temperatures.

In my previous posts, I have provided you with some information on briar wood. Of'course, the briar wood couldn't have been used to build the parts of the Mishkan due to its scarcity, but it does have all characteristics that an actual Shittim Wood might have had(i.e light weight, strength and the heat-resistance).

On my blog sidebar you can also find links to the several databases of wood(timber), if you want to investigate it yourself.

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