Friday, April 16, 2010

Exodus 27:3 - Copper(Brass) Utensils of the Altar Of Burnt Offering

The description continues with the details about the utensils that were necessary for the Altar. Let's take a look:

Exodus 27:3
3 And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
‎3 ‏וְעָשִׂ֤יתָ סִּֽירֹתָיו֙ לְדַשְּׁנ֔וֹ וְיָעָיו֙ וּמִזְרְקֹתָ֔יו וּמִזְלְגֹתָ֖יו וּמַחְתֹּתָ֑יו לְכָל־כֵּלָ֖יו תַּעֲשֶׂ֥ה נְחֹֽשֶׁת׃

As you can read in this verse, all utensils were made out of copper(or perhaps copper alloy - brass)...

There were Ash Pans (סִּֽירֹתָיו֙ לְדַשְּׁנ֔וֹ) for the ashes and grease that would accumulate under the Altar. Perhaps there were several different Ash Pans types to accomodate all the priestly service needs.

There were also Shovels (וְיָעָיו֙), that were used to remove the ashes and grease from under the Altar, as well as to collect coals from the Altar for the service.

There were also Sprinkling Bowls (וּמִזְרְקֹתָיו) that were used to for the ceremonial sprinkling. Blood of the sacrificial animals, as well as water and perhaps oil was usually employed in the service. As you can see, a Sprinkling Bowl consisted of an actual Bowl and the Sprinkler. The Bowl and its sprinkler were relatively small in size so that it can be carried around easily.
Surprisingly, such Sprinkling Bowls are still being used today in the Christian lithurgical service to sprinkle water.
Unfortunately, modern Jewish service does not use this, even symbolicaly.

There were also several types of Flesh Hooks (וּמִזְלְגֹתָיו) . They were used to comfortably put parts of the sacrificial animal upon the fire of the Altar.

There were also Fire Pans (or rather Censers) (וּמַחְתֹּתָיו) that were used to burn Incense.
There were most likely many different types(or maybe not), but what I know for sure that they were relatively small so that they could be carried around comfortably, as well as that there were many of them made for the Mishkan Service (i.e. see Numbers 16:17).
One of such Copper Censers (most likely the personal Aarons' Censer) stood upon the Golden Altar of Incense, inside the Holy Place of the Tent of the Mishkan.
Just like with the Sprinkling Bowls, such Censers are being used today in Christian(and some other) lithurgical service, but not in the modern Jewish service.

And last but not least, there were other tools made for the Altar. In this verse they are being referred to as The Vessels (or Utensils) (כֵּלָיו). I'm still trying to figure out exact types of Utensils mentioned.
So far, I have come up with the Copper Cleaning Brush for the Grate of the Altar (this is based on Numbers 4:13).But there were definitelly other Utensils as well, yet more research is needed to answer this question completely.
Here is the Copper Cleaning Brushes that were used to degrease and clean the Altar...

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