Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exodus 30:4 - The Altar Of Incense of the Tent of The Tabernacle - Part 3 - Two Golden Rings for the Staves of the Altar

This verse discusses the special Golden Rings that were to be mounted upon the Altar, so that it could be carried around by the means of the Staves. Let's take a look:

Exodus 30:4
4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal.

4 ‏וּשְׁתֵּי֩ טַבְּעֹ֨ת זָהָ֜ב תַּֽעֲשֶׂה־לּ֣וֹ׀ מִתַּ֣חַת לְזֵר֗וֹ עַ֚ל שְׁתֵּ֣י צַלְעֹתָ֔יו תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה עַל־שְׁנֵ֣י צִדָּ֑יו וְהָיָה֙ לְבָתִּ֣ים לְבַדִּ֔ים לָשֵׂ֥את אֹת֖וֹ בָּהֵֽמָּה׃
Just like The Table of Shewbread, The Altar of Burnt Offering and The Ark of The Covenant, the Altar of Incense also had the special Golden Rings made for it, so that the Staves can be mounted and the Altar could be transported around.
But because the Altar Of Incense was the least heavy artefact of the Mishkan, it required only two(2) Golden Rings and only two(2) people to move it. These Golden Rings were relatively small in size: a "hand-grip" inner diameter(~0.06-0.07 cubits - 3-4cm), about 4-5 cm of outside diameter, 4-5cm in length and ~1cm thick.

As the description also states, these Golden Rings were to be mounted "under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it ". It seems to me that the most logical conclusion that can be drawn from this is such: the Rings were to be located 0.5 cubits from the Top of the Altar(or 1.5 cubits from the Ground) and 0.5 cubits from each of the edges(corners) of the Altar. Such positioning of the Rings would allow the most balanced distribution of weight of the Altar during the transportation.

And on this image you can see both Rings at once.

And here is another rendering of the Altar, so that you can see one of the Rings better...

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