Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Exodus 27:1-8 - A little bit about the Altar of Burnt Offering

One thing that had been bothering me more and more, is the Copper Altar of Burnt Offering. Particularly, I'm concerned if I'm understanding the description of Exodus 27:1-8 correctly.

I'm still trying to figure what exactly the text means, but meanwhile, I would like to direct your attention to this very nice image that shows some of the possible interpretations of the original text.

This illustration of the Altar of Burnt Offering is from is from an uncommon edition of Kerckelycke Historie van Neder-Landt which was a Dutch text edition of Agostino Torniello's Annales Sacri et Profani by Heribertus Rosweydus (1569, Utrecht - 1629, Antwerp), ca. 1625 by TORNIELLO, A

You can see the larger version of this image on this web site:

As you can see, and as with the most parts of the Tabernacle description, the design of the Altar of Burnt Offering can be interpreted in many different ways. My personal opinion at this moment is closer to the one that is shown in the top right drawing on that illustration, however, I'm not 100% certain that it is the correct one.

Basically, the problem is related to the design of the Grate of the Altar, its resulting overall height and presence (or absence) of the ramp to approach the Altar. And therefore, it is important to find clues on the original text that would help to identify the correct (and only) way of reconstructing the Altar.

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