Old Testament

The Pentateuch

What was the altar?

This was a platform where the priests sacrificed animals to God. The altar was outside the Tabernacle. It stood in the courtyard. The altar was made of (surprise!) acacia wood overlaid with—gotcha!—bronze. The use of a less valuable metal symbolized the less holy aspect of the area outside the Tabernacle. The altar measured about 7′ × 7′ × 4′. Four animal horns pointing up, one for each of the four corners of the altar, were made as one piece with the altar. Four bronze rings were formed at each corner, too. Four poles overlaid with bronze slid through the rings. In that way, the altar was carried from place to place. The pots, pans, and other utensils that went along with the altar were made of bronze as well. Specific animal sacrifices prepared in a specific way were burned on the altar every day.


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