The Altar Before the Lord

Código VC6-E823-I

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The phrase “before the Lord is used in connection with the services of the sanctuary, as well as of places and furniture. Thus the incense was offered before the Lord (Exodus 30:8) and the sacrifices were killed before the Lord (Leviticus 1:3, 5; 4:1, 15, 24). The two goats on the day of atonement were presented before the Lord. (Leviticus 16:7, 10).

The candlestick was placed before the Lord, (Leviticus 24:4), so was the table of show bread (verse 6) and the altar of incense (Leviticus 4:18) and the holy place (Exodus 28:35) and the veil (Leviticus 4:17) and the altar of burnt-offering (Leviticus 6:14; 16:12).

In Leviticus 16:18 occurs the phrase again, in connection with the altar. The reading is, “And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. . . . And he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it; and shall take of the blood of the bullock, and of the blood of the goat, and put it upon the horns of the altar round about.”

We have omitted verse 17 as it is a note interjected, not having to do with the service.

The reading therefore is that the high priest makes atonement for “the holy place” and for “the tabernacle of the congregation-; then “he shall go out unto the altar that is before the Lord, and make an atonement for it.”

The fact that the altar is spoken of as being “before the Lord” does not of itself determine which altar is meant. The reading would suggest the altar of burnt offering, as Aaron shall go out to the altar. He has already atoned for the holy place and the tabernacle of the congregation (verse 16); that is, for the most holy and the holy place. Now he goes out to the altar of burnt offering, and makes atonement for it.

The same sequence is suggested in verse 20, which reads: “When he bath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar.” Here again three things are mentioned, the most holy, the holy, and the altar.

The altar of incense stood in the holy place, and was the only article of furniture in that place upon which blood was placed. Accordingly, when it is stated that atonement was made for the tabernacle of the congregation, it can refer only to the altar of incense which was to be atoned for once a year. (Exodus 30:10.)

In the most holy the mercy scat was to be atoned for because blood had been placed upon it. In the holy place the altar of incense was to be atoned for, for the same reason. The only other piece of furniture used in blood atonement was the altar of burnt offering. If the altar of burnt offering is not meant in Leviticus 16:18, then we must conclude that no atonement was made for it. But this was the place where all offerings were killed, and most certainly this could not be left out.

In Leviticus 16:12 the high priest takes coals from off the altar before the Lord. The altar upon which were the coals, was the altar of burnt offering. There were no coals upon the altar of incense. Hence Keil and Delitzsch say that the high priest took “as many burning coals as the censer would hold, from the altar of burnt offering. “Commentary on the Pentateuch, vol. 2, page 399. In this practically all commentaries agree.

In Leviticus 1:11 the place where the sacrifices were to be killed is said to be “the altar northward before the Lord.”

In view of these statements it seems clear that the altar in Leviticus 16:18 is the altar of burnt offering. If this is not SG, the whole significance of the atonement is lost, and that which needs cleansing most of all remains unclean.

Hence the commentary just quoted says: “It follows still further from this, that by the altar in verse 18, and also in verses 20 and 33, which is mentioned here as the third portion of the entire sanctuary, we are to understand the altar of burnt-offering in the court, and not the altar of incense, as the Rabbins and most commentators assume.... The expression go out' in verse 18 refers, not to his going out of the most holy into the holy place, but to his going out of the ohel moed (or holy place) into the court.”-Ibid., page 400, 401.

Sacrifices of the Sanctuary Service

(The following outline of the various sacrificial offerings and the special ceremonies and feasts of the ancient Jewish economy was originally developed as a chart by Merwin R. Thurber. It is included here by special arrangement between the author of this book and the preparer of the outline.)

BURNT OFFERINGS

NATURE: Voluntary, so far as the individual was concerned, but specified on certain occasions for the whole congregation, and in certain instances for individuals. Leviticus 1:3.

ACCOMPLISHMENT: Atonement was made-it was accepted for him. Leviticus 1:1.

When Offered

1.    At will-generally. Leviticus 1:1 sacrifice.

2.    Daily. Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers

28:3-8.

3.    At consecrations. Exodus 29:15-18;

Leviticus 8:18-21; Numbers 7; 8.

4.    On special days and feasts.

a.    Sabbath. Numbers 28:9, 10.

b.    New moons. Numbers 28:11-14

c.    Feast of Unleavened Bread

Numbers 28:17-25.

d.    Day of Wave Sheaf. Leviticus 23:10-14.

e.    Day of Pentecost. Lev.

23:17-21; Numbers 28:26-31.

lambs.

First day of seventh Month. Numbers 29:1-6.

f.    Day of Atonement. Leviticus

people

16; Numbers 29:7-11. one

g.    Feast of Tabernacles.

Numbers 29:12-34.

bullocks, two rams,

h.    Octave of Feast of Tabernacles. Numbers 29:35-38.

5.    For purification.

a.    Childbirth. Leviticus 12.

b.    Leprosy. Leviticus 14.

c.    Bloody issue. Lev. 15:13-15,25-30.

6.    Nazarite vow. Numbers 6.


7.    With sin offering of poor.

Leviticus 5:7-10.

8.    With sin offering when congregations


Animals Prescribed

1. Any clean male animal ordinarily used for Leviticus 1.

2. Two male yearling lambs.

3.    Bullocks, rams, lambs.

4.    On special days and feasts.

a.    Two additional lambs.

b.    Two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs.

c.    Daily-two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs.

d.    One male yearling lamb.

e.    For the day-two bullocks, one ram, seven

lambs. For the bread one bullock, two rams, seven

One bullock, one ram, seven lambs, besides the monthly offering.

f.    For the priest - one ram, Leviticus 16:3. For the One ram, Leviticus 16:5. For the day one bullock,

ram, seven lambs. Numbers 29:7-11.

g.    Thirteen bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs on first day, decreasing bullocks daily by one to seven

fourteen lambs on the seventh day.

h.    One bullock, one ram, seven lambs.


5.    For purification.

a.    Lamb or pigeon or turtle dove.

b.    Lamb or pigeon or turtle dove.

c.    Pigeon or turtledove.

6.    Nazarite vow.

a.    accidental violation- pigeon or turtledove.

b.    Fulfillment-lamb.

7.    Pigeon or turtledove.


8. Bullock.


sins through ignorance. Numbers 15:22-26.

ATONEMENT CEREMONIES

1.    High priest bathes and changes to white garments, after performing the morning ceremonies in his pontifical robes.

2.    Presents bullock of priestly sin offering before the Lord; hands on head.

3.    Presents goats, and casts lots to determine which shall be for Jehovah and which for Azazel.

4.    Kills bullock and catches blood.

5.    Takes censer and incense into most holy place and puts, incense on coals.

6.    Returns to court for blood of bullock, which he takes into most holy place and sprinkles on the mercy scat and before the mercy scat seven times.

7.    Returns' to court, kills Lord's goat, and enters most holy place with the blood, sprinkling as before.

8.    Returns to holy place, and makes atonement for the holy things.

9.    Returns to court, and makes atonement for the altar, sprinkling it with the blood of both bullock and goat seven times, and placing blood on the horns of the altar.

10.    Confesses sins of Israel over head of live goat, and sends him into wilderness by a fit man.

11.    Resumes pontifical robes, and offers fat of sin offerings, the burnt offerings for himself and the people, the burnt offerings for the day, and kid of the sin offering for the day.

The Nazarite Vow TEXT: Numbers 6:1-21.

Accidental Violation

OFFERINGS: Two pigeons-one for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering-and a lamb for a trespass offering.

PROCEDURE

1.    Shave head on first and seventh days of the cleansing.

2.    On eighth day bring two pigeons to the priest, one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering.

3.    Bring a lamb for a trespass offering.

4.    Shall lose the days that were before the defilement.

Fulfillment

OFFERINGS: Male lamb for a burnt offering, ewe lamb for a sin offering, one ram for a peace offering, basket of unleavened bread; cakes of fine flour, and the meal and drink offerings of the appropriate animals.

PROCEDURE

1.    Offer sin offering.

2.    Offer burnt offering.

3.    Offer peace offering with accompaniments.

4.    Nazarite shaves head, and burns hair.

5.    Wave heave offering.

Cleansing of the Leper TEXT: Leviticus 14:1-32.

Preliminary Ceremony

OFFERINGS: Two sparrows, cedar wood, scarlet, hyssop, and running water.

PROCEDURE

1.    Kill one bird over earthen vessel filled with running water.

2.    Dip living bird, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop into water and blood, and sprinkle leper seven times.

3.    Let living bird go free.

4.    Leper shaves and bathes on seventh day.

5.    Leper returns on eighth day for concluding ceremonies and offerings.

(This same ceremony is used to cleanse a house infested with plague. Leviticus 14:48-53)

Main Ceremony

OFFERINGS: One male lamb for a trespass offering; one male lamb for a burnt offering; one ewe lamb for a sin offering; three-tenths deal flour mingled with oil for meal offering; and one log of oil.

PROCEDURE

1.    Slay trespass offering, and wave it and the log of oil before the Lord.

2.    Put some of the blood on the right ear, right thumb, and right great toe of the offerer.

3.    Sprinkle oil seven times before the Lord.

4.    Put oil on car, thumb, and toe where blood was put.

5.    Pour oil over head of offerer.

6.    Offer sin offering.

7.    Offer burnt offering and meal offering.

(In case of poverty, it will suffice to have one lamb for a trespass offering, and two pigeons-one for a sin offering and one for a burnt offering.)

Water of Separation (Ceremony of the Red Heifer)

TEXT: Numbers 19.

USE: For purification from defilement received from dead . body, bone, grave, etc.

PREPARATION

(Any clean person may perform, but priest shall oversee.)

1.    Take red heifer without the camp.

2.    Slay animal. .

3.    Priest sprinkles blood toward the sanctuary seven times.

4.    Whole animal is burned.

5.    Priest casts cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop into the fire.

6.    Clean man gathers ashes, and stores them in a clean place without the camp.

PROCEDURE

(Any clean person may officiate.)

1.    Mix ashes and running water.

2.    Sprinkle place of death first, if house or tent is involved.

3.    Sprinkle unclean person.

4.    Sprinkle unclean person on third and seventh day.

5.    'Unclean person shall bathe himself on seventh day, and shall be clean at even.

Purification for Childbirth TEXT: Leviticus 12.

SEPARATION: For a son, seven days plus thirty-three days.

For a daughter, fourteen days plus sixty-six days.

OFFERINGS: Lamb for a burnt offering, and pigeon for a sin offering. In case of poverty, two young pigeons will do-one for a burnt offering, and one for a sin offering.

Purification From Uncleanness of Issue TEXT: Leviticus 15.

OFFERING: Two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering.

PROCEDURE

1.    Number seven days from time issue stops.

2.    Bathe on seventh day.

3.    Bring two pigeons to priest on eighth day.

4.    Offer one for sin offering and one for burnt offering.

Trial of jealousy TEXT: Numbers 5:11-31.

OFFERING: One-tenth ephah of barley flour.

OCCASION: If a man is jealous of his wife.

PROCEDURE

1.    Come before the priest with offering.

2.    Priest shall prepare bitter water by mixing dust of the floor with holy water in an earthen vessel.

3.    Priest pronounces curses for infidelity, writes them in a book, and blots them with the bitter water.

4.    Priest waves meal offering before the Lord, and burns a handful on the altar.

5.    The woman drinks the water.

6.    If she is innocent, nothing happens; if she is guilty, the curses take effect.

Expiation of Uncertain Murder TEXT: Deuteronomy 21:1-9.

OFFERING: Heifer not wrought with, and not yoked.

PROCEDURE

1.    Measure from dead man to nearest city.

2.    Elders of that city bring heifer to rough valley, unsown.

3.    Strike off the heifer's neck.

4.    Priests come near.

5: Elders wash hands over the heifer. 6. Elders proclaim their innocence.

Feasts and Holy Convocations Sabbath

TEXTS: Exodus 20: 8-11; Numbers 28:9, 10.

TIME: Every seventh day is holy.

OFFERING: Two lambs for a burnt offering, besides the continual burnt offering.

New Moons

TEXT: Numbers 28:11-15.

TIME: First day of every month.

OFFERING: Two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal and drink offerings. One kid for a sin offering.

Passover

TEXTS: Exodus 12; Leviticus 23:5; Numbers 9:1-14; 28:16; Deuteronomy 16:14.

TIME: Fourteenth of Abib, the first month.

OFFERING: Paschal lamb.

Feast of Unleavened Bread

TEXTS: Exodus 12:15-20; M5-9; Leviticus 23:6-8; Numbers 28:17-25; Deuteronomy 16:8.

TIME: Fifteenth to twenty-first of Abib.

OFFERINGS: For burnt offering, daily, two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs, with appropriate meal offerings; and one kid for a sin offering.

CEREMONIAL SABBATH: On the first day and the seventh day shall be holy convocations. No servile work may be done.

Ceremony of the Wave Sheaf TEXT: Leviticus 23:10-14.

TIME: Sixteenth of Abib, the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

OFFERINGS: Wave sheaf or omer of barley, waved before the Lord; yearling lamb and its appropriate meal offering.

“Ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn,' nor green ears, until the selfsame day that you have brought an offering unto your God.” Leviticus 23:14.

Pentecost

TEXTS: Leviticus 23:15-21; Numbers 28:26-31; Deuteronomy 16:9-11.

TIME: Fifty days from the wave sheaf.

OFFERINGS: Two loaves to be waved; and-

1.    For the day, two bullocks, one ram, seven lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offerings; one kid for a sin offering. Numbers 28:26-30.

2.    For the bread, one bullock, two rams, seven lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offering; one kid for a sin offering; two lambs for a peace offering. Leviticus 23:15-21.

CEREMONIAL SABBATH: On this day shall be a holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Blowing of Trumpets

TEXTS: Leviticus 23:24, 25; Numbers 29:1-6.

TIME: First day of seventh month.

OFFERINGS: One bullock, one ram, seven lambs, for a burnt offering, with appropriate meal offering; one kid for a sin offering.

CEREMONIAL SABBATH' On this day shall be a holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Day of Atonement

TEXTS: Leviticus 16; 23:27-32; Numbers 29:7-11.

TIME: Tenth day of seventh month.

OFFERINGS: (See under Special Ceremonies, Day of Atonement.)

CEREMONIAL SABBATH: On this day shall be a holy convocation. “You shall afflict your souls.” No manner of work may be done.

Feast of Tabernacles

TEXTS: Leviticus 23:34-43; Numbers 29:12-34; Deuteronomy 16:13-15.

TIME: Fifteenth to twenty-first of seventh month.

OFFERINGS: First day, thirteen bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs, for a burnt offering, and one kid for a sin offering. Each day thereafter, the number of bullocks is reduced by one, until on the last day the offering is seven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs for a burnt offering, and one kid for a sin offering. CEREMONIAL SABBATH: On this day shall be a holy convocation. No servile work may be done.

Octave of Feast of Tabernacles

TEXTS: Leviticus 23:36, 39; Numbers 29:35-38.

TIME: Twenty-second day of seventh month.

OFFERINGS: One bullock, one ram, seven lambs, for a burnt offering; one kid for a sin offering. CEREMONIAL SABBATH: On this day shall be a solemn assembly. No servile work may be done.

 

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