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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

The Brazen Altar

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was to be made of shittim wood overlaid with brass, whence its name; it was to be 3 cubits high and 5 cubits on each side.* Exodus 27:1-8 . In the temple built by Solomon this altar was made of brass, and was 10 cubits high and 20 cubits in length and breadth (same size as the holiest of all). 2 Chronicles 4:1 . See Ezekiel 43:13-17 for the altar in the future temple. The brazen altar was also called "the altar of burnt offering:" on it a fire was constantly burning, Leviticus 6:9 , and on it the offerings were consumed, that is, on the 'grate' that was placed in its midst. It had horns at each of its corners, on which the blood of the sin offering was placed. Thither men fled for refuge and caught hold of the horns for safety. 1 Kings 1:50,51 : cf. Exodus 21:14 . The position of the brazen altar arrested the offerer as he entered the court, and pointed out that the only way of access to the Lord was by a sacrifice. Death must take place ere fallen man could enter the dwelling place of God.

*The number 5 suggests responsibility thus 5 senses; 5 fingers, and 5 toes- man in exercise and responsibility. The ALTAR is the symbol of Christ and His work, which meets responsibility.

In the N.T. the principle is brought out, that to eat of a sacrifice manifests communion with the altar on which the sacrifice is made. So that one cannot drink the Lord's cup and the cup of demons, nor partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 1 Corinthians 10:18-21 .

To the Hebrew believers it was said, "We have an altar whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle." Hebrews 13:10 . This refers to the sin-offering, whose blood was carried into the holiest, the flesh of which was not eaten, but burnt without the camp. Jesus had suffered without the gate, and hence to be in company with Him, believers were instructed to quit the camp; that is, to leave Judaism. As still serving the tabernacle they had no right to the christian's altar.

In the Revelation there is the golden altar in heaven, and much incense ascends with the prayers of the saints; but fire from the brazen altar is cast upon the earth, and it is followed by judgements, Revelation 8:3-5 : cf. also Revelation 9:13 . And John heard the altar say (as the passage should read) "Yea, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements," Revelation 16:7 : this is no doubt the brazen altar, cf. chap. 6:9, and Isaiah 6:6 .

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'The Brazen Altar'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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