the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Old Testament Hebrew Lexical Dictionary Hebrew Lexicon
Strong's #04196 - מִזְבֵּחַ
Jeff Benner, Ancient Hebrew Research Center Used by permission of the author.
1 J E narrate that altars were built by Noah after leaving the ark Genesis 8:20; by Abraham at Shechem Genesis 12:7, Bethel Genesis 12:8, Hebron Genesis 13:18, mountain in land Moriah Genesis 22:9; by Issac at Beersheba Genesis 26:25; by Jacob at Shechem Genesis 33:20 (yet this perhaps mistake for מַצֵּבָה, being object of וַיַּצֶּבשָֿׁם, not elsewhere with מזבח, compare also Di), at Bethel Genesis 35:7, by Moses at Rephidim Exodus 17:15, Horeb Exodus 24:4, by Balak at Bamoth Baal, Pisgah, & Peor Numbers 23:1,14,29; by Joshua on Mt. Ebal Joshua 8:30: the prophetic histories narrate that altars were built by Gideon at Ophra Judges 6:24; by a man of God at Bethel Judges 21:4; by Samuel at Ramah 1 Samuel 7:17; by Saul after Michmash 1 Samuel 14:35; by David on the threshing floor of Ornan 2 Samuel 24:25 = 1 Chronicles 21:18; 1 Chronicles 22:1; that Solomon sacrificed on the altar at Gibeon 1 Kings 3:4 and built altars in the temple at Jerusalem 1 Kings 6:20; 1 Kings 8:64; that Jeroboam built an altar at Bethel 1 Kings 12:32 (which was destroyed by Josiah 2 Kings 23:15); and that Elijah repaired an ancient altar on Carmel 1 Kings 18:30. An altar in Egypt is predicted Isaiah 19:19. All this accords with the law of the Covenant code Exodus 20:24-26 which recognises a plurality of altars and prescribes that they shall be built of אֲדָמָה, or of unhewn stones, and without steps. So אֲבָנִים Deuteronomy 27:6 (JE), אֲבָנִיםשְׁלֵמוֺת Joshua 8:31, and twelve stones 1 Kings 18:30,32; compare Isaiah 27:9. The altar was also a place of refuge Exodus 21:24 (JE) 1 Kings 1:50,51; 1 Kings 2:28.
2 D prescribes one central altar Deuteronomy 12:5f. 27; but no attempt to enforce this principle appears before Hezekiah( 2 Kings 18:4,22), and Josiah, whose reform is more effectual, 2 Kings 23:8-20.
3 P limits sacrifices to the altars of the tabernacle. A great altar was built east of the Jordan, but it was according to P only as an עֵד after the pattern of the altar before the Tabernacle Joshua 22:10-34. P describes two altars:
a. the מִזְבַּח הָעֹלָה Exodus 30:28; Exodus 31:9; Exodus 35:16; Exodus 38:1; Exodus 40:6,10,29; Leviticus 4:7,10,25 (twice in verse); Leviticus 4:30,34 = הַנְּחשֶׁת׳מ Exodus 38:30; Exodus 39:39, made of acacia wood plated with brass, 5*5*3cubits in size, with four horns and a network of brass, on which all sacrifices by fire were made Exodus 27:1; Exodus 8; Exodus 38:1-7;
b. מִקְטַר קְטֹרֶת׳מ made of acacia wood plated with gold, 1*1*2cubits in size, with four horns and a crown of gold Exodus 30:1-6 = הקטרת׳מ Exodus 30:27; Exodus 31:8; Exodus 35:15; Exodus 37:25 = הזהב׳מ Exodus 39:38; Exodus 40:5,26; Numbers 4:11 = קטרת הַסַּמִּים׳מ Leviticus 4:7; these altars are named elsewhere only in Chronicles: 1 Chronicles 6:34; 1 Chronicles 16:40; 1 Chronicles 21:29; 2 Chronicles 1:5,6.
4 Solomon made two altars for the temple at Jerusalem:
a. הַנְּחשֶׁת׳מ for the court 1 Kings 8:64 (which was laid aside by Ahaz 2 Kings 16:14,15, who made an altar after the model of one he saw in Damascus 2 Kings 16:11); in 2 Kings 16:14 ׳הַמִּזְבַּח הַנּ (construct form with article) is erroneous, read probably מִזְבַּח compare Ges§ 127. 4 a near the end; this altar, according to Chronicles, measured 20*20*10 cubits 2 Chronicles 4:1; this מזבח(ה)נחשׁת also 2 Chronicles 7:7 & Ezekiel 9:2; = העולה׳מ 2 Chronicles 29:18, repaired by Asa 2 Chronicles 15:8;
b. an altar of cedar, plated with gold, in the temple before the דְּבִיר 1 Kings 6:20,22; 1 Kings 7:48; = הזהב׳מ 2 Chronicles 4:19; = הַקְּטֹרֶת׳מ 1 Chronicles 28:18; 2 Chronicles 26:16.
5 Ezekiel plans two altars for the new temple:
a. a table of wood 3*2cubits Ezekiel 41:22;
b. an altar for the court, probably same dimensions as 4 a, with stairs Ezekiel 43:13-17.
6 after the return Jeshua built an altar on the ancient site in the court of the temple Ezra 3:2.
7 besides these altars used in the worship of Yahweh, Ahab built an altar to Baal in Samaria 1 Kings 16:32; Ahaz made an altar on the roof of the upper chamber, and other kings of Judah made altars in the two courts, all of which were destroyed by Josiah 2 Kings 23:12.
8 the ancient and most common term for making altars was בָּנָה Genesis 35:7 (E) Genesis 8:20 (J) Deuteronomy 27:5,6; Exodus 32:5 (JE) +, implying building material; other verbs are הֵקִים 2 Samuel 24:18; 1 Kings 16:32; 2 Kings 21:3; 1 Chronicles 21:18; 2 Chronicles 33:3; הֵכִין Ezra 3:3 (followed by עַלמְֿכוֺנֹתָו֯); שִׂים Jeremiah 11:13; וַיַּצֶּבֿ Genesis 33:20 (but compare
1); Numbers 23:4 (E) has עָרַךְ arrange, prepare; עָשָׂה Genesis 35:1,3; Exodus 20:24 (E) Genesis 13:4 (J) Judges 22:28; 1 Kings 12:33; 1 Kings 18:26; this becomes usual in P, Exodus 27:1; Exodus 30:1; Exodus 37:25; Exodus 38:1,30, Song of Solomon 2Chronicles 4:1,19; 7:7; 28:24.
9 the dedication of the altar wasחֲנֻכַּת המזבח Numbers 7:10,11,84,88; 2 Chronicles 7:9; it was anointed with oil מָשַׁח Exodus 40:10; Leviticus 8:11; Numbers 7:10 (all P).
10 removal of unlawful altars is expressed byנָתַץ Exodus 34:13 (JE) Deuteronomy 7:5; Judges 2:2; Judges 6:30,31,32; 2 Kings 11:18; 2 Kings 23:12,15; נִתַּץ (Pi) Deuteronomy 12:3; 2 Chronicles 31:1; 34:4,7; נֻתַּץ Judges 6:28; הָרַס Judges 6:25; 1 Kings 19:10,14; שִׁבַּר 2 Chronicles 23:17>; הֵסִיר 2 Kings 18:22 = Isaiah 36:7; 2 Chronicles 14:2; 2 Chronicles 30:14; 32:12; 33:15.
11 ministry at the altar was׳מִשְׁמֶרֶת הַמּ Numbers 18:5; Ezekiel 40:46, compare Numbers 3:31 (P), ׳מְשָֽׁרְתֵי מ Joel 1:13; עָמַד עַל is said of officiating priest 1 Kings 13:1, עָלָה עַל Exodus 20:26; 1 Samuel 2:28; 1 Kings 12:33 + (compare יָרַד Leviticus 9:22); sacrifices were usually offered עַלהַֿמִּזְבֵּחַ Genesis 22:9; Deuteronomy 12:27 +; see especially the phrases with זָרַק Exodus 29:16,20 + (see זרק); הִקְטִיר Leviticus 4:10 (see קטר Hiph`il); הֶעֱלָה Leviticus 6:3 + (see עלה
Hiph`il) לְבַעֵר Nehemiah 10:35; but בַּמִּזְבֵּחַ Genesis 8:20 (J) Numbers 23:2,4,14,30 (E); one touching the altar is ׳הַנֹּגֵעַ בַּמּ Exodus 29:37 (P); ׳לפני המ of placing, or standing before altar Deuteronomy 26:4; 1 Kings 8:22; as
accusative of locationהַמִּזְבֵּ֫חָה in phrases especially with הִקְטִיר Exodus 29:13 +, and הֶעֱלָה Leviticus 14:20.
12 the horns of the altar were especially for the application of the blood of the sin-offering in the ritual; sin is represented as graven לְקַרְנוֺת מִזְבְּחוֺתֵיכֶם Jeremiah 17:1; therefore of blood for cleansing it was said ׳נָתַן על קרנות המ Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:7,18,25,30,34; Leviticus 8:15; Leviticus 9:9; Leviticus 16:18 (all P). An ancient custom is referred to, Psalm 118:27 אִסְרוחַֿגבַּעֲבֹתִ֑ים עַדקֿרנות המזבח bind the festal victim with cords, unto the horns of the altar: Ainsworth paraphrases: 'that Isaiah , all the court over, untill you come even to the hornes of the altar, intending hereby many sacrifices,' so De; but Che 'bind the procession with branches, (step on) to the altar-horns,' that is in sacred procession round the altar.
13 the יְסוֺד (q. v.) is also referred to in the ritual of the sin-offerings in the phrases יָצַק אל יסוד Leviticus 8:15; Leviticus 9:9 & שָׁפַךְ אל יסוד Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:7,18,25,30,34 (all P) יִמָּצֵהאל יסוד Leviticus 5:9.
14 the altar was קֹדֶשׁ קָדָשִׁים Exodus 29:37; Exodus 40:10 (P); but repeated sin-offerings were necessary to keep it pure and cleanse it from the pollution of the people in whose midst it was situated. This is expressed by חִטֵּא Leviticus 8:15 (P) Ezekiel 43:22; כִּמֶּר Leviticus 16:20,33 (P) Ezekiel 43:26; קִדַּשׁ Exodus 29:44; Exodus 40:10; Leviticus 8:15; Numbers 7:1 (P); טִהַר 2 Chronicles 29:18.
זַבַּי see below זבב.
מִזְבֵּחַ constr. מִזְבַּח with suff. מִזְבְּחִי, מִזְבַּחֲךָ, 1 Kings 8:31 pl. מִזְבְּחוֹת, m. (from the root זָבַח), an altar, Leviticus 1:9, 13, 15 2 Chronicles 29:22, etc. In the holy places, as set up by Moses and by Solomon, there were
(a) מִזְבַּח הָעוֹלָה the altar of burnt offering, Exodus 30:28, or מִזְבַּח הַנְּחשֶׁת the brazen altar, placed in the outer court, Exodus 39:39.
(b) מִזְבַּח הַקְּטֹרֶת the altar of incense, or the golden altar, within the temple (בַּהֵיכָל), Exodus 30:27; 1 Kings 7:48. Of altars of idols, Isaiah 17:8, 27:9 [?].