The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: About the Altar: The Horns and the Ramp

About the Altar: The Horns and the Ramp

The altar was built as a perfect square and was quite large: it reached a height of 10 amot (app. 5 meters) and its width was 32 amot (app. 16 meters). It was constructed of two main parts: the altar itself, and the ascent ramp. Both were constructed of stones and earth. On top of the altar at its four corners, there were hollow boxes which made small protrusions or "horns." These horns measured one amah square and 5 handbreadths high, each (or, app. 18" x 18" x 15"). The Bible states that the altar may not be approached by way of steps, since this would be considered unseemly and immodest behavior for this holy place: "Do not climb up to My altar with steps, so that your nakedness not be revealed on it"(Ex. 20:23).

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