The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: The Chamber of Lambs

The Chamber of Lambs

Once it has been established that the proper time has come for offering the tamid daily sacrifice, and the gates of the Sanctuary are open, the overseer instructs the priests who will be attending to the service: "Bring a lamb from the Chamber of Lambs!"

The Chamber of Lambs was the Temple's store of lambs; at all times a minimum of 6 animals previously checked and certified as blemish-free were kept here for the daily sacrifices. It was required that each lamb be checked 4 days in advance of being sacrificed.

Although the lamb which had been selected for the tamid sacrifice had already been ascertained as being free of any disqualifying blemish, nonetheless as an added precaution - since the Bible strongly prohibits the offering of blemished animals - it is checked again now by torchlight, after its removal from the chamber. This is to preclude the unlikely event that perhaps something has befallen it since it was last examined, which would render it unfit.

After it has been selected, the lamb is given to drink before it is slaughtered, for this makes its skin easier to remove. It is watered from a golden vessel; everything done in the Temple was always conducted with as much honor as possible.

This chamber was located in the northwest corner of the courtyard, within the larger, dome-covered room known as the Place of the Fire which we have discussed. In each of that room's four corners there was a smaller chamber which opened onto the larger room.

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