Building the Altar

by Yehudah Lev Kay(IsraelNN.com)

The Temple Institute will begin building the sacrificial altar on Thursday, Tisha B’av, a fast day when Jews mourn the destruction of the Temple some 2,000 years ago. The sacrificial altar was located in the center of the Temple, and upon it the Kohanim (priests) offered the numerous voluntary and obligatory sacrifices commanded in the Bible.

The Temple Institute, which has already built many of the vessels for the Holy Temple, such as the ark and the menorah, has now embarked on a project to build the altar. Construction begins Thursday in Mitzpe Yericho (east of Jerusalem) at 5:30 p.m.

“Unfortunately, we cannot currently build the altar in its proper place, on the Temple Mount,” Temple Institute director Yehudah Glick said. “We are building an altar of the minimum possible size so that we will be able to transport it to the Temple when it is rebuilt.”

Even a minimum size altar will work out to be approximately 4 meters tall, 6 meters long, and 6 meters wide. Workers have collected around 10 cubic meters of rocks weighing several tons already.

The rocks were gathered from the Dead Sea area and wrapped individually to assure they remain whole and are not touched by metal, as the Bible requires.

Collecting Stones for Rebuilding the Temple Altar (click here to see related video)

“The Torah says that no iron tools should be used on the altar’s stones,” Glick explained. “The altar represents a connection to life and to the creation of the world. Iron is the opposite – it is used to build tools of war, death, and destruction.”

The stones will be cemented together with a mixture of sand, clay, tar, and asphalt. Researchers from the Temple Institute visited the Finish glass factory near Yerucham to learn how to create a mixture which would remain as cool as possible under the altar’s tlineunremitting fires and protect the Kohanim, who always worked in the Temple barefoot.

Glick said that Tisha B’av, a day associated with mourning, is really the ideal time to begin to build the Temple. “People mistakenly think Tisha B’av is only a day to cry,” he explained. “It also has to be a day of action. We have the ability in our era to begin the construction of the Temple.”

“There are many positive developments recently with regard to the Temple,” Glick added. “Hundreds of Jews visited the Temple Mount this week, and more and more continue to come, after undergoing the requisite ritual immersion.”

The Temple Institute is searching for donations to help build the altar, which will cost around NIS 100,000 (approximately $26,000). More information is available at http://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm.

The altar is the very heart of the Holy Temple, for all of the Divine service is centered around it: all of the daily and additional offerings, as well as the individual and congregational sacrifices. All of the major ceremonies in the Temple also take place in the vicinity of the altar: the Passover sacrifice, the bringing of the firstfruits on Shavuot, and even the rejoicing with the lulav branches on Sukkot all take place around the altar.

A Precise Location, From the Beginning of Time

The exact location of the altar is extremely precise, and has been established since time immemorial. The altar built by King David and King Solomon in the days of the First Temple, as well as the one built later in the era of the Second Temple, were both erected on the very same place: for this was the very place from which Adam, the first man, was created. The sages stated: “Man was created from the very spot which atones for him” (B’reishith Rabbah 14:6). Later, it was at this spot on Mount Moriah that Abraham bound Isaac upon the altar that he had built. Through that action, Abraham declared that this would be the place of God’s Temple for all time.

The Horns and the Ramp

The altar was built as a perfect square and was quite large: itreached 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).

Three Fires Atop the Altar

Three separate piles of wood burned atop the altar. The largest of these arrangements was designated to receive all the sacrifices; the second provided the coals for the incense altar within the sanctuary, and the third was the “perpetual fire” which constantly burned on the altar, as the verse states (Lev. 6:5) “And a fire shall burn there on the altar constantly; it shall not be extinguished.”

A large pile of ashes formed in the center of the altar from the remnants of these fires. God commanded that the coals be removed from here, and brought to another location outside of the Holy Temple which was known as the “place of ashes.”

Source – The Temple Institute (The Temple Sacrifices and Offerings)

WILL THE TEMPLE BE REBUILT?

Rev. Mark Robinson

The spring day was typical in many ways for Jerusalem. The sun was shining and the air was crisp, but there was one notable difference. Hundreds were anxiously awaiting the sacrifice. It was April, and the celebration of Passover was at hand. There were voices of anticipation as the lamb was brought for the slaughter. A couple of men tied the offering=s legs so as not to kick or struggle. A gold goblet filled with wine was given to the lamb. As he drank the wine, the alcohol would act as a sedative. The neck was carefully shaved to remove all hair so the knife, as it came down, would quickly, cleanly, and as painlessly as possible, take the lamb=s life.

In Hebrew, the priest offered the blessing, ABlessed are you, LORD our God, King of the world, who has sanctified us with his statutes and commanded us concerning the [ritual] slaughtering.@ The knife was raised. Swiftly and cleanly the cut was made and the blood of the lamb was spilled.

Perhaps you are thinking this was a scene in Jerusalem some 2,000 years ago when the Temple was still standing. If so, you are mistaken. The year was 2008. For the first time in almost 2,000 years, Jewish people in Jerusalem offered a Passover sacrifice. The event can be viewed on the internet (http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4Ks_5YgIQ). You need not fear about watching the slaying of the lamb. The film stops as the knife is brought down.

The offering of this Passover lamb was in a grassy area in the old city of Jerusalem. There is no Temple to bring the lamb. There is no altar where the sacrifice can be offered. There is, though, a desire in the heart of many ultra orthodox Jewish people to re-build the Temple, re-establish the priesthood, and re-institute the sacrificial system.

The Temple Institute

In the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem there is a small shop that, I am sure, many pass by and don=t have a clue about the work that takes place inside. Located on Misgav Ladach Street, the small sign proclaims, ATreasures of the Temple.@ A visit to their website, www.templeinstitute.org, tells of their work. ASHALOM AND WELCOME to the official website of the TEMPLE INSTITUTE in Jerusalem, Israel. The Temple Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the central role it fulfilled, and will once again fulfill, in the spiritual wellbeing of both Israel and all the nations of the world. The Institute’s work touches upon the history of the Holy Temple’s past, an understanding of the present day, and the Divine promise of Israel’s future. The Institute’s activities include education, research, and development. The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.

The offering of the Passover lamb in April, 2008 was coordinated by the Temple Institute. The rebuilding of the Temple Menorah, the Table of Shewbread, the vessels and instruments for sacrificial worship, priestly garments, harps for the Levitical choir have been, or are being prepared, under the auspices of the Temple Institute. These religious Jewish people not only expect, but are preparing for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem and the resumption of the sacrifices as described in the Jewish Scriptures.

The years of work the Temple Institute has done should be encouraging to Bible believing Christians. Although the supporters of the work of the Temple Institute are relatively small in number, their ultimate goal, Ato see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem,@ is in line with the promises of Scripture, both Old and New Testament concerning the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. I believe the Temple Institute=s work is preparation for the fulfillment of promises of Scripture that there will be a re-built Temple in Jerusalem one day. Perhaps sooner than we realize.

Future Temple Promises in the Old Testament

There are two future Temples promised for Israel and Jerusalem. The second one will be built by Messiah when He returns. We see this promise in Zechariah 6:12-13, AAnd speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.@ The BRANCH is a designation of the Messiah. This prophecy regarding the Messiah rebuilding the Temple will be fulfilled when Jesus returns.

The re-building of the first future Temple is possibly being prepared for now by the Temple Institute. There are two passages from the Jewish Bible to consider in regard to the first future Temple. This Temple is often referred to as the Tribulation Temple by Bible teachers because the Scriptures tell us it will be standing during the coming seven year Tribulation period. Specifically, the prophecy is that in the middle of the Tribulation period the Temple will be standing.

The first scripture is Daniel 9:27, the conclusion of the amazing A70 weeks@ prophecy that started in verse 24.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

The prophecy is that he, the Anti-Christ, will stop the sacrifice and the oblation in the middle of the seven year Tribulation period. The place sacrifices were offered to God was on Mt. Moriah. Although this verse does not say there has to be a rebuilt Temple, it at least implies there could be one, because sacrifices, which in biblical days took place in the Temple, are stopped.

Jeremiah, also speaking of the last days, gives us additional information about a possible Temple existing in the Tribulation period.

And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. Jeremiah 3:16-17

These verses reference the coming reign of Jesus in the Millennial kingdom because “Jerusalem [is] the throne of the LORD and all the nations shall be gathered unto it.” Verse 16 tells us that in the kingdom no one will visit the ark of the covenant of the Lord anymore as they once did. The inference of this passage is that previous to the millennial kingdom, i.e. the Tribulation period, people visited the ark of the covenant. For anyone to visit the ark of the covenant requires a Temple be standing to house the ark of the covenant.

Future Temple Promises in the New Testament

In the Olivet discourse Jesus addresses issues that will take place in the Tribulation period. In Matthew 24:15-16 we are told:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso breadth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

The abomination of desolation is the same type of event that took place with Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. Antiochus desecrated the Temple by offering a pig on its altar. We are told there will be another desecration in a future Temple, “the holy place,” in the Tribulation period.

A final passage in the New Testament, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, tells of the Anti-Christ, here known as “the man of sin, the son of perdition,” sitting in the Temple and proclaiming himself God.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Coupled with the previous scriptures, this takes place in the middle of the Tribulation period. This demands a Temple standing on the Temple Mount no later than the middle of the Tribulation period. Logic tells us that the Temple will have to be constructed before the middle of the Tribulation period, for it to be standing by the middle of this period.

The Temple will be Rebuilt!

The Scripture is clear there will be another Temple in Jerusalem. The Tribulation Temple has to be standing by the middle of the Tribulation period. We don’t know when this Temple will be built. It could be at the beginning of the Tribulation period or anytime in the first 3½ years of the seven year Tribulation period. It could also be built before the Tribulation period starts. There is nothing in the scripture that precludes the building of the Temple before the start of the Tribulation period.

I believe we are living in the time of the return of the Lord. The establishment of Israel as a nation in 1948 is the key component in end time prophecy (Ezekiel 37:1-14; Isaiah 11:1-12). The rapture of the church could happen any time. The desire of the Temple Institute to rebuild the Temple and re-institute the sacrificial system just might be one of the instruments God will use in seeing that the Temple is rebuilt. The desire and work to rebuild the Temple is another “shadow” of the Tribulation period.

How close are we to the start of the Tribulation period? Perhaps we are very close. The rapture precedes the start of the Tribulation period. Are you ready to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)?

by Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel – Arutz Sheva

 

As the Jewish People continue their national return to their ancestral homeland, tailors at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem’s Old City began taking measurements of Kohanim (the priestly tribe designated to run the Temple services) earlier this month in anticipation of an even bigger event — the dedication of the Third Temple.Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Institute, presided over the first-ever fitting of Kohanim for their priestly garments. “Today, in this room, Kohanim are being measured for the first time in 2,000 years for the type of garments they will be wearing in the rebuilt Temple,” announced Glick to an audience of rabbis, reporters and cameramen on hand to witness the historic event. Kohanim are required by the Torah to wear a special set of garments while on duty in the Temple, and their priestly attire, known as Bigdei Kehunah, is to be worn only during their Temple service. The ceremony, inaugurating the Institute’s new “Bureau of Outfitting” on Ma’amadot Israel Street in the Old City, attracted several well-known rabbis who are also Kohanim.

Yehuda Glick, director of the Temple Institute, presided over the first-ever fitting of Kohanim for their priestly garments. “Today, in this room, Kohanim are being measured for the first time in 2,000 years for the type of garments they will be wearing in the rebuilt Temple,” announced Glick to an audience of rabbis, reporters and cameramen on hand to witness the historic event. Kohanim are required by the Torah to wear a special set of garments while on duty in the Temple, and their priestly attire, known as Bigdei Kehunah, is to be worn only during their Temple service. The ceremony, inaugurating the Institute’s new “Bureau of Outfitting” on Ma’amadot Israel Street in the Old City, attracted several well-known rabbis who are also Kohanim.

Kohanim are required by the Torah to wear a special set of garments while on duty in the Temple, and their priestly attire, known as Bigdei Kehunah, is to be worn only during their Temple service. The ceremony, inaugurating the Institute’s new “Bureau of Outfitting” on Ma’amadot Israel Street in the Old City, attracted several well-known rabbis who are also Kohanim.

Rabbi Nachman Kahane of the Old City gets fitted for white priestly Temple Tuxedo

The garments of the Kohanim are described in great detail in the Torah. While scale models of the future Temple can be seen in shop windows and the clothes of the Priesthood can be seen hanging on mannequins, the event marked the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple that real-life Kohanim have been measured for the clothing of their holy work in the Temple. At the beginning of the ceremony, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel delivered a speech describing the importance of the occasion. “Just like the animal sacrifices atone for the Nation of Israel, so do the clothes of the Kohen,” he remarked. A man named Aviad Jerufi was on hand to model the full uniform of the Kohen, while each individual garment was described.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Rabbi Yisrael Ariel delivered a speech describing the importance of the occasion. “Just like the animal sacrifices atone for the Nation of Israel, so do the clothes of the Kohen,” he remarked. A man named Aviad Jerufi was on hand to model the full uniform of the Kohen, while each individual garment was described.

Rabbi Nachman Kahane, the first Kohen fitted

Pamphlets were then distributed to each Kohen being measured, containing a Jewish legal description of the clothes they were to receive. Representatives from the Israel Textile Association recorded each Kohen’s head circumference, shoulder width, leg length and other measurements as they were taken before the audience.

Among the Kohanim being measured were Rabbi Nachman Kahane, brother of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, and Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat. Each Kohen measured received a “Kohen number”, with Rabbi Kahane awarded the honorary first number, 1, to much applause, and Rabbi Riskin – number 2.

According to Yaacov Gutfreund and Yitzchak Shechter of the Israel Textile Association, the clothes for which the Kohanim measured during the special fitting, and which they are to receive, are not intended to be worn during actual Temple service. They are rather meant to be identical in fabric and dimension to the Bigdei Kohanim that they hope and pray to wear when the Holy Temple is rededicated.

The fitting of the High Priest, who has a special set of garments, will have to wait until then. Photos by Ze’ev Ben-Yechiel, IsraelNationalNews.com

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