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altar

more about altar

altar


  4  definitions  found 
 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
 
  Altar  \Al"tar\,  n.  [OE.  alter,  auter,  autier  fr  L.  altare,  pl 
  altaria  altar,  prob.  fr  altus  high:  cf  OF  alter,  autier 
  F.  autel  Cf  {Altitude}.] 
  1.  A  raised  structure  (as  a  square  or  oblong  erection  of 
  stone  or  wood)  on  which  sacrifices  are  offered  or  incense 
  burned  to  a  deity. 
 
  Noah  builded  an  altar  unto  the  Lord.  --Gen.  viii. 
  20. 
 
  2.  In  the  Christian  church,  a  construction  of  stone,  wood,  or 
  other  material  for  the  celebration  of  the  Holy  Eucharist; 
  the  communion  table. 
 
  Note:  Altar  is  much  used  adjectively,  or  as  the  first  part  of 
  a  compound;  as  altar  bread  or  altar-bread. 
 
  {Altar  cloth}  or 
 
  {Altar-cloth},  the  cover  for  an  altar  in  a  Christian  church, 
  usually  richly  embroidered. 
 
  {Altar  cushion},  a  cushion  laid  upon  the  altar  in  a  Christian 
  church  to  support  the  service  book. 
 
  {Altar  frontal}.  See  {Frontal}. 
 
  {Altar  rail},  the  railing  in  front  of  the  altar  or  communion 
  table. 
 
  {Altar  screen},  a  wall  or  partition  built  behind  an  altar  to 
  protect  it  from  approach  in  the  rear. 
 
  {Altar  tomb},  a  tomb  resembling  an  altar  in  shape,  etc 
 
  {Family  altar},  place  of  family  devotions. 
 
  {To  lead  (as  a  bride)  to  the  altar},  to  marry;  --  said  of  a 
  woman. 
 
  From  WordNet  r  1.6  [wn]: 
 
  altar 
  n  1:  the  table  in  Christian  churches  where  communion  is  given 
  [syn:  {communion  table},  {Lord's  table}] 
  2:  a  raised  structure  on  which  gifts  or  sacrifices  to  a  god  are 
  made 
 
  From  Easton's  1897  Bible  Dictionary  [easton]: 
 
  Altar 
  (Heb.  mizbe'ah,  from  a  word  meaning  "to  slay"),  any  structure  of 
  earth  (Ex.  20:24)  or  unwrought  stone  (20:25)  on  which  sacrifices 
  were  offered.  Altars  were  generally  erected  in  conspicuous 
  places  (Gen.  22:9;  Ezek.  6:3;  2  Kings  23:12;  16:4;  23:8;  Acts 
  14:13).  The  word  is  used  in  Heb.  13:10  for  the  sacrifice  offered 
  upon  it--the  sacrifice  Christ  offered. 
 
  Paul  found  among  the  many  altars  erected  in  Athens  one  bearing 
  the  inscription,  "To  the  unknown  God"  (Acts  17:23),  or  rather 
  "to  an  [i.e.,  some]  unknown  God."  The  reason  for  this 
  inscription  cannot  now  be  accurately  determined.  It  afforded  the 
  apostle  the  occasion  of  proclaiming  the  gospel  to  the  "men  of 
  Athens." 
 
  The  first  altar  we  read  of  is  that  erected  by  Noah  (Gen. 
  8:20).  Altars  were  erected  by  Abraham  (Gen.  12:7;  13:4;  22:9), 
  by  Isaac  (Gen.  26:25),  by  Jacob  (33:20;  35:1,  3),  and  by  Moses 
  (Ex.  17:15,  "Jehovah-nissi"). 
 
  In  the  tabernacle,  and  afterwards  in  the  temple,  two  altars 
  were  erected. 
 
  (1.)  The  altar  of  burnt  offering  (Ex.  30:28),  called  also  the 
  "brasen  altar"  (Ex.  39:39)  and  "the  table  of  the  Lord"  (Mal. 
  1:7). 
 
  This  altar,  as  erected  in  the  tabernacle,  is  described  in  Ex 
  27:1-8.  It  was  a  hollow  square,  5  cubits  in  length  and  in 
  breadth,  and  3  cubits  in  height.  It  was  made  of  shittim  wood, 
  and  was  overlaid  with  plates  of  brass.  Its  corners  were 
  ornamented  with  horns"  (Ex.  29:12;  Lev.  4:18). 
 
  In  Ex  27:3  the  various  utensils  appertaining  to  the  altar  are 
  enumerated.  They  were  made  of  brass.  (Comp.  1  Sam.  2:13,  14; 
  Lev.  16:12;  Num.  16:6,  7.) 
 
  In  Solomon's  temple  the  altar  was  of  larger  dimensions  (2  Chr. 
  4:1.  Comp.  1  Kings  8:22,  64;  9:25),  and  was  made  wholly  of 
  brass,  covering  a  structure  of  stone  or  earth.  This  altar  was 
  renewed  by  Asa  (2  Chr.  15:8).  It  was  removed  by  Ahaz  (2  Kings 
  16:14),  and  cleansed"  by  Hezekiah,  in  the  latter  part  of  whose 
  reign  it  was  rebuilt.  It  was  finally  broken  up  and  carried  away 
  by  the  Babylonians  (Jer.  52:17). 
 
  After  the  return  from  captivity  it  was  re-erected  (Ezra  3:3, 
  6)  on  the  same  place  where  it  had  formerly  stood.  (Comp.  1  Macc. 
  4:47.)  When  Antiochus  Epiphanes  pillaged  Jerusalem  the  altar  of 
  burnt  offering  was  taken  away 
 
  Again  the  altar  was  erected  by  Herod,  and  remained  in  its 
  place  till  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  by  the  Romans  (70  A.D.). 
 
  The  fire  on  the  altar  was  not  permitted  to  go  out  (Lev.  6:9). 
 
  In  the  Mosque  of  Omar,  immediately  underneath  the  great  dome, 
  which  occupies  the  site  of  the  old  temple,  there  is  a  rough 
  projection  of  the  natural  rock,  of  about  60  feet  in  its  extreme 
  length,  and  50  in  its  greatest  breadth,  and  in  its  highest  part 
  about  4  feet  above  the  general  pavement.  This  rock  seems  to  have 
  been  left  intact  when  Solomon's  temple  was  built.  It  was  in  all 
  probability  the  site  of  the  altar  of  burnt  offering.  Underneath 
  this  rock  is  a  cave,  which  may  probably  have  been  the  granary  of 
  Araunah's  threshing-floor  (1  Chr.  21:22). 
 
  (2.)  The  altar  of  incense  (Ex.  30:1-10),  called  also  "the 
  golden  altar"  (39:38;  Num.  4:11),  stood  in  the  holy  place 
  "before  the  vail  that  is  by  the  ark  of  the  testimony."  On  this 
  altar  sweet  spices  were  continually  burned  with  fire  taken  from 
  the  brazen  altar.  The  morning  and  the  evening  services  were 
  commenced  by  the  high  priest  offering  incense  on  this  altar.  The 
  burning  of  the  incense  was  a  type  of  prayer  (Ps.  141:2;  Rev. 
  5:8;  8:3,  4). 
 
  This  altar  was  a  small  movable  table,  made  of  acacia  wood 
  overlaid  with  gold  (Ex.  37:25,  26).  It  was  1  cubit  in  length  and 
  breadth,  and  2  cubits  in  height. 
 
  In  Solomon's  temple  the  altar  was  similar  in  size,  but  was 
  made  of  cedar-wood  (1  Kings  6:20;  7:48)  overlaid  with  gold.  In 
  Ezek.  41:22  it  is  called  "the  altar  of  wood."  (Comp.  Ex 
  30:1-6.) 
 
  In  the  temple  built  after  the  Exile  the  altar  was  restored. 
  Antiochus  Epiphanes  took  it  away  but  it  was  afterwards  restored 
  by  Judas  Maccabaeus  (1  Macc.  1:23;  4:49).  Among  the  trophies 
  carried  away  by  Titus  on  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  the  altar 
  of  incense  is  not  found  nor  is  any  mention  made  of  it  in  Heb. 
  9.  It  was  at  this  altar  Zacharias  ministered  when  an  angel 
  appeared  to  him  (Luke  1:11).  It  is  the  only  altar  which  appears 
  in  the  heavenly  temple  (Isa.  6:6;  Rev.  8:3,4). 
 
 
  From  THE  DEVIL'S  DICTIONARY  ((C)1911  Released  April  15  1993)  [devils]: 
 
  ALTAR,  n.  The  place  whereupon  the  priest  formerly  raveled  out  the 
  small  intestine  of  the  sacrificial  victim  for  purposes  of  divination 
  and  cooked  its  flesh  for  the  gods.  The  word  is  now  seldom  used 
  except  with  reference  to  the  sacrifice  of  their  liberty  and  peace  by  a 
  male  and  a  female  tool. 
 
  They  stood  before  the  altar  and  supplied 
  The  fire  themselves  in  which  their  fat  was  fried. 
  In  vain  the  sacrifice!  --  no  god  will  claim 
  An  offering  burnt  with  an  unholy  flame. 
  M.P.  Nopput 
 
 




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