Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jews begin work on bronze altar

You may not have heard about this, but a group of Jews called the Temple Institute have been diligently working for the last three decades to reconstruct all the furniture for the Temple. (I actually got to see the menorah when I visited Israel ten years ago.) Their hope is to one day rebuild the temple and reestablish sacrifices. Hmmm. Sounds like something I read in Revelation.

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 2 meters tall, 3 meters long, and 3 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.

“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.”

HT: Todd Bolen


David Squyres said...

Wow! Is there a picture of it?

Other than Ezek., is there a place in the Bible that says a temple will be built before the Coming?

Stephen Jones said...

Hi David,

The altar is only now just being constructed, so I'm not aware of any pictures yet. But you can go to the photo gallery at the Temple Institute website (see link on my blog) and see pictures of "Recently Completed and Current Projects."

Revelation 11 says a temple will be built during the tribulation and sacrifices will resume. Eventually the antichrist will desecrate this temple much like Antiochus IV did in 167 BC. Other passages mentioning this temple include Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Matt 24:15; and 2 Thess. 2:4.

Ezekiel 40-48 describes the millennial temple, while will be rebuilt at the return and earthly reign of Christ. True believers will worship here, and the sacrifices will be memorials of Christ's finished work on the cross (somewhat like our Lord's Supper today).