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Ezekiel 43:13-27

The Altar

43:13 “And these are the measurements of the altar: 1  Its base 2  is 1¾ feet 3  high, 4  and 1¾ feet 5  wide, and its border nine inches 6  on its edge. This is to be the height 7  of the altar. 43:14 From the base of the ground to the lower edge is 3½ feet, 8  and the width 1¾ feet; 9  and from the smaller ledge to the larger edge, 7 feet, 10  and the width 1¾ feet; 43:15 and the altar hearth, 7 feet, and from the altar hearth four horns projecting upward. 43:16 Now the altar hearth 11  is a perfect square, 21 feet 12  long and 21 feet wide. 43:17 The ledge is 24½ feet 13  long and 24½ feet wide on four sides; the border around it is 10½ inches, 14  and its surrounding base 1¾ feet. 15  Its steps face east.”

43:18 Then he said to me: “Son of man, this is what the sovereign Lord says: These are the statutes of the altar: On the day it is built to offer up burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it, 16  43:19 you will give a young bull for a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are descended from Zadok, who approach me to minister to me, declares the sovereign Lord. 43:20 You will take some of its blood, and place it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border all around; you will cleanse it and make atonement for it. 17  43:21 You will also take the bull for the sin offering, and it will be burned in the appointed place in the temple, outside the sanctuary.

43:22 “On the second day, you will offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they purified it with the bull. 43:23 When you have finished purifying it, you will offer an unblemished young bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. 43:24 You will present them before the Lord, and the priests will scatter salt on them 18  and offer them up as a burnt offering to the Lord.

43:25 “For seven days you will provide every day a goat for a sin offering; a young bull and a ram from the flock, both without blemish, will be provided. 43:26 For seven days they will make atonement for the altar and cleanse it, so they will consecrate it. 19  43:27 When the prescribed period is over, 20  on the eighth day and thereafter the priests will offer up on the altar your burnt offerings and your peace offerings; 21  I will accept you, declares the sovereign Lord.”

1 tn Heb “the measurements of the altar by cubits, the cubit being a cubit and a handbreadth.” The measuring units here and in the remainder of this section are the Hebrew “long” cubit, consisting of a cubit (about 18 inches or 45 cm) and a handbreadth (about 3 inches or 7.5 cm), for a total of 21 inches (52.5 cm). Because modern readers are not familiar with the cubit as a unit of measurement, and due to the additional complication of the “long” cubit as opposed to the regular cubit, all measurements have been converted to American standard feet and inches, with the Hebrew measurements and the metric equivalents given in the notes. On the altar see Ezek 40:47.

2 tn The Hebrew term normally means “bosom.” Here it refers to a hollow in the ground.

3 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

4 tn The word “high” is not in the Hebrew text but is supplied in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

6 tn Heb “one span.” A span was three handbreadths, or about nine inches (i.e., 22.5 cm).

7 tc Heb “bulge, protuberance, mound.” The translation follows the LXX.

8 tn Heb “two cubits” (i.e., 1.05 meters).

9 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm; the phrase occurs again later in this verse).

10 tn Heb “four cubits” (i.e., 2.1 meters; the phrase also occurs in the next verse).

11 tn The precise Hebrew word used here to refer to an “altar hearth” occurs only here in the OT.

12 tn Heb “twelve cubits” (i.e., 6.3 meters; the phrase occurs twice in this verse).

13 tn Heb “fourteen”; the word “cubits” is not in the Hebrew text but is understood from the context; the phrase occurs again later in this verse. Fourteen cubits is about 7.35 meters.

14 tn Heb “half a cubit” (i.e., 26.25 cm).

15 tn Heb “one cubit” (i.e., 52.5 cm).

16 sn For the “sprinkling of blood,” see Lev 1:5, 11; 8:19; 9:12.

17 sn Note the similar language in Lev 16:18.

18 sn It is likely that salt was used with sacrificial meals (Num 18:19; 2 Chr 13:5).

19 tn Heb “fill its hands.”

20 tn Heb “and they will complete the days.”

21 sn The people also could partake of the food of the peace offering (Lev 3).

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