altars in the temple of Jerusalem


The altar of holocaust was located in front of the Temple proper and the altar of incense stood in the Holy Place before the veil covering the door to the Holy of Holies. The ordinances regarding the former are contained in Exodus, 20, and Deuteronomy, 17. Solomon’s altar was similar in form to that of the Tabernacle, but larger, measuring 20 cubits in length and width and 10 in height, and constructed of unhewn stone and earth covered with plates of brass, hence called “brazen altar.” Destroyed with the Temple by Nabuchodonosor, 586 B.C., it was the first thing rebuilt by the returned exiles, 537. Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated this second altar, 168, and on that account it was completely removed by Judas Machabeus, 165, and a new one was erected which apparently remained until the destruction of Herod’s Temple by the Romans, 70 A.D. The altar of incense in Solomon’s Temple was of the same dimensions as that of the Tabernacle and made of cedar wood overlaid with gold, hence called “golden altar.” Its history repeats that of the altar of holocaust. Near this altar took place the annunciation to Zachary of the birth of John the Baptist (Luke, 1).

MLA Citation

  • “altars in the temple of Jerusalem”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 September 2012. Web. 10 December 2018. <>