In the Bible, we find meaningful verses about the altar. These verses reveal its importance as a place of worship and encounter with God.
The altar symbolizes our connection to the divine, where we offer praise and seek forgiveness.
Through these verses, we understand the transformative power of the altar, encouraging us to approach it with reverence and embrace its significance on our spiritual journey.
What Does Bible Say About Altar?
Altars have a special significance in the Bible. They were constructed as places of worship and sacrifice to honor God.
Altars represent our relationship with Him and our desire to ask forgiveness and demonstrate devotion.
The cross of Jesus is regarded as the most important altar, providing atonement and salvation. Altars are now viewed as believers’ hearts, where we give ourselves as living sacrifices, worshipping and serving God with thankfulness and obedience.
Breaking Evil Altars Bible Verses
1 Corinthians 9:13
“Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?”
Those who serve through ministry and work directly at the Altar are entitled to food and financial support from other believers with weaker faith in the Lord. However, one should give up such rights in order to pursue righteousness and godliness.
“We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.”
Followers who seek salvation by following the old covenant through rituals and customs of the law are not entitled to the benefits that the new covenant provides, and they should instead trust in their faith in the Lord through belief in Christ and by engaging in good works.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,”
“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to that person; then come and offer your gift.”
Believers of the Lord should not just engage in rituals such as bringing their offerings, and they should rather be at peace in their consciousness by resolving their disputes with family, and in this way, they can connect with God better.
“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”
Then Noah had built an Altar in Honour of the Lord and to worship Him, and for this purpose, he used each kind of animal and bird that had been regarded as clean to be sacrificed as a burnt offering to Him.
“The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”
And Abram had built an altar and pledged it to the Lord, who had appeared before him and had informed that He would provide the land to his descendants.
“Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Moses wrote down the instructions of God. Then he built an altar early in the morning at the mountain’s base consisting of twelve pillars representing Israel’s twelve tribes.
“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.”
Abraham had built an altar and arranged the wood on top of it after arriving at the place where the Lord had instructed them to go. Afterward, he tied his son and rested him above the wood on the Altar.
1 Kings 9:25
“Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the LORD, burning incense before the LORD along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.”
Solomon presented the Lord with burnt offerings for peace three times a year on the Altar he had built for Him. And thus, the work of completing the temple was done by him.
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Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”
God commanded Jacob to prepare to go to Bethel and reside there. He is also tasked with constructing an Altar in the name of the Lord who had appeared before him when he was escaping from Esau, who was his brother.
“Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.”
Disciples of the Lord should focus on their inward holiness rather than care about erecting lasting monuments to worship Him as it would lead to idolatry, and one should know that God can appear to bless them even if they construct temporary Altars in any place as he resides everywhere.
“But if anyone schemes and kills someone deliberately, that person is to be taken from my altar and put to death.”
One who has malicious intentions in his heart and who has wilfully carried out evil deeds will not be spared from receiving the necessary punishment and will not find safety even on the Altar of the Lord.
“On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.”
God promises that He would also destroy the altars that were of pagan origin in Bethel on the day He shall punish Israel for its sins, and then the horns of the Altar would fall into the ground after being cut off from it.
“For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship – and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.”
One should be aware of their Lord who is the creator of the universe and must be provided with their utmost faith and devotion. He must realize God’s power by remembering Jesus’s resurrection and should stay away from idolatry, for God can be accessed anywhere.
“Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”
Followers of the Lord are not to rely on rigid rules and rituals such as offerings at the Altar of God as these are not the correct path for spiritual growth. Instead, one can seek to attain salvation through believing in Christ and following His path of righteousness.
“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”
Believers should keep faith in the Lord even in times of hardships and look beyond their temporary sufferings of mortal life towards the eternal life with the Lord. They should also provide offerings in the form of praise to Him rather than sacrifices at His Altar.
Balaam said, “Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me.”
And Balak was to construct seven altars at that place and get ready seven bulls and seven rams, as commanded by Balaam.
Leviticus 6:12-13 – God’s followers should always keep the divine flame flowing. They should keep offering offerings to the Lord in the form of praises just in the way sacrifices are offered at the Altar and must keep doing good works with the gift of life from Him and persevere to preserve and extend the kingdom of God.
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“By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible.”
Disciples of the Lord, who have more knowledge about Him than others, are more responsible for following His word and doing good works to spread His glory.
Such people should be aware not to disrespect Him by providing offerings that are not pure in the manner in which priests were not to offer impure animals at His Altar.
“Over the gold altar they are to spread a blue cloth and cover that with the durable leather and put the poles in place.”
They were to place a blue cloth over the golden Altar, cover it up with fine goatskin leather, and then fix the poles to the Altar.
“These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
God offers people from all places and even those who had hesitations or objections to Him to experience His deliverance and to be provided a chance at redemption.
These people will be joyous, and he will accept their offerings to the Lord at His Altar.
“And you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?”
Followers of God should always detest any form of idolatry as it is deemed impure according to the word of God, and those who display a liking of such along with sacrificial rituals upon His altars show their ingratitude to the Lord and their wickedness.
2 Kings 23:20
“Josiah slaughtered all the priests of those high places on the altars and burned human bones on them. Then he went back to Jerusalem.”
And Josiah desecrated the altars of the pagans by executing the high priests and burning human bones on top of the altars, and after doing so, he went back to Jerusalem.
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2 Chronicles 23:17
“All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.”
Then all the people arrived at the temple of Baal and destroyed it, along with damaging all his altars and shattering his images.
They also slaughtered the priest that worshipped Baal, Mattan, in front of the altars.
2 Chronicles 33:15
“He got rid of the foreign gods and removed the image from the temple of the LORD, as well as all the altars he had built on the temple hill and in Jerusalem; and he threw them out of the city.”
He also removed the strange gods and the idol from the temple of the Lord and dismantled the altars built by him on the hill where the temple stood and the ones present in Jerusalem and cast them outside the city.
“They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands, and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.”
And they are not to seek the altars or worship their idols, which they have constructed with their own hands, in times of need.
They are also forbidden from bowing down before the Asherim or the pagan shrines created by them.
“A people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick.”
They defied and angered the Lord by openly committing sins by worshipping idols and performing rituals by providing sacrificial offerings to their false gods.
“Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones.”
The people are dishonest and fraudulent, and they will face judgment for being guilty of their actions.
They will be punished by the Lord, who will destroy their altars and shatter their religious monuments.
“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?
Elijah cried out to the Lord, saying that he was all alone as they had destroyed all His altars, slaughtered all of His prophets, and were now after him with the intention of taking his life.
2 Chronicles 28:24
“Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and cut them in pieces. He shut the doors of the LORD’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem.”
And Ahaz collected the many articles from the temple of the Lord and shattered them into pieces.
Then he sealed the temple doors shut, forbidding worship after which he started constructing pagan altars throughout the streets of Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 30:14
“They removed the altars in Jerusalem and cleared away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.”
They got up and began to remove the shrines dedicated to the pagan gods from the city of Jerusalem along with the altars that were for burning incense and cast them into the valley of Kidron.
“Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.”
Israel is prosperous as a spreading vine bearing many fruits, but as more and more fruits are increased, so has the number of altars to the pagan gods multiplied. With harvests of the land getting plentiful, the people have improved their monuments.
“They were responsible for the care of the ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain, and everything related to their use.”
The four tribes were assigned with the task of guarding the ark, the altars, the various articles of the sanctuary used by the priests, the inner curtain, along with all the facilities in related to them.
“From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.”
Abram subsequently traveled to the mountain which was located to the east of Bethel and set up his tent at the place where Bethel was on the west and Ai on the east and in that spot, he constructed an altar dedicated to the Lord after which he prayed to Him.
“When they came to Geliloth near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altar there by the Jordan.”
When they arrived at the place known as Geliloth, which was in the region of Canaan bordering the river Jordan, the men from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of those from Manasseh constructed an altar, which was massive and staggering to look at.
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Altars hold great significance in the Bible, representing worship, sacrifice, and encountering God. They symbolize the connection between people and the divine. Bible verses about altars emphasize their importance in offering praise, thanksgiving, and seeking God’s presence. They remind believers to approach altars with reverence, offering themselves as living sacrifices, and finding comfort and communion with God.
Frequently Asked Questions of Bible Verses About Altar
Are altars still relevant in modern times?
While physical altars are not as prevalent today, the concept of an altar is still relevant. It symbolizes our dedication to God and our desire to worship Him. In modern times, altars can be seen as a metaphorical representation of our hearts and our commitment to God.
Is there any specific guidance in the Bible regarding building altars?
In the Old Testament, there are detailed instructions for building altars, such as using specific materials and following precise measurements. However, in the New Testament, the emphasis shifts more towards the altar of the heart, focusing on spiritual worship rather than physical structures.
Can altars be used for personal prayer and worship?
While altars were primarily used for public worship and sacrifices in the Old Testament, they can also be used for personal prayer and worship. Altars can serve as a physical focal point to draw near to God, offer prayers, seek His presence, and express devotion.
Can altars be seen as a symbol of sacrifice?
Yes, altars can be seen as a symbol of sacrifice. Sacrifices offered on altars in the Old Testament represented the giving up of something valuable as an act of devotion to God. In a similar way, Christians are called to offer themselves as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1), dedicating their lives to God.
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