Thursday, March 14, 2019

Deuteronomy 27:5

Deuteronomy 27:5

And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.

a. ASV: And there shalt thou build an altar unto Jehovah thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt lift up no iron tool upon them.

b. YLT: and built there an altar to Jehovah thy God, an altar of stones, thou dost not wave over them iron.  

c. Amplified Bible Classic: And there you shall build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones; you shall not lift up any iron tool upon them.

d. Septuagint: And thou shalt build there an altar to the Lord thy God, an altar of stones; thou shalt not lift up iron upon it.

e. Stone Edition Torah/Prophets/Writings: There you shall build an altar for HASHEM, your God, an altar of stones, you shall not raise iron upon them.

1. “And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God…”

a. [And] there [Strong: 8033 sham shawm a primitive particle (rather from the relative pronoun, 834); there (transferring to time) then; often thither, or thence:--in it, + thence, there (-in, + of, + out), + thither, + whither.]

b. [shalt thou] build 1129 bânâh, baw-naw'; a primitive root; to build (literally and figuratively):—(begin to) build(-er), obtain children, make, repair, set (up), × surely.]

c. [an] altar [Strong: 4196 mizbêach, miz-bay'-akh; from H2076; an altar:—altar.]

d. [unto the] LORD [Strong: 3068 Yᵉhôvâh, yeh-ho-vaw'; from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:—Jehovah, the Lord.]

e. [thy] God [Strong: 430 ʼĕlôhîym, el-o-heem'; plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:—angels, × exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), × (very) great, judges, × mighty.]

2. “ altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.”

a. [an] altar [Strong: 4196 mizbêach, miz-bay'-akh; from H2076; an altar:—altar.]

b. [of] stones [Strong: 68 ʼeben, eh'-ben; from the root of H1129 through the meaning to build; a stone:— carbuncle, mason, plummet, (chalk-, hail-, head-, sling-) stone(-ny), (divers) weight(-s).]

c. [thou shalt] not [Strong: 3808 lo' lo or lowi {lo}; or loh (Deut. 3:11) {lo}; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abs. negation); by implication, no; often used with other particles (as follows):--X before, + or else, ere, + except, ig(-norant), much, less, nay, neither, never, no((-ne), -r, (-thing)), (X as though...,(can-), for) not (out of), of nought, otherwise, out of, + surely, + as truly as, + of a truth, + verily, for want, + whether, without.]

d. lift up [Strong: 5130 nûwph, noof; a primitive root; to quiver (i.e. vibrate up and down, or rock to and fro); used in a great variety of applications (including sprinkling, beckoning, rubbing, bastinadoing, sawing, waving, etc.):—lift up, move, offer, perfume, send, shake, sift, strike, wave.]

e. [any] iron [Strong: 1270 barzel, bar-zel'; perhaps from the root of H1269; iron (as cutting); by extension, an iron implement:—(ax) head, iron.]

f. upon [them] [Strong: 5921 `al al properly, the same as 5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural often with prefix, or as conjunction with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications (as follow):--above, according to(-ly), after, (as) against, among, and, X as, at, because of, beside (the rest of), between, beyond the time, X both and, by (reason of), X had the charge of, concerning for, in (that), (forth, out) of, (from) (off), (up-)on, over, than, through(-out), to, touching, X with.]

1). This command to build an altar on Mount Ebal was obeyed by Joshua and the elders of Israel (Joshua 8:30-35).

2). On 10/30/83 the Cincinnati Enquirer printed an Associated Press piece by Allyn Fisher titled, “Newly Discovered Stone Altar Might Be Joshua’s, Scientist Says”  TEL AVIV, Israel: A stone altar 30 centuries old has been unearthed on a West Bank mountain where the Bible says the prophet Joshua built his altar after leading the children of Israel into the promised land. Israeli archaeologist Adam Zartal told the Associated Press on Friday that sheep bones, ashes and a dark substance that may have been blood from ritual sacrifices were found on the 27 foot by 21 foot stone structure near the peak of the 3,100 foot Mount Ebal, a little more than a mile north of Nablus. “We have never before found a structure of an altar from the period of the Old Testament,” said Zartal, whose discovery was reported in the daily Haaretz newspaper and confirmed by Haifa University. What excites archaeologists about the find made October 21 is the possibility that it was constructed by Joshua, who the Bible says blew down the walls of Jericho with a trumpet. Joshua succeeded Moses as leader of the Israelites. Zartal said the location fits the description of Old Testament reference to an altar Joshua built on Mount Ebal. And in the book of Deuteronomy, God instructs his people build an altar of stones with chalk markings after the Israelites crossed into the holy land across the Jordan River. If the altar is proven to be that of Joshua it would lend support to those who argue the literal nature of the Scriptures rather than their allegorical value. “Mount Ebal is known by all accounts of the settlement of the people of Israel in the ancient land and here we have found archaeological remains that are testimony to the holiness of the site.” Said Professor Benjamin Mazar, 77, of Hebrew University. Mazar, who helped Zartal in research on the project financed by the government and Haifa University, is one of Israel’s most respected archaeologists. He said further research is needed to establish the link with Joshua. “There is no doubt that this is a very significant holy site but it still needs further archaeological and biblical research, Mazar told the AP in a telephone interview. Both archaeologists said the site dated from the 12 century B.C., based on ceramic pottery found at the scene and subjected to a carbon dating test.

3). Joshua´s Altar Leads to Deepening National Consciousness

 Israel National News 12/28/2006
by Hillel Fendel
Prof. Adam Zertal, an archaeologist from Tel Aviv University, was the man who discovered and excavated the area and determined that it is the remnants of Joshua's Altar. He appeared recently on Israel National Radio, speaking with hosts Yishai and Malkah Fleisher. "How do you know that this was in fact Joshua's altar?" Yishai asked. "Perhaps it was built by other peoples over the years, for instance." Prof. Zertal, author of " A Nation is Born: The Mt. Eval Altar and the Beginnings of the Nation of Israel," appeared not to know where to start, given the amount of evidence he can provide. He began with the discovery itself: "We discovered this place, all covered with stones, in April 1980. At that time I never dreamt that we were dealing with the altar, because I was taught in Tel Aviv University - the center of anti-Biblical tendencies, where I learned that Biblical theories are untrue, and that Biblical accounts were written later, and the like. I didn't even know of the story of the Joshua's altar. But we surveyed every meter of the site, and in the course of nine years of excavation, we discovered a very old structure with no parallels to anything we had seen before. It was 9 by 7 meters, and 4 meters high, with two stone ramps, and a kind of veranda, known as the sovev, around." The Torah itself, in Deut. 27, 4-8, recounts the command to build the altar on Mt. Ebal (Eval) when the Jewish People would cross the Jordan River into the Holy Land. The command stipulates that the stones should not be hewn by iron, and that sacrifices should be brought there. Joshua 8, 30 states that Joshua fulfilled the command and, in fact, built the altar on Mt. Ebal. This occurred, according to traditional chronology, in the year 2488 to the creation of the world, or 3,252 years before Zertal began his excavation of the site.
A very critical piece of evidence cited by Zertal in support of his identification of the structure as Joshua's Altar appears to be the animal bones found there:
"There were more than 1,000 burnt animal bones - exactly of the type that were used for sacrifices. It was clear that this was not the remnants of some village, but rather a cultic site. But the critical turning point [in our excavation] came when a religious member of our team showed us the Mishna describing the altar of the 2nd Temple period - 1,200 years later than our discovery. The description was very similar to what we had found - meaning that the Mishna was clearly and definitely a continuation and prototype of the one on Mt. Ebal. They both have ramps, just as the Torah stipulates, for the High Priest to ascend to the altar without going up steps, and the sizes matched, and more... The architecture itself was the evidence." "We found 1,000 bones in the site, and another 2,000 around it - representing something like 700 animals," Prof. Zertal said. "We sent them for analysis to the zoology department of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and all the males were young males around one year old - as the Torah commands - and were of the four animals that were brought as sacrifices: goats, sheep, cattle, and fallow deer. In addition, most of the bones had been burnt in open-flame fires of low temperature."
Explaining why the area around the altar is so barren, Prof. Zertal said, "Both in Deut. 27 and in Joshua 8, the implication is that the altar will serve for a one-time ceremony, as opposed to becoming a permanent holy area such as the Temple in Jerusalem... Afterwards, it was covered up with stones in order that it not be desecrated, and the people moved southward, to Shilo, and then further south, to Jerusalem, where the final eternal Temple was built." The Talmud (Sotah 45b), in fact, agrees that the altar was quite temporary, and that Joshua took it apart and moved the stones to the Gilgal area. The Talmud states that this happened on the same day the altar was built, and the Medrash adds that another altar was built on Mt. Eval some 40 years later. Asked if he had found the 12 stones on which the Book of Deuteronomy was written there (Joshua 8, 32), Prof. Zertal said that this would be a hard task. He explained that the exact location of the stones is not clear from the Biblical account, and that in any event, "The words of Torah were written on plaster that covered the stones, because iron tools were not allowed to be used on the stones... But we did find 60 pieces of plaster near the altar; this is unusual, as usually they did not plaster the structures. The pieces are very fragile, but we are trying to see if we can find something."

4). It is truly edifying to find evidence of  Scriptural proof in this day and age, the Word of God is true.

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