The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE was in length a cubit, and in breadth a cubit, and in height two cubits, as is said, "And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon; of shittim-wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof: four square shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same." 5 And it was all overlaid with gold, as is said, "And thou shalt overlay it with gold." 6 This altar had three names, the altar of incense, the altar of gold, the inner altar. The Altar of Burnt-Offerings was in length five cubits, and in breadth five cubits, and in height three cubits, as is said, "And he
made the altar of burnt-offering of shittim-wood: five cubits was the length thereof, and five cubits the breadth thereof; it was four square; and three cubits the height thereof." 1 The words of Rabbi Meier. To him said Rabbi José, "from hearing what is said five by five do we not know that it is four square? What is the meaning of saying four square?" "It is superfluous, save for identification in pronouncing with regard to it an equal decision. It is said here four square, and there four square." "What four square is meant there?" "That its height is double its breadth, even the four square mentioned here means that its height is double its breadth." Rabbi Maier said to him, "if it be according to thy words, it follows that the altar is higher than the curtains." Rabbi Josh answered him, "and is it not already said, 'And the hangings of the court, and the hanging for the door of the gate of the court, which is by the tabernacle, and by the altar round about.'" 2 As the tabernacle was ten cubits broad, so the altar of burnt-offerings was ten cubits broad. A painted line girdled it in the middle to divide between the blood (sprinkled) above, and the blood (sprinkled) below. The painted line and downwards was five cubits. The foundation was a cubit. And three cubits was the compass, and the circuit was a cubit, and there they put the blood sprinkled below. The painted line and upwards was five cubits,a cubit the horns, and three cubits the compass, and one cubit the circuit. And there they put the blood which was sprinkled above. And the blood intended to be sprinkled on the painted line and downwards, if it were put on the painted line and upwards, was worthless. And the blood that was intended to be sprinkled above the painted line, if it were put on the painted line and downwards, was worthless. The altar which Moses made in the wilderness was in height ten cubits, and the one which Solomon made was in height ten cubits, and the one which the children of the captivity made was in height ten cubits, and the one prepared for the Future, its height is ten cubits. The altar of burnt-offerings
was placed in the midst of the court (with) its ascent on the south, with the laver on the west, with the slaughterhouse on the north, and all the Israelites to the east, as is said, "And all the congregation drew near and stood before the Lord." 1 This altar had three names, the altar of burnt-offering, the altar of brass, the outer altar.
350:5 Exod. xxx. 1.
350:6 xxx. 3.
351:1 Exod. xxxviii. 1.
351:2 Numb. iv. 26.
352:1 Lev. ix. 5.