Leviticus 6:5
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5  The fire on the mizbayach shall be kept burning, not to go out: every morning the Kohen shall feed wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat parts of the offerings of well-being.

v’-ha-AYSH al ha-miz-BAY-akh tu-kad BO LO tikh-BEH u-vi-AYR a-LE-ha ha-ko-HAYN ay-TZEEM ba-BO-ker ba-BO-ker v’-a-RAKH a-LE-ha ha-o-LAH v’-hik-TEER a-LE-ha khel-VAY ha-sh’-la-MEEM

ה  וְהָאֵשׁ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ תּוּקַד־בּוֹ לֹא תִכְבֶּה וּבִעֵר עָלֶיהָ הַכֹּהֵן עֵצִים בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר וְעָרַךְ עָלֶיהָ הָעֹלָה וְהִקְטִיר עָלֶיהָ חֶלְבֵי הַשְּׁלָמִים׃

 6:5   The fire on the mizbayach shall be kept burning

Eternal lamp above the ark, Petach Tikva

The fire on the altar burns continuously, and is never extinguished. Although the priests were commanded to add two pieces of wood to the fire twice daily, the fire on the mizbayach remained burning miraculously, lit by a heavenly fire. The Sages (Ethics of the Fathers 5:5) list this as one of ten miracles experienced each day in the Beit Hamikdash. The continual flame serves as a reminder of Hashem’s constant presence among the People of Israel. While there is no longer a Temple nor an Altar, God’s everlasting presence is signified today by hanging an eternal light above the ark in every synagogue, a reminder of the eternal flame first mentioned in this verse.

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Comments ( 3 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • I have been taught that this offering was very important to keeping the altar in use continuously. It’s not held in the same regard as the daily offering.
    If the daily offering ceases, the altar is no longer considered holy and must be torn down and rebuilt and rededicated anew.
    We do have stories and Jewish idioms related to this burnt offering that are referred to by Yeshua in His teaching.
    This offering had to be completely consumed by the fire. If the priest assigned to this task fell asleep and let the fire go out, the altar would not be ready to receive the daily offering. To ensure this didn’t happen, the High Priest would offer come to the Temple before the light of dawn to check on the altar.
    If he found that the fire had gone out and the burnt offering was not completed, he would go quietly and search out the errant priest. Finding him sleeping, the High Priest would take a scoop of hot coals and place them near the hem of the offender’s garments.
    This would cause the priest to wake up with flames threatening his life and he would immediately rip off his clothes to get away from the fire. The shamed priest would be forced to scurry home in the early morning light scorched and naked.
    It was said that the High Priest would come “as a thief in the night” using the cover of darkness to ensure that the night priest had done his duty.
    I can’t say that this ever happened for sure, but if so, then it’s clear that just letting the fire go out on the altar isn’t enough to make it unsuitable for us.
    Baruch Hashem.

    • Hi SueJean Heinz,

      Are you referring to the warning that can be found in Rev 16:15 >>
      “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”
      And indeed, that passage focusses on the future situation of Israel’s Levite-like Remnant. What will be their position at the now quickly approaching, decisive confrontation with YHWH Elohim?

      Upon his arrival in judgment the Masjiach comes like a thief in the night, as you are certainly aware. In that regard, he had written in the message to Sardis:
      “If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will definitely not know at what hour I will come upon you” (Rev 3:3).

      Both texts serve as a reminder of the fact that he comes suddenly and surprisingly. Those members of the Remannt have to think over in what a privileged state they are: A happy state of preservation, being “dressed” in their new identity of new born persons.

      • I had 1 Thessalonians 5:2 in mind, but it appears that Rev. 3:3 says the same thing and it is also repeated in 2 Peter 3:10 and a few other places. Thanks for your comments.
        I would also like to back off on my last comment about “letting the fire go out” as it’s clear in Scripture that if the fire went out on the altar, the altar was declared unsuitable and had to be torn down, rebuilt and rededicated.
        Baruch Hashem.


Leviticus 6:5

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