Monday, September 29, 2014

View of the Golden Shovel for the Incense

Twice a day the Kohanim would burn incense on the Golden Altar of the Sanctuary Building. The incense would be spread upon a bed of smoldering coals collected from a special fire kindled on the Outer Altar. A Kohen would ascend the ramp with a silver shovel that had a capacity of 4 kav (approximately 350 cubic inches) and scoop up coals from the incense fire located near the southwest corner of the Altar's top. After descending back down the ramp, he would pour the coals into a golden shovel with a capacity of 3 kav (260 cubic inches).
 
The extra kav of coals would spill onto the Courtyard floor and they would be swept into the Amah, the stream of water which ran through the Courtyard. The Kohen holding the golden shovel would enter the Sanctuary and pour the coals onto the Golden Altar, after which the incense would be spread over the coals. The rendered image below shows a typical fire shovel design of the type that may have been used for the incense shovel in the Temple.

Example of an incense shovel of the type
that may have been used in the Temple.

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