An altar is any structure upon which sacrifices or other offerings are offered for religious purposes.
Altars in the Hebrew BibleAltars (Hebrew mizbe'ah (מזבח), from a word meaning "to slay") in the Hebrew Bible were typically made of earth (Ex. 20:24) or unwrought stone (Ex. 20:25). Altars were generally erected in conspicuous places (Genesis 22:9; Ezekiel 6:3; 2 Kings 23:12; 16:4; 23:8.) The first altar recorded in the Hebrew Bible is that erected by Noah (Genesis 8:20). Altars were erected:
- By Abraham (Genesis 12:7; 13:4; 22:9),
- by Isaac (Genesis 26:25),
- by Jacob (Genesis 33:20; 35:1, 3),
- and by Moses (Exodus 17:15, Jehovah-nissi).