The Masonic Altar

Inside the Masonic Lodge, there is an altar on which the Holy Bible is placed. The Masonic altar is a sign of communion with the Creator of the Universe. In the days of old, Masonic altars were a place for communion with the Master Architect of the Universe. They were used to sacrifice animals to God and seek atonement for the sins of man.

Even today, men continue to sacrifice different things for God and pray for forgiveness of sins before asking God for blessings.

Major religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Shinto, Hinduism and Judaism have altars. The pagans also have altars. These altars are found in places of worship like churches, temples and shrines.

All these altars were considered sacred, and objects associated with these altars were also considered sacred. In the old days, priests had to wash their hands before touching the altars and performing altar-related duties.

The Masonic altar inside the Masonic Lodge represents the Altar of Incense that was in the Holiest of Holies in The Temple of Solomon.

Several men in the Bible built altars to God. God talked to them and told them the specifications of the altar including the size, the materials to be used and other specifications.

They were men that gave themselves up to the pursuit of becoming closer to God and communing with him. This is the same thing that Freemasons are in pursuit of. They are in search of the things that please God and make him happy. We live right by God to please him and receive his blessings.          

Of course, Freemason ritual is not the same as Christian traditions and worship conventions, but both seek to worship God and do His will.  The Masonic altar is a symbol of Man’s quest to commune with God and remain close to him.

Biblical Characters and The Altars Built by Men    

King Solomon 2 Chronicles 4               Material used: Brass

Abraham Genesis 12:7, Genesis 13:4, Genesis 22:9 Material used: Stone  

Isaac Genesis 26:25                            Material used: Stone

Noah Genesis 8:20                              Material used: Unknown 

Moses Exodus 27: 1-8                         Material used: Shittim

Moses Exodus 20:24                           Material used: Earth

Moses Exodus 20:25                           Material used: Unhewn stone

Moses Exodus 17:15                           Material used: Brass

King Solomon 2 Chronicles 4             Material used: Brass

The History of Altars in Various Places of Worship

During the time of Moses when the children of Israel were moving from Egypt to Israel, the altar was made of shittim wood, and it was laid over with brass. The altar was hollow except for a mesh grate that was placed about halfway down the altar.

Under the altar of the grate, the place under it was filled with earth. There were rings on the opposite sides of the altar through poles were placed for carrying the altar. The poles used to carry the altar were made of shittim wood that was inlaid with brass.

King’s Solomon Temple

During the time when King’s Solomon’s Temple was built, there were two altars. One altar was the Altar of incense which was indoors, and another altar placed outdoors which is the altar of burnt offerings.     

The Altar of Burnt Offerings

The Altar of Burnt Offerings is the largest altar where all animal and bird sacrifices were burnt. It is the place where all burnt sacrifices were offered unto God.   

Three fires were burnt on this altar. One is the regular fire for burning sacrifices. The second one is the one that provided coals for the Altar of Incense. The third fire is the Perpetual fire. It is the fire that burned continually on the altar. No coals were taken from it, and nothing was placed on it.  The perpetual fire burnt continually to fulfil God’s commandment given in Leviticus 6: 12-13

Leviticus 6: 12-13 “And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.  

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.”  

The Altar of Incense

The altar of incense was an indoor altar where priests offered incense unto God. Carefully selected branches of the fig tree were used for the second fire. The altar of incense stood within the Holy Place, which was before the Veil by the Ark of the Covenant or the Mercy Seat. 

Incense was burned upon this altar to signify as a symbol of the prayers of God’s people rising up to God. This incense was offered up to God after the sacrifice had taken place. After incense had been offered up to God, the priestly blessing was pronounced upon God’s people.


The Masonic altar and all other altars are tables of God. Religious altars are places where our sacrifices, atonement and communion are offered up unto God.

The Masonic altar is a representation of our communion before God who is the Master Architect of the Universe.

Get this lovely altar light bulb for your Lodge's Masonic Altar.



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