Exodus 20:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it.

King James Bible
And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

Darby Bible Translation
And if thou make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone; for if thou lift up thy sharp tool upon it, thou hast profaned it.

World English Bible
If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool on it, you have polluted it.

Young's Literal Translation
'And if an altar of stones thou dost make to Me, thou dost not build them of hewn work; when thy tool thou hast waved over it, then thou dost pollute it;

Exodus 20:25 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Thou shalt not build it of hewn stone - Because they were now in a wandering state, and had as yet no fixed residence; and therefore no time should be wasted to rear costly altars, which could not be transported with them, and which they must soon leave. Besides, they must not lavish skill or expense on the construction of an altar; the altar of itself, whether costly or mean, was nothing in the worship; it was only the place on which the victim should be laid, and their mind must be attentively fixed on that God to whom the sacrifice was offered, and on the sacrifice itself, as that appointed by the Lord to make an atonement for their sins.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Deuteronomy 27:5,6 And there shall you build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones: you shall not lift up any iron tool on them...

Joshua 8:31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses...

build it of hewn stone. Heb. build them with hewing

The Decalogue: I --Man and God
'And God spake all these words, saying, 2. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Mediator --The Interpreter
To us, that day at Horeb is a type of the action of the law in our nature: thus doth the law deal with our consciences and hearts. If you have ever felt the law spoken home to you by the Spirit of God, you have heard great thunderings within. You have been forced to cry with Habakkuk, "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice: rottenness entered into my bones." And God intended it to be so, that you might look to the flames which Moses saw, and abandon forever all hope of acceptance
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 35: 1889

Thus Has the Question Been on Both Sides Considered and Treated...
12. Thus has the question been on both sides considered and treated; and still it is not easy to pass sentence: but we must further lend diligent hearing to those who say, that no deed is so evil, but that in avoidance of a worse it ought to be done; moreover that the deeds of men include not only what they do, but whatever they consent to be done unto them. Wherefore, if cause have arisen that a Christian man should choose to burn incense to idols, that he might not consent to bodily defilement
St. Augustine—On Lying

The Old Testament Canon from Its Beginning to Its Close.
The first important part of the Old Testament put together as a whole was the Pentateuch, or rather, the five books of Moses and Joshua. This was preceded by smaller documents, which one or more redactors embodied in it. The earliest things committed to writing were probably the ten words proceeding from Moses himself, afterwards enlarged into the ten commandments which exist at present in two recensions (Exod. xx., Deut. v.) It is true that we have the oldest form of the decalogue from the Jehovist
Samuel Davidson—The Canon of the Bible

Cross References
Exodus 20:24
"'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.

Deuteronomy 27:5
Build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them.

Deuteronomy 27:6
Build the altar of the LORD your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the LORD your God.

Joshua 8:31
as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses--an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the LORD burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.

1 Kings 6:7
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.

Ezekiel 40:42
There were also four tables of dressed stone for the burnt offerings, each a cubit and a half long, a cubit and a half wide and a cubit high. On them were placed the utensils for slaughtering the burnt offerings and the other sacrifices.

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