If you use stones to make an altar for me, don’t use ·stones that you have shaped with tools [hewn/cut stones]. When you use any ·tools [chisel] on them, you ·make them unsuitable for use in worship [profane them].
God said to Moses, “Give this Message to the People of Israel: ‘You’ve experienced firsthand how I spoke with you from Heaven. Don’t make gods of silver and gods of gold and then set them alongside me. Make me an earthen Altar. Sacrifice your Whole-Burnt-Offerings, your Peace-Offerings, your sheep, and your cattle on it. Every place where I cause my name to be honored in your worship, I’ll be there myself and bless you. If you use stones to make my Altar, don’t use dressed stones. If you use a chisel on the stones you’ll profane the Altar. Don’t use steps to climb to my Altar because that will expose your nakedness.’”
That if thou shalt make an altar of stone to me, thou shalt not build it of stones hewn (And if thou make an altar out of stones for me, thou shalt not build it out of cut stones); for if thou shalt raise thy knife thereupon, or (any) other instrument wherewith blood may be shed out, it shall be polluted.
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