Also known as "The Altar of Burnt offering" (Ex 27:1-8)
This was the first piece of furniture one would encounter upon passing thru the door to the courtyard.
The altar was the largest piece of furniture of the temple. It was 5 Cubits Square and 3 cubits high.
It was made of acacia wood overlaid with bronze.
There was a horn on each of the corners of the altar. The horns were hollow and are where drink offerings were poured.
There was also a grate inside the altar on which the wood and animals to be sacrificed were placed.
There was a shelf around the outside of the altar for the priests to walk around on while they performed their duties.
There was a ramp up to the shelf. Ex 20:24-26 forbade steps to the altar. The altar was to have no engraving on it. G-d did not want the altar itself to become an object of worship.
There was also a prohibition against trees near the altar because the heathen often worship in groves of trees and carved idolatrous figures out of them. (Deut 16:21-22)
There were several utensils used by the priests to aid them in their work. These included ash pans and shovels to clean up the ashes, basins to catch the blood of the slain animals, and flesh hooks to place the various parts of the animal sacrifices on the altar. (Lev 6:10-11; Lev 1:8; 1 Sam 2:13) There were also fire pans, and censers in Lev 10:1 and Numbers 16:6, which were used to transport the burning coals from the brazen altar to the menorah and the incense altar. The fire pans were probably used in conjunction with fueling the perpetual fire of the brazen altar when traveling (Lev 6:13). All of the utensils were made of bronze. (Ex 27:3)
Brass - This metal is used as a type of severe judgment in righteousness.
The righteousness judgment of G-d upon the sinner is pictured by the punishment of the animal as a substitute. G-d's righteous wrath against the sinner's sin was satisfied by the suffering and death of the animal. The brazen altar was made of wood covered with brass. The wood represents the humanity of Yeshua, which in itself might not be able to stand fiery judgment. The brass representing the character and righteous judgment of eternal G-d is a picture of the deity of Yeshua HaMashiach combined with His humanity. The wood also represents humanity in general and the covering of the bronze tells us that we are all under the judgment of HaShem because of our sinful rebellion against Him.
The brazen altar is a type of the execution stake where the Lamb of G-d, Yeshua, was offered as a sacrifice for our sins. On that altar, the animal represented the Savior who died for our sins.
At the Altar the priests sacrificed various offerings to G-d; some offerings were for their own sins and for the sins of the people. The point of the burnt offering was that, by it, a person might become accepted before G-d and forgiven (Leviticus 1:4). The offering had to be without blemish, the very healthiest and best available. This foreshadows Pontius Pilate examination of Yeshua, who declared "I find no fault in Him at all" (John 18:38).
The blood of the offering was poured out round the base of the altar, foreshadowing Yeshua HaMashiach, whose precious blood flowed out when His side was pierced on the cross by a Roman spear.
John 19:34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Mashiach (Christ), as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
Jewish tradition says that the position of the Altar at the Temple in Jerusalem was the very spot that Adam was created.
Jewish tradition states that it is the exact spot were Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac.
Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. (KJV)
And of course Yeshua was nailed to the execution stake on the Mountains of Moriah.
There were three fires that burned on the altar. The biggest was used for the sacrifices. The second was for used to provide coals for the Altar of Incense. The third was for the "perpetual fire" which burned constantly on the altar and was never extinguished. Lev 6:5
The Perpetual Fire - tells us that salvation is available day and night. Any time one wants to accept Yeshua as his Mashiach, he will find that Yeshua's blood sacrifice is available.
The ashes were to be removed from the Altar and taken to a "clean place" outside the camp to be disposed.
After Yeshua was put to death he was laid to rest in a clean place.
Matthew 27:59-60 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher, and departed.
The only place where a sacrifice was permitted was on this Altar in the Tabernacle courtyard. (Lev 17:1-9 and Deut 12:5-14)