9714. And thou shalt make the altar. That this signifies a representative of the Lord and of the worship of Him, is evident from the signification of "the altar which was for burnt- offerings and sacrifices," as being a representative of the Lord; and as by "the burnt-offerings and sacrifices" were signified all things of the worship of the Lord, therefore also the altar was a representative of the worship of Him. The Lord, however, is not worshiped by means of burnt-offerings and sacrifices, but by means of those things which were represented thereby, which are celestial things of love and spiritual things of faith (see n. 922, 923, 1823, 2180, 2805, 2807, 2830, 3519, 6905, 8680, 8936).
 There were two things by which was represented the Lord as to the Divine Human: the temple and the altar. That this was represented by the temple, He Himself teaches in John:
Jesus said, Take apart this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. He spoke of the temple of His body (John 2:19, 21).
That the same was represented by the altar can also be seen from His own words when He speaks of the temple and at the same time of the altar, in Matthew:
Ye fools and blind, because ye say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is guilty. Which is the greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? Likewise, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind; for which is the greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? He that shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by everything that is upon it. And he that shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by Him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitteth thereon (Matt. 23:16-22).
From this it is evident that, as the temple, so also the altar was a representative of the Lord's Divine Human; for the same is said of the altar as of the temple, namely, that it is that which sanctifieth the gift that is upon it; thus that the altar was the subject from which came the sanctification; consequently that it also was a representative of the Lord's Divine Human, from which all that is holy proceeds. But the altar was a representative of the Lord in respect to His Divine good; whereas the temple was a representative of Him in respect to His Divine truth, thus in respect to heaven; for the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord makes heaven. For this reason it is said of the temple that "he that shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it and by Him that dwelleth therein"; and it is added that "he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by Him that sitteth thereon." "The throne of God" denotes the Divine truth that proceeds from the Lord, thus heaven, and "He that sitteth thereon" denotes the Lord (n. 5313). The same that was represented by the temple, was represented also by the Habitation; the Lord in respect to Divine truth being there denoted by "the Testimony" which was in the ark (n. 9503).
 As the altar represented the Lord in respect to Divine good, it was the very holy of holies, and sanctified everything that touched it; as can be seen from what follows in this book, where it is said, "Seven days thou shalt make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; that the altar may be a holy of holies, and everything that shall touch it shall be made holy" (Exod. 29:37); and therefore the fire upon the altar was perpetually burning, and was never put out (Lev. 6:13); and from that fire was taken the fire for the incense, and from no other source (Lev. 10:1-6); for by "the fire of the altar" was signified the Divine good of the Lord's Divine love (n. 5215, 6314, 6832, 6834, 6849).
 That the altar was a representative of the Lord, is evident from the following passages in David:
Let Thy light and Thy truth bring me unto the mountain of Thy holiness, and unto Thy habitations, that I may go in unto the altar of God, unto God (Ps. 43:3, 4).
I wash mine hands in innocency; and I compass Thine altar, O Jehovah (Ps. 26:6).
 But that the altar was a representative of the worship of the Lord, is evident from these passages:
All the flocks of Arabia shall be gathered together to thee; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to thee; they shall come up with acceptance on Mine altar (Isa. 60:7).
The Lord hath forsaken His altar, He hath abhorred His sanctuary (Lam. 2:7);
where "to forsake the altar" denotes to abolish the representative of the worship of the Lord from the good of love; "to abhor the sanctuary" denotes to abolish the representative of the worship of the Lord from the truths of faith.
 In Ezekiel:
Your altars shall be destroyed; I will scatter your bones round about your altars; and your altars shall be laid waste, and made desolate; and your idols shall be broken, and shall cease (Ezek. 6:5, 6);
"to destroy, lay waste, and desolate the altars" denotes that so it shall be with representative worship. In Isaiah:
The iniquity of Jacob shall not be expiated, when he shall put all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are scattered (Isa. 27:9);
where "the stones of the altar that are scattered" denote all the truths of worship.
In that day shall a man look unto his Maker, and his eyes unto the Holy One of Israel. And he shall not look unto the altars, the work of his hands, and to that which his fingers have made (Isa. 17:7, 8);
where "the altars which are the work of his hands and that which his fingers have made" denote worship from one's own intelligence.
 In Hosea:
Ephraim hath multiplied altars for sinning (Hos. 8:11);
where "multiplying altars for sinning" denotes to invent worthless things of worship. In the same:
The thistle and the thorn shall come up on their altars (Hos. 10:8);
denoting that evils and falsities shall enter in and make the worship.
 In Isaiah:
In that day there shall be an altar to Jehovah in the midst of Egypt (Isa. 19:19);
where "an altar to Jehovah" denotes the worship of the Lord.
 As the altar described in this chapter was portable, it was made of shittim wood, and was overlaid with brass; but the altar which was to remain in its place was made either of earth or of unhewn stones. The altar made of earth was the principal representative of the worship of the Lord from the good of love; and the altar made of unhewn stones was a representative of worship from the goods and truths of faith (n. 8935, 8940); while the portable altar here described was a representative of the worship of the Lord from the good of love. For this reason it was of shittim wood and was overlaid with brass.