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Mishpatim

  
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 24:4
 24:5
 24:6
24:4 Moses wrote down all of God's words. He got up early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, along with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Vayichtov Moshe et kol-divrey Adonay vayashkem baboker vayiven mizbe'ach tachat hahar ushteym esreh matsevah lishneym asar shivtey Yisra'el.
24:5 He sent the [consecrated] young men among the Israelites, and they offered oxen as burnt offerings and peace offerings to God.
Vayishlach et-na'arey beney Yisra'el vaya'alu olot vayizbechu zvachim shlamim l'Adonay parim.
24:6 Moses took half the blood [of these offerings], and put it into large bowls. The other half he sprinkled on the altar.
Vayikach Moshe chatsi hadam vayasem ba'aganot vachatsi hadam zarak al-hamizbe'ach.



Commentary:

altar
  See Exodus 20:21-23

twelve pillars...
  To demonstrate the unity of Israel (Rashbam; Chizzkuni). Some say that the blood was sprinkled on these twelve pillars for the people's sake (Abarbanel on Exodus 24:8). See 1 Kings 18:31.

consecrated young men
  These were the first-born, who served as priests before Aaron's sons were chosen (Zevachim 115b; Targum Yonathan; Rashi). See Numbers 4:8, 3:45; Note on Genesis 25:31.

oxen
  (Ramban; Recanti; Bachya; Ralbag). Or, 'they offered burnt offerings and oxen as peace offerings' (both possibilities are discussed in Chagigah 6b; Yoma 52b).

burnt offerings
  See note on Genesis 8:20.

peace offerings
  See note on Exodus 20:21. These sacrifices were an integral part of the covenant, and along with circumcision and immersion (Exodus 19:10), they were part of the conversion process for a proselyte in the time of the Temple (Kerithoth 8b). Some say that only a burnt offering (olah) is required (Yad, Issurey Biyah 13:5; Mechusar Kapparah 1:2), but one may bring a peace offering and a burnt offering (Yad, Maaseh HaKorbanoth 1:6).





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