When his brethren saw that he was come down they came running (this showed their zeal and the people were waiting in the Court of the Women) and hastened and sanctified their hands and feet at the laver (because of kedusha), and they took the shovels and the rakes and mounted to the top of the Altar. Any members (of the animal offerings) and fat pieces that had not been consumed since the evening that raked to the sides of the Altar, and if the sides could not contain them they put them in order on the circuit (called the “saviv” which was a walkway around the Altar) by the ramp. They began to heap up the ashes above the ash-pile (called the “Tapuach), and the ash-pile was in the middle of the Altar; sometimes there were about three hundred kors (of ashes) upon it (sometimes they took these ashes to the north, outside the city gate very close to where Yeshua was slain); and at the Feats the priests did not clear way the ashes since they were an adornment to the Altar (it showed how faithful the people were in their offerings): when the ashes remained it was never through negligence of the priest to clear away the ashes.
They began to bring wood to set in order the Altar fire. Were all kinds of wood valid for use in the Altar fire? Yes, all kinds of wood were valid for use in the Altar fire except olive wood and the wood from the vine; but their custom was to use only the boughs of the fig tree or the walnut tree or of oleaster wood (it was called a “wild olive” nit it was not an olive tree but a nickname. It had no sparks and the smoke rises up. We have already discussed what this was and how Paul used this analogy in Rom 11). He set in order the greater of the Altar fires to the east side; and its fore-side (the face or “tunnel” to the east, in order to stick a hand in. These logs were arranged in a particular way. Every action is detailed and this teaches us to be detailed, like a priest, in studying the Scriptures), and the inner ends of the wood touched the ash-pile (in the middle), and there was a space between the logs through which they set fire to the kindling wood.
They chose from them fine pieces of fig tree wood to set in order the second fire appointed for the incense, over against the southwestern corner, but distant four cubits to the north of this corner; on weekdays they took wood sufficient to give about five seahs (seah is about 1 gallon) of cinders, and on the Sabbaths (two services that day and they needed more=the Tamid and the Mussaf service) they used to put the two dishes of frankincense (levona) that pertained to the Showbread (Lechem ha Pannim meaning “bread of the faces”). Then they put back on the fire the members of the animal offerings and the fat pieces that had not been consumed since the evening (previously). They kindled the two fires and came down and betook themselves to the Chamber of the Hewn Stone (in Beit Avtinas).
The officer (memunay) said to them, “Come and cast lots” to decide which of them should slaughter, which should sprinkle the blood, which should clear the inner Altar (of incense) of ashes, which should trim the Candlestick (Menorah), and which should take up the ramp the members of the Daily Whole-Offering (the Tamid), namely the head and the right hind leg, and the two fore-legs, the rump and the left hind-leg, the breast and the neck, the two flanks, the inwards, and the fine flour, the Baken Cakes and the wine. They cast lots, and the lot fell upon whom it fell.
The officer said to them, “Go and see if the time is come for slaughtering.” If it was come, he that perceived it says, “It is daylight (“Bar Chai” and this priest may have gone up the mesibah (stairs) to the roof of the Sanctuary building. This priest cannot leave the Azarah but had to be high enough to see Hebron. This was the official start of the Tamid morning service). Mattithiah ben Samuel used to say: He that perceived it says, “The whole east is alight.” “As far as Hebron?” and he answered “Yes” (Hebron was mentioned because it was believed that the resurrection would start there. The Cave of Machpelah had the remains of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the wives, except Rachel. The building over the cave was built by Herod and is still there. Next, the resurrection would move to the Mount of Olives. When we sleep, it is a picture of death, but when we wake it is a picture of the resurrection, a “rehearsal” every day). He said to them, “Go and bring a lamb from the Chamber of Lambs.” Now the Chamber of Lambs was in the southwest corner (of the Beit ha Moked). Four chambers were there: one was the Chamber of Lambs, one was the Chamber of Seals (tokens because you don’t use money in the Temple. You paid for an offering and was given a token. You then gave it to a priest where they would bring out what you purchased, according to what offering you were giving), one the Chamber of the Hearth, and one the chamber wherein they made the Showbread (a bakery).
They went into the Chamber of Utensils and brought forth 93 vessels (counted by the Levi’im) of silver and vessels of gold; they then gave the lamb that was to be the Daily Whole Offering (Tamid) to drink from a cup of gold. Although it had been inspected in the evening of the day before they inspect it again by the light of torches. (it is still dark but the Court of the Women was already filled with worshippers).
He to whom the lot fell to slaughter the Daily Whole Offering brought it along to the Beit ha min V’ Chaim (the slaughter area was called the “House from/to Life” because this was not associated with death, but life, an important concept), and they to whom it fell (13 priests) to carry the members followed after. The Beit ha min V’Chaim lay north of the Altar and there stood eight pillars; upon these were four-sided blocks of cedar wood into which were fixed iron hooks, three rows to each, wherein they used to hang (the slaughtered animals). They used to flay (rightly divide) them on marble tables (8 tables) between the pillars (there were 13 tables in the Temple: 8 tables in the slaughter area, Table of the bread of the Lechem ha Pannim, a silver and marble one by the Altar and a marble and gold table at the entrance to the Sanctuary).
They to whom it fell to clear the inner Altar (incense) of ashes and to trim the candlestick (Menorah) had already gone, bearing four utensils in their hands: and ashbin, an oil jar, and two keys. The ash-bin was like a large golden three-kab (kab=1.2 litres) measure and it held two and a half kabs; and the oil jar was like a large gold flagon; and as for the two keys, one was thrust into the lock as far as the armpit, and the other opened the door.
We will pick up in Tamid 3.7 in Part 3.