Biblical Family Altars: Discover 10 Examples

Are you curious about family altars in the Bible? In this article, we will take a closer look at this sacred tradition and explore 10 biblical examples of family altars.

Through these examples, you will gain insights into the significance of altars in worship and the role they play in the lives of believers. From Noah’s altar after the flood to Elijah’s repair of the altar on Mount Carmel, these examples showcase the diversity and power of family altars in the Bible.

So join us on this journey of discovery and explore the examples of family altars in the Bible.

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Noah’s Altar After the Flood (Genesis 8:20)

After the great flood, Noah builds an altar to the Lord and offers sacrifices of every clean animal and bird. This act of worship shows his gratitude for God’s deliverance, marking a significant moment in faith history.

Genesis 8:20 records, “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.”

Through this act of worship, Noah honors God and acknowledges His power and faithfulness. The altar serves as a reminder of God’s love and provision for His people, even in the face of disaster.

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” – Genesis 9:1

The altar that Noah built is a symbol of a fresh start, a new beginning. After the flood, Noah and his family receive a new commandment from God: to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. The altar marks the beginning of a new chapter in human history, a time of redemption and renewal.

Abraham’s Altar in Canaan (Genesis 12:7; 13:18)

In Genesis 12:7, we learn that God appears to Abraham and promises to give his descendants the land of Canaan. In response, Abraham builds an altar to the Lord as an act of worship and thanksgiving for God’s promises. This altar is a symbol of his faith and obedience to God.

Later in Genesis 13:18, Abraham moves to Hebron and builds another altar to the Lord, where he calls on God’s name. These altars to the Lord in Canaan emphasize the importance of acts of worship and devotion to God in daily life.

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Abraham’s altars serve as a reminder that wherever we go, we should always seek to honor and worship God.

Altars to the Lord in Canaan Table

Altars to the Lord in Canaan
EventBiblical Passage
God’s Promise to AbrahamGenesis 12:7
Abraham Builds an Altar in HebronGenesis 13:18

“And he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.”

Isaac’s Altar at Beersheba (Genesis 26:23-25)

Isaac, the son of Abraham, builds an altar at Beersheba, calling on the name of the Lord. This act signifies his deep commitment to God and his desire to seek God’s presence. By building this altar, Isaac establishes a place of worship, a sacred space where he can come to honor and commune with God.

The story of Isaac’s altar at Beersheba serves as a powerful example of the importance of creating space for worship in one’s life. Just as Isaac built an altar to honor and seek God, so too can you establish a place in your own life where you can come before the Lord in prayer and worship.

“And he [Isaac] went up from there to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, ‘I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake.’ So he built an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”

Jacob’s Altar at Bethel (Genesis 35:1-7)

During Jacob’s journey back to Bethel, where he had previously fled from his brother Esau, he experienced God’s ongoing faithfulness. In response, Jacob built an altar to the Lord at that very place.

The construction of this altar served as a reminder of God’s presence and unwavering faithfulness towards Jacob and his family. It was a symbol of appreciation for all that God had done for him and his loved ones.

Jacob's altar at Bethel

Genesis 35:7 states, “And he [Jacob] called the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel.” The altar at Bethel marked a significant moment in Jacob’s life, where he recognized God’s faithfulness towards him.

Moses’ Altar on Mount Sinai (Exodus 24:4)

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they arrived at the base of Mount Sinai where he was called up to meet with God. During this meeting, a covenant was established between the Israelites and God.

As part of this covenant, Moses built an altar using twelve stones, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel. This altar served as a reminder of their commitment to follow God’s commandments and worship Him alone.

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The Exodus 24:4 verse states, “Then Moses wrote down everything the Lord had said. He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He also set up twelve sacred stones, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.”

This altar between God and the Israelites was a physical representation of their spiritual bond and devotion to God.

Moses' Altar on Mount Sinai

“This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.” Exodus 24:8 (NIV)

Joshua’s Altar on Mount Ebal (Joshua 8:30-35)

After the conquest of Ai, you built an altar to the Lord on Mount Ebal, obeying the instructions in the law of Moses (Joshua 8:30-35). This was a crucial act of worship, demonstrating your obedience to God’s commandments and offering Him your adoration and reverence.

Your altar to the Lord on this mount represents the importance of obedience to the law and the significance of worship in the life of a faithful believer. By building this altar and submitting to God’s commandments, you demonstrated your commitment to God and His sovereign authority in your life.

Joshua's altar on Mount Ebal

Your altar on Mount Ebal reminds us of the importance of obedience to God’s commandments and the value of worship in the life of a believer. It inspires us to follow your example and place our faithfulness and trust in God by worshiping and obeying Him.

Gideon’s Altar to the Lord (Judges 6:24)

After a divine encounter with the angel of the Lord, Gideon’s faith is strengthened, leading him to build an altar to the Lord.

The appearance of the angel reaffirms Gideon’s recognition of God’s presence, and he names the altar, “the Lord is peace.” This declaration symbolizes the peace and guidance that Gideon finds through his faith in God.

The story of Gideon’s altar to the Lord reminds us of the importance of recognizing God’s presence in our lives, even in times of uncertainty and difficulty. It also highlights the significance of building an altar as a physical representation of our commitment and devotion to the Lord.

Gideon's Altar to the Lord

“The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, ‘The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor.’ And Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord is Peace.”

Samuel’s Stone of Help (1 Samuel 7:12)

After several years of oppression from the Philistines, Samuel called on the Israelites to repent and turn to God. With Samuel’s guidance, the Israelites defeated the Philistines at Mizpah and regained their freedom.

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Samuel marked the victory by setting up a stone and naming it “Ebenezer,” declaring “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12). This stone served as a tangible reminder of God’s faithfulness and provision.

Similarly, when we face challenges and victories in our lives, we can set up our own “stones of help” to remember and acknowledge God’s faithfulness. Whether it be a physical object or a journal entry, these memorials serve as a testament to God’s goodness and our dependence on Him.

So, take a moment to reflect on the “stones of help” in your own life. How has God shown up for you in the past, and how can you show gratitude for His faithfulness?

Samuel's Stone of Help

David’s Altar on the Threshing Floor of Araunah (2 Samuel 24:18-25)

In 2 Samuel 24:18-25, David builds an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah and offers sacrifices to stop a plague that had plagued the people of Israel. The altar represents repentance, worship, and seeking God’s mercy. David recognized that the sacrifice of offerings on an altar was a way to approach and connect with God.

The altar was built on the threshing floor of Araunah, which was a high and prominent place, allowing everyone to see the worship and the repentance of David.

Araunah offered to give the threshing floor and the oxen for free, but David insisted on buying them at full price, saying, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). This statement emphasizes the value David placed on true repentance and wholehearted worship.

David’s altar on the threshing floor of Araunah highlights the importance of offerings and sacrifices in the Bible. It shows that they were not merely a formality, but rather an essential part of worship and approaching God.

David's altar on the threshing floor of Araunah

“I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing” – 2 Samuel 24:24

Elijah’s Repair of the Altar on Mount Carmel

One of the most significant examples of altars in the Bible is Elijah’s repair of the altar on Mount Carmel, as described in 1 Kings 18:30-39. The altar had been torn down, and Elijah repairs it to demonstrate God’s power to the Israelites and their false prophets.

As Elijah repairs the altar, he gathers twelve stones, symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel. He then digs a trench around the altar and places the wood and sacrifice on it. He then instructs the people to pour water over the sacrifice three times, filling the trench with water.

When Elijah prays to God, calling for His presence and demonstrating His power, fire falls from heaven and consumes the sacrifice, wood, stones, and water in the trench, leaving nothing behind. The people then fall on their faces, declaring the Lord as God and renewing their commitment to Him.

This act of repairing the torn-down altar on Mount Carmel signifies the restoration of true worship and faith in God’s sovereignty. It demonstrates His power and calls for a response of repentance and renewed devotion to Him.

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