“The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.”  So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him.”  Gen. 12:7

You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered.  I will come to you and bless you.”  Exodus 20:24

Abraham had recently arrived at the land of Canaan, where God had called him to go, and built his first altar.  Then he proceeded to the place between Bethel and Ai, and built his next altar, which became the location that Joshua would later use as a place of ambush to defeat the Amorites of Ai (Joshua 8:9, 26).

The next altar Abraham built was in the oaks of Mamre by Hebron, which, according to the promise above concerning giving the land to Abraham’s descendants, was given as an inheritance to Caleb (Joshua 14:13).

Abraham then built an altar was built in the land of Moriah to sacrifice Isaac in Genesis 22:2.  In 2 Chronicles 3:1 we see that Solomon begins to build the house of the LORD, which is the temple, on Mount Moriah.  This location became the location of the second temple as well, until its destruction in 70 AD.  Today at this location in Israel there is no temple standing, only one of the retaining walls (known as the ‘western wall” or the “wailing wall”) remains.

Isaac builds an altar in Beersheba in Genesis 26:23-25.  Beersheba, along with much other surrounding land, becomes the inheritance of Simeon. (Joshua 19:1-2)

Jacob builds an altar in Shechem of Canaan (Gen 33:20) which later is part of the area that becomes Manasseh’s land (Joshua 17:2, 7).  Also, this is the place where Joshua was buried. (Joshua 24:32)

Jacob builds another altar in Bethel at God’s command for saving him from his brother Esau.  Bethel later becomes a border of the inheritance of Ephraim and Manasseh’s land (from Bethel to Luz, Joshua 16:2-4)

After the incident at the rock at Horeb where God provided water for the thirsty and grumbling Israelites, Moses builds an altar at Rephidim upon defeat of the Amalekites.  Horeb is known as the ‘Mountain of God’ and is generally understood to be the location where the ten commandments were given to Moses, which is Mt. Sinai (see Deut. 4:10).

I regret that I cannot complete a more thorough study of altars built and later events at those locations at this time, however I trust these examples are sufficient in showing God keeping His promises.  We see how God does acknowledge the place where the altar is built and brings blessing to that place.  In fact, considering the promise of blessing was made after the ten commandments were given, we can see that God had purposed the promise of blessing even before He verbalized it to Israel!

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