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To me it seems like a contradiction to have an altar made of stones that must be uncut in order to preserve the sanctity, then for the rest of the book and well into the next book describe the human made finery in such detail. Is there a reason the altar shouldn't be man-made but the temple should be a celebration of human production?

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    Please cite at least one verse. The answer that you get could depend on which verse you cite. There are several verses that include this prohibition. – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Mar 8 '17 at 15:06
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    Duplicate of: "Why should an altar be made with uncut stone?" – Dɑvïd Mar 8 '17 at 22:32
  • @j. littlefield - I agree with David that this has another very similar question. Perhaps focus the question more on the Tabernacle instead? – elika kohen Mar 9 '17 at 2:09
  • Here are some ideas for focusing the question: The articles in the tabernacle were also made from metals that were used in weapons (copper), or could be made using iron tools, so why not the stones of the altar? If the stones of the altar had to be uncut, then why were the stones of the temple building itself dressed stone? What is the relation if any between this prohibition and the prohibition against prostration to God on a cut stone floor in Leviticus 26:1? – Abu Munir Ibn Ibrahim Mar 9 '17 at 11:45