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God told the children of Israel to build an altar. However, he told them that if they used a sword in building the altar, it would desecrate it 


  • What does it mean to be desecrated?
  • If you are told to build a house, does it matter what tools you use? If it doesn’t matter why did God care if the children of Israel built an altar using a sword?
  • Can any item be used for both good and bad?

Creative Thinking:

  • Are swords “instruments of war” or “instruments used in war”? Make a list of points for each side of the argument.
  • Why would God say not to use a “sword” rather than saying “an instrument of war”?
  • If you take the ‘s’ from sword and put it at the end of the word you get “words’. What is the relationship between a sword and words?
  • Think of at least five ways to suggest making a desecrated altar holy.

Homeschool Bible Activities:

  • Make a list of tools that would be acceptable to God to make an altar.
  • Make a list of tools that would probably not be acceptable to God to make an altar.
  • Explain why building an altar to be used in the service of God should be pure from the start.
  • Find other verses in the Bible with “sword” in them.
  • Think of at least five reasons that God would care what tools were used to create an altar.
  • Research the origin of the sword.
  • In what things today does it matter how you get to a final purpose?
  • What were the advantages of using a sword in war?
  • Research how various altars were used in different religions and /or in different countries.
  • God cared what the children of Israel used to make the altar. Try to justify to God using a sword that was never used in war?