TAMID (in full, 'OLAT TAMID):
Treatise in the Mishnah and the Babylonian Gemara; devoted chiefly to the regulations regarding the morning and evening burnt offerings (comp. Ex. xxix. 38-42; Num. xxviii. 3-8), but dealing also with other ceremonies in the ritual of the Temple which are binding on the priests and the Levites. In most editions this treatise stands ninth in the order Ḳodashim, and it is divided into seven chapters (six in Lowe's edition of the Mishnah), containing thirty-four paragraphs in all.
- Ch. i.: The priests kept watch in three places in the Temple; where the young priests were on guard, and where the older ones slept who held the keys (§ 1); all who sought admission to remove the ashes from the altar were obliged to prepare themselves by a ritual bath before the officer appeared; when he appeared and when he called upon the priests to draw lots (§ 2); the mutual greetings of the priests (§ 3); how the one chosen by lot to remove the ashes from the altar performed his duties (§ 4).
- Ch. ii.: How the other priests continued the task of cleansing the altar (§ 1); the piling of the ashes, in the center of the altar, into a hillock, which was considered an adornment (§ 2); the supply of fuel for the altar and the kind of wood used (§ 3); the arrangement of the wood and fire in layers (§§ 4-5).
- Ch. iii.: The drawing of lots for various official duties, such as slaying the tamid, sprinkling its blood, and cleansing the altar and the candlestick (§ 1); the announcement of the time of slaying the morning sacrifice (§ 2); the bringing of the sacrificial lamb, which was given to drink from a golden cup before it was killed; who was charged with taking it to the place of sacrifice (§§ 3-5); the mode of cleansing the inner altar and the candlesticks, together with the statement, in conformity with Ezek. xliv. 2, that no man ever passed through the postern on the southern side of the large door; how the opening of this great portal was heard as far as Jericho, as was the sound of the trumpets and other music of the Temple (§§ 6-9).
- Ch. iv.: The ritual for killing and dismembering the sacrificial lamb; how the parts of the sacrifice were brought to the altar.
- Ch. v.: The daily morning prayer in the Temple, which was supplemented on the Sabbath by a benediction on the division of priests who then completed their duties (§ 1); the drawing of lots for offering incense; the question as to whether one might make this offering twice, and the mode of burning the incense (§§ 2-5); the "magrefah," a musical instrument used in the Temple ( see Organ), and the various priestly and Levitical meanings of the signals given on it (§ 6).
- Ch. vi.: Additional details in regard to offering incense.
- Ch. vii.: The ritual used in case the high priest himself performed the sacrifice; the mode in which he pronounced the benediction on the people; the divergency of this benediction from that bestowed by the priests outside the Temple, and the music which accompanied the high priest's performance of his functions (§§ 1-3); enumeration of the Psalms sung by the Levites in the Temple on the various days of the week (§ 4).
Although the extant Babylonian Gemara covers only ch. i., ii., and iv. of Tamid, it contains several sayings and ethical maxims of importance, as well as stories and legends of much interest. The following saying may be cited as a specimen (29a): "The Pentateuch and the writings of the Prophets and the mishnaic sages contain many exaggerated expressions which can not be taken literally, such as, 'The cities are great and walled up to heaven'" (Deut. i. 28). On the legends contained in this treatise concerning Alexander the Great, his conversation with the sages of the South, his journey to Africa, and his adventures among the Amazons and at the gate of paradise, see