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TAMID (Heb. תָּמִיד), the ninth or tenth tractate of the order Kodashim in the Mishnah and the Babylonian Talmud. Tamid is an abbreviated form for olat tamid ("daily burnt-offering") and refers to the daily (morning and evening) sacrifices as set out in Exodus 29:38–42 and Numbers 28:1–8 (cf. II Kings 16:15; Ezek. 46:13–15; Neh. 10:34, and II Chron. 13:11). This tractate is not actually concerned with these sacrifices; it gives a description of the morning work in the Temple, from the moment the priests set about their work early in the morning until after the tamid sacrifice was organized later in the morning. Little controversy is recorded here in the Mishnah, a sign of an early redaction, probably from just before or soon after the destruction of the Temple. In current editions of the Mishnah and Talmud, Tamid has seven chapters, but originally it seems to have had only six, the present seventh being included in the sixth, and this explains its position after Keritot and Me'ilah, which also have six chapters each.

Chapter 1 discusses the priestly night watches and the preparations for the morning sacrifice, in particular the clearing of the ashes of the previous day's offerings from the altar. Chapter 2 deals mainly with laying a new fire on the altar. Chapter 3 deals with casting lots to determine which priests have to perform the various sacrificial duties. Chapter 4 describes in detail how the lamb was slaughtered and prepared for the sacrifice. Chapter 5 states that the recital of the *Shema prayer in the Temple was preceded by a blessing and was followed by three others, including the biblical priestly benediction. Chapter 6 treats of the offering of incense. Chapter 7 first discusses the high priest's entry, his prostration and the accompanying ceremonials, and the way in which the high priest and common priests administered the priestly benediction. Then follows a long paragraph setting out in detail the special ceremonial, when the high priest himself participated in the sacrificial service. At the end of the chapter is the phrase, "this is the order of the Tamid …," which seems to conclude the tractate. Yet, in current editions, there is an additional passage giving the list of psalms sung by the levites on different days of the week. The Mishnah of Tamid is that of *Simeon of Mizpah as is established by the Talmud (Yoma 14b). The Mishnah of Yoma 2:3–4 derives from that of Tamid, and a comparison between them indicates that the text in Tamid is a later compilation. The Mishnah of Tamid has a distinct Hebrew style containing expressions not found elsewhere in the Mishnah. Tamid was translated into English by M. Simon in the Soncino edition (1948).


Epstein, Tanna'im, 27–31; Ḥ. Albeck, Shishah Sidrei Mishnah, Seder Kodashim (1959), 291f.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.