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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Exodus 27

 

 

Verses 1-21


The Altar of Burnt Offering. The Court of the Tabernacle. The Oil for the Lamps

1-8. Altar of Burnt Offering.

This is a hollow chest of acacia wood overlaid with bronze, and stands within the court, midway between the outer entrance and the door of the tabernacle.

1. The approximate size of the altar is 7½ ft. square and 4½ ft. high: see on Exodus 20:26.

2 The horns] The form and significance of these horns are doubtful. They were very important, and seem to have been regarded as the most sacred part of the altar (cp. Amos 3:14). The blood of sin offerings was smeared upon them (Leviticus 4:18), and this was done also at the consecration of the priests (Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 8:15). Criminals clung to them as an asylum (1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28). Whether sacrificial victims were bound to them is doubtful, as the text is corrupt in the only passage where this practice seems to be alluded to (Psalms 118:27). It has been suggested that the horns of the altar have some connexion with the worship of Jehovah in the form of a bull: cp. Exodus 32:4; Of the same] RV 'of one piece with it.'

4. A grate] The position and purpose of this grating are not clear. It may have been a grating suspended by rings inside the altar, allowing the ashes, blood, and fat of the victims to drain off into the earth with which in all probability the hollow altar was filled. Or it may have been intended to carry the fire, or the victims over the fire. Some take it to be a piece of ornamental open-work extending downwards on each side, from the ledge to the ground, or the ledge itself: see on Exodus 27:5.

5. Compass of the altar] RV 'ledge round the altar.' This seems to have been a kind of projecting step or narrow platform running round the altar halfway up, on which the officiating priests stood.

9-19. Court of the Tabernacle.

This is a sacred enclosure, open to the sky, surrounding the tabernacle, formed of a fence of linen curtains 5 cubits in height suspended on pillars of bronze. In form it is an oblong 100 cubits by 50. The Court is open to all worshippers.

10. Fillets] Probably rods connecting the pillars with each other.

14. The hangings of one side] The entrance is in the middle of the E. side and is 20 cubits wide, leaving 15 cubits at each side of it.

19. Pins] Tent pegs.

20, 21. The Oil for the Lamps.

20. Pure olive oil beaten RV] Oil extracted by beating olives in a mortar without heat. It is the purest kind of oil. To burn always] As there was no window in the tabernacle it is probable, though nowhere asserted, that the lights burned day and night: cp. Leviticus 24:1-4; Numbers 8:1-4.

21. Tabernacle of the congregation] RV 'tent of meeting' So always; see on Exodus 25:22. Before the testimony] see on Exodus 16:34. Order it from evening to morning] This may mean that the lamps were trimmed evening and morning: see on the preceding v.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Exodus 27:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/exodus-27.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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