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THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERINGS, Exodus 27:1-8.
1. Altar of shittim wood The acacia wood formed a hollow framework, (comp . Exodus 27:8,) which was portable, and designed, doubtless, in accord with Exodus 20:24-25, to be filled with earth or rough stones whenever it was set up for use.
Height… three cubits About four and one half feet, so that no steps or any considerable ascent would be necessary for the officiating priest. Comp. Exodus 20:26.
2. Horns Probably resembling the horns of cattle . These were so set into the four corners of the acacia framework as to appear to be of the same as if growing out of it .
3. Pans… shovels… basins… fleshhooks… firepans These several vessels were all requisite in the service of the altar, for taking up and removing ashes, receiving the blood of victims, adjusting the pieces of flesh, and carrying coals of fire .
4, 5. A grate of network The design of this is not made very clear by the statements of these verses . The compass of the altar is commonly supposed to have been a projecting border or framework running around the outside, and affording a place for the officiating priest to stand, or pass around, when arranging the fire or the victims offered . Accordingly, this network grating has by some been explained as reaching from this border to the ground, and so being beneath it, (Hebrews, from below.) It would thus serve as a support for the border. Others have imagined that it extended horizontally beyond the border, and served to catch coals or any thing else which might fall from the altar. Others, however, have located the grate inside of the altar, so as to serve for a sieve through which ashes might fall, as through a fire grate, into a hollow place within the altar, from whence they were removed by means of the shovels. In this case the four brazen rings at the corners were for the purpose of easily lifting the grate out, or setting it in its place. There appears nothing by which to determine which of these views is correct. If the rings mentioned in Exodus 27:7 are identical with those upon the net, then the first view named above would be the most natural explanation. But as the staves to fit into those rings are mentioned as for the altar, while these were for the net, we are not justified in assuming that they were identical. But while the exact location and purpose of this grating are not certainly fixed, the general form and appearance of the altar probably resembled the preceding cut.
COURT OF THE TABERNACLE, Exodus 27:9-19.
9. South side southward See note on Exodus 26:18.
Hangings These, which were to serve for a fence about the sanctuary, were of the same material as the tabernacle-cloth, (Exodus 26:1,) and the inner vail, (Exodus 26:31,) and the front curtain, (Exodus 26:36,) but without the cunning work and colours inwrought on them .
10, 11. Twenty pillars Thus allowing for five cubits (7 . 5 feet) between each pillar . These pillars were connected by means of hooks and fillets of silver. The fillets were the poles, or rods, upon which the linen hangings were to be suspended, and were fastened to the pillars by means of the hooks of the pillars. The hangings were also probably attached to the rods by means of some kind of hooks .
12-18. Breadth of the court The court was one hundred cubits long and fifty broad, (150 x 75 feet,) and its linen fence five cubits high . The gate of the court was twenty cubits wide, and the hangings of this part differed from the rest by being embroidered like that of the door of the tent . Exodus 25:36. An outline of the court and the tabernacle, with the altar and laver, is shown in the annexed cut .
19. All the vessels The vessels here referred to are not, of course, those mentioned in Exodus 25:38-39, but the instruments for such more common service as the putting up and taking down of the structure would require .
THE OIL FOR THE LIGHT, Exodus 27:20-21.
20. Pure oil olive beaten See this passage as repeated in Leviticus 24:2-3. This oil for the light of the holy place was to be obtained, not by pressing the olives, but by beating or bruising them, by which means the finest quality of oil was produced.
Cause the lamp to burn always According to Exodus 30:7-8, and Leviticus 24:3-4, the lamps were to be dressed each morning, and lighted each evening, so that the light was perpetual; the light of the sun sufficiently finding its way within the tent by day, and the lamps of the golden candlestick (Exodus 25:31-37) burning all the night. Comp. 1 Samuel 3:3, note .
21. Without the vail Outside and in front of the vail described Exodus 26:31-33.
Before the testimony In front of the most holy place, in which the ark of the testimony was set . The mention of Aaron and his sons, in connexion with this service, leads naturally to an account of the institution of the Aaronic priesthood, which follows in the next chapter .
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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Exodus 27". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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