Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.
Ex 27:1-21. Altar for Burnt Offering.
1, 2. altar of shittim wood—The dimensions of this altar which was placed at the entrance of the sanctuary were nearly three yards square, and a yard and a half in height. Under the wooden frame of this chest-like altar the inside was hollow, and each corner was to be terminated by "horns"—angular projections, perpendicular or oblique, in the form of horns. The animals to be sacrificed were bound to these (Ps 118:27), and part of the blood was applied to them.
And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass.
And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basons, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
3. shovels—fire shovels for scraping together any of the scattered ashes.
basons—for receiving the blood of the sacrifice to be sprinkled on the people.
fleshhooks—curved, three-pronged forks (1Sa 2:13, 14).
fire-pans—A large sort of vessel, wherein the sacred fire which came down from heaven (Le 9:24) was kept burning, while they cleaned the altar and the grate from the coals and ashes, and while the altar was carried from one place to another in the wilderness [Patrick, Spencer, Le Clerc].
And thou shalt make for it a grate of network of brass; and upon the net shalt thou make four brasen rings in the four corners thereof.
4. a grate of network of brass—sunk latticework to support the fire.
four brazen rings—by which the grating might be lifted and taken away as occasion required from the body of the altar.
And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
5. put it under the compass of the altar beneath—that is, the grating in which they were carried to a clean place (Le 4:12).
And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
6, 7. staves … rings—Those rings were placed at the side through which the poles were inserted on occasions of removal.
And the staves shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, to bear it.
Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen of an hundred cubits long for one side:
9-19. the court of the tabernacle—The enclosure in which the edifice stood was a rectangular court, extending rather more than fifty yards in length and half that space in breadth, and the enclosing parapet was about three yards or half the height of the tabernacle. That parapet consisted of a connected series of curtains, made of fine twined linen yarn, woven into a kind of network, so that the people could see through; but that large curtain which overhung the entrance was of a different texture, being embroidered and dyed with variegated colors, and it was furnished with cords for pulling it up or drawing it aside when the priests had occasion to enter. The curtains of this enclosure were supported on sixty brazen pillars which stood on pedestals of the same metal, but their capitals and fillets were of silver, and the hooks on which they were suspended were of silver also.
And the twenty pillars thereof and their twenty sockets shall be of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings of an hundred cubits long, and his twenty pillars and their twenty sockets of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits: their pillars ten, and their sockets ten.
And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
The hangings of one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
And on the other side shall be hangings fifteen cubits: their pillars three, and their sockets three.
And for the gate of the court shall be an hanging of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework: and their pillars shall be four, and their sockets four.
All the pillars round about the court shall be filleted with silver; their hooks shall be of silver, and their sockets of brass.
The length of the court shall be an hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
19. pins—were designed to hold down the curtains at the bottom, lest the wind should waft them aside.
And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always.
20, 21. pure oil olive beaten—that is, such as runs from the olives when bruised and without the application of fire.
for the light … Aaron and his sons—were to take charge of lighting it in all time coming.
In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
21. shall order it from evening to morning—The tabernacle having no windows, the lamps required to be lighted during the day. Josephus says that in his time only three were lighted; but his were degenerate times, and there is no Scripture authority for this limitation. But although the priests were obliged from necessity to light them by day, they might have let them go out at night had it not been for this express ordinance.