English Standard Version
And you shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze.
King James Bible
And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
American Standard Version
And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass.
Thou shalt make also two bars for the altar of setim wood, which thou shalt cover with plates of brass:
English Revised Version
And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass.
Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt make staffs for the altar, staffs of shittim wood, and overlay them with brass.
Exodus 27:6 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
For the entrance to the tent they were also to make a curtain (מסך, lit., a covering, from סכך to cover) of the same material as the inner curtain, but of work in mixed colours, i.e., not woven with figures upon it, but simply in stripes or checks. רקם מעשׂה does not mean coloured needlework, with figures or flowers embroidered with the needle upon the woven fabric (as I asserted in my Archologie, in common with the Rabbins, Gesenius, Bhr, and others); for in the only other passage in which רקם occurs, viz., Psalm 139:15, it does not mean to embroider, but to weave, and in the Arabic it signifies to make points, stripes, or lines, to work in mixed colours (see Hartmann die Hebrerinn am Putztisch iii. 138ff.). This curtain was to hang on five gilded pillars of acacia-wood with golden hooks, and for these they were to cast sockets of brass. In the account of the execution of this work in Exodus 36:38, it is still further stated, that the architect covered the heads (capitals) of the pillars and their girders (חשׁקים, see Exodus 27:10) with gold. From this it follows, that the pillars were not entirely gilded, but only the capitals, and that they were fastened together with gilded girders. These girders were either placed upon the hooks that were fastened to the tops of the pillars, or, what I think more probable, formed a kind of architrave above the pillars, in which case the covering as well as the inner curtain merely hung upon the hooks of the columns. But if the pillars were not gilded all over, we must necessarily imagine that curtain as hung upon that side of the pillars which was turned towards the holy place, so that none of the white wood was to be seen inside the holy place; and the gilding of the capitals and architrave merely served to impress upon the forefront of the tabernacle the glory of a house of God.
If we endeavour to understand the reason for building the dwelling in this manner, there can be no doubt that the design of the wooden walls was simply to give stability to the tabernacle. Acacia-wood was chosen, because the acacia was the only tree to be found in the desert of Arabia from which planks and beams could be cut, whilst the lightness an durability of this wood rendered it peculiarly suitable for a portable temple. The wooden framework was covered both within and without with hangings of drapery and other coverings, to give it the character of a tent, which is the term really applied to it in Exodus 27:21, and in most instances afterwards. The sanctuary of Jehovah in the midst of His people was to be a tent, because, so long as the people were wandering about and dwelt in tents, the dwelling of their God in the midst of them must be a tent also. The division of the dwelling into two parts corresponded to the design of the tabernacle, where Jehovah desired not to dwell alone by Himself, but to come and meet with His people (Exodus 25:22). The most holy place was the true dwelling of Jehovah, where He was enthroned in a cloud, the visible symbol of His presence, above the cherubim, upon the capporeth of the ark of the covenant. The holy place, on the other hand, was the place where His people were to appear before Him, and draw near to Him with their gifts, the fruits of their earthly vocation, and their prayers, and to rejoice before His face in the blessings of His covenant grace. By the establishment of the covenant of Jehovah with the people of Israel, the separation of man from God, of which the fall of the progenitors of our race had been the cause, was to be brought to an end; an institution was to be set up, pointing to the reunion of man and God, to true and full vital communion with Him; and by this the kingdom of God was to be founded on earth in a local and temporal form. This kingdom of God, which was founded in Israel, was to be embodied in the tabernacle, and shadowed forth in its earthly and visible form as confined within the limits of time and space. This meaning was indicated not only in the instructions to set up the dwelling according to the four quarters of the globe and heavens, with the entrance towards sunrise and the holy of holies towards the west, but also in the quadrangular form of the building, the dwelling as a whole assuming the form of an oblong of thirty cubits in length, and ten in breadth and height, whilst the most holy place was a cube of ten cubits in every direction. In the symbolism of antiquity, the square was a symbol of the universe or cosmos; and thus, too, in the symbolism of the Scriptures it is a type of the world as the scene of divine revelation, the sphere of the kingdom of God, for which the world from the very first had been intended by God, and to which, notwithstanding the fall of man, who was created lord of the earth, it was to be once more renewed and glorified. Hence the seal of the kingdom of God was impressed upon the sanctuary of God in Israel through the quadrangular form that was given to its separate rooms. And whilst the direction in which it was set up, towards the four quarters of the heavens, showed that the kingdom of God that was planted in Israel was intended to embrace the entire world, the oblong shape given to the whole building set forth the idea of the present incompleteness of the kingdom, and the cubic form of the most holy place its ideal and ultimate perfection.
(Note: The significant character of these different quadrangular forms is placed beyond all doubt, when we compare the tabernacle and Solomon's temple, which was built according to the same proportions, with the prophetic description of the temple and holy city in Ezekiel 40-48, and that of the heavenly Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22. Just as in both the tabernacle and Solomon's temple the most holy place was in the form of a perfect cube (of 10 and 20 cubits respectively), so John saw the city of God, which came down from God out of heaven, in the form of a perfect cube. "The length, and the breadth, and the height of it were equal," viz., 12,000 furlongs on every side (Revelation 21:16), a symbolical representation of the idea, that the holy of holies in the temple will be seen in its perfected form in the heavenly Jerusalem, and God will dwell in it for ever, along with the just made perfect. This city of God is "the tabernacle of God with men;" it has no longer a temple, but the Lord God of Hosts and the Lamb are the temple of it (Revelation 21:22), and those who dwell therein see the face of God and the Lamb (Exodus 22:4). The square comes next to the cube, and the regular oblong next to this. The tabernacle was in the form of an oblong: the dwelling was 30 cubits long and 10 broad, and the court 100 cubits long and 50 bread. Solomon's temple, when regarded as a whole, was in the same form; it was 60 cubits long and 20 cubits broad, apart from the porch and side buildings. In Ezekiel's vision not only is the sanctuary a square of 500 reeds (Ezekiel 42:15-20; Ezekiel 45:2), but the inner court (Ezekiel 40:23, Ezekiel 40:27, Ezekiel 40:47), the paved space in the outer court (Ezekiel 40:19), and other parts also, are all in the form of squares. The city opposite to the temple was a square of 4500 reeds (Ezekiel 48:16), and the suburbs a square of 250 reeds on every side (Ezekiel 48:17). The idea thus symbolically expressed is, that the temple and city, and in fact the whole of the holy ground, already approximate to the form of the most holy place. Both the city and temple are still distinct from one another, although they both stand upon holy ground in the midst of the land (ch. 47 and 48); and in the temple itself the distinction between the holy place and the most holy is still maintained, although the most holy place is no longer separated by a curtain from the holy place; and in the same manner the distinction is still maintained between the temple-building and the courts, though the latter have acquired much greater importance than in Solomon's temple, and are very minutely described, whereas they are only very briefly referred to in the case of Solomon's temple. The sanctuary which Ezekiel saw, however, was only a symbol of the renewed and glorified kingdom of God, not of the perfected kingdom. This was first shown to the holy seer in Patmos, in the vision of the heavenly Jerusalem, as it appeared in a perfect cubical form.)
Yet even in its temporal form, it was perfect of its kind, and therefore the component parts of the quadrangular building were regulated by the number ten, the stamp of completeness.
The splendour of the building, as the earthly reflection of the glory of the kingdom of God, was also in harmony with this explanation of its meaning. In the dwelling itself everything was either overlaid with gold or made of pure gold, with the exception of the foundations or sockets of the boards and inner pillars, for which silver was used. In the gold, with its glorious, yea, godlike splendour (Job 37:22), the glory of the dwelling-place of God was reflected; whilst the silver, as the symbol of moral purity, shadowed forth the holiness of the foundation of the house or kingdom of God. The four colours, and the figures upon the drapery and curtains of the temple, were equally significant. Whilst the four colours, like the same number of coverings, showed their general purpose as connected with the building of the kingdom of God, the brilliant white of the byssus stands prominently out among the rest of the colours as the ground of the woven fabrics, and the colour which is invariably mentioned first. The splendid white byssus represented the holiness of the building; the hyacinth, a dark blue approaching black rather than bright blue, but the true colour of the sky in southern countries, its heavenly origin and character; the purple, a dark rich red, its royal glory; whilst the crimson, a light brilliant red, the colour of blood and vigorous life, set forth the strength of imperishable life in the abode and kingdom of the holy and glorious God-King. Lastly, through the figures of cherubim woven into these fabrics the dwelling became a symbolical representation of the kingdom of glory, in which the heavenly spirits surround the throne of God, the heavenly Jerusalem with its myriads of angels, the city of the living God, to which the people of God will come when their heavenly calling is fulfilled (Hebrews 12:22-23).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
staves for the altar
tanned rams' skins, goatskins, acacia wood,
You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it.
And you shall set it under the ledge of the altar so that the net extends halfway down the altar.
And the poles shall be put through the rings, so that the poles are on the two sides of the altar when it is carried.
Jump to PreviousAcacia Acacia-Wood Altar Brass Bronze Copper Hard Overlaid Overlay Plated Poles Rods Shittim Staffs Staves Wood
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