Exodus 27:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the LORD from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
In the tent of meeting outside the veil, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall dress them from evening to morning before Jehovah: [it is] an everlasting statute, for their generations, on the part of the children of Israel.

World English Bible
In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.

Young's Literal Translation
in the tent of meeting, at the outside of the vail, which is over the testimony, doth Aaron -- his sons also -- arrange it from evening till morning before Jehovah -- a statute age-during to their generations, from the sons of Israel.

Exodus 27:21 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The tabernacle of the congregation - The place where all the assembly of the people were to worship, where the God of that assembly was pleased to reside, and to which, as the habitation of their king and protector, they were ever to turn their faces in all their adorations.

Before the testimony - That is, the ark where the tables of the covenant were deposited. See Exodus 25:16.

Aaron and his sons - These and their descendants being the only legitimate priests, God having established the priesthood in this family.

Shall order it from evening to morning - Josephus says the whole of the seven lamps burned all the night; in the morning four were extinguished, and three kept burning through the whole day. Others assert that the whole seven were kept lighted both day and night continually; but it appears sufficiently evident, from 1 Samuel 3:3, that these lamps were extinguished in the morning: And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep, etc. See also Exodus 30:8 : And when Aaron Lighteth The Lamps At Even. It appears therefore that the business of the priests was to light the lamps in the evening; and either to extinguish them in the morning, or permit them to burn out, having put in the night before as much oil as was necessary to last till daylight.

A statute for ever - This ordering of the lamps night and morning, and attendance on the service of the tabernacle, was a statute that was to be in full force while the tabernacle and temple stood, and should have its spiritual accomplishment in the Christian Church to the end of time. Reader, the tabernacle and temple are both destroyed; the Church of Christ is established in their place. The seven golden candlesticks were typical of this Church and the glorious light it possesses, Revelation 1:12-20; and Jesus Christ, the Fountain and Dispenser of this true light, walks in the midst of them. Reader, hast thou that celestial flame to enlighten and animate thy heart in all those acts of devotion which thou professest to pay to him as thy Maker, Redeemer, and Preserver? What is thy profession, and what thy religious acts and services, without this? A sounding brass, a tinkling cymbal.

Tertullian asserts that all the ancient heathens borrowed their best notions from the sacred writings: "Which," says he, "of your poets, which of your sophists, have not drunk from the fountain of the prophets? It is from those sacred springs that your philosophers have refreshed their thirsty spirits; and if they found any thing in the Holy Scriptures which hit their fancy, or which served their hypothesis, they took and turned it to a compliance with their own curiosity, not considering those writings to be sacred and unalterable, nor understanding their true sense, every one altering them according to his own fancy." - Apologet.

The reader's attention has already been called to this point several times in the preceding parts of this work, and the subject will frequently recur. At the conclusion of Exodus 25:31 (See Clarke's note at Exodus 25:31) we had occasion to observe that the heathens had imitated many things in that Divine worship prescribed by Moses; but in application to their own corrupt system every thing was in a certain measure falsified and distorted, yet not so far as to prevent the grand outlines of primitive truth from being discerned. One of the most complete imitations of the tabernacle and its whole service is found in the very ancient temple of Hercules, founded probably by the Phoenicians, at Gades, now Cadiz, in Spain, so minutely described by Silius Italicus from actual observation. He observes that though the temple was at that time very ancient, yet the beams were the same that had been placed there by the founders, and that they were generally supposed to be incorruptible; a quality ascribed to the shittim wood, termed ξυλον ασηπτον, incorruptible wood, by the Septuagint. That women were not permitted to enter this temple, and that no swine were ever suffered to come near it. That the priests did not wear party-coloured vestments, but were always clothed in fine linen, and their bonnets made of the same. That they offered incense to their god, their clothes being ungirded; for the same reason doubtless given Exodus 20:26, that in going up to the altar nothing unseemly might appear, and therefore they permitted their long robes to fall down to their feet. He adds, that by the laws of their forefathers they bore on their sacerdotal vestments the latus clavus, which was a round knob or stud of purple with which the robes of the Roman knights and senators were adorned, which these priests seem to have copied from the breastplate of judgment made of cunning work, embroidered with purple, blue, etc. See Exodus 28:15. They also ministered barefooted, their hair was trimmed or cut off, and they observed the strictest continency, and kept a perpetual fire burning on their altars. And he farther adds that there was no image or similitude of the gods to be seen in that sacred place. This is the substance of his description; but as some of my readers may wish to see the original, I shall here subjoin it.

Vulgatum (nec cassa fides) ab origine fani Impositas durare trabes, solasque per aevum Condentum novisse manus: hic credere gaudent Consedisse Deum, seniumque repellere templis. Tum, queis fas et honos adyti penetralia nosse, Foemineos prohibent gressus, ac limine curant Setigeros arcere sues: nec discolor ulli Ante aras cultus: velantur corpora lino, Et Pelusiaco praefulget stamine vertex. Discinctis mos thura dare, atque, e lege parenturn Sacrificam Lato vestem distinguere Clavo. Pes nudus, tousaeque comae, castumque cubile, Irrestincta focis servant altaria flammae. Sed nulla effigies, simulacrave nota Deorum Majestate locum, et sacro implevere timore.

Punicor., lib. iii., ver. 17-31.

This is such a remarkable case that I think myself justified in quoting it at length, as an extraordinary monument, though corrupted, of the tabernacle and its service. It is probable that the original founders had consecrated this temple to the true God, under the name of אל EL, the strong God, or אל גבור El Gibbor, the strong, prevailing, and victorious God, Isaiah 9:6, out of whom the Greeks and Romans made their Hercules, or god of strength; and, to make it agree with this appropriation, the labors of Hercules were sculptured on the doors of this temple at Gades. In foribus labor Alcidae Lernaea recisis Anguibus Hydra jacet, etc.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the tabernacle of the congregation

Exodus 29:10,44 And you shall cause a bullock to be brought before the tabernacle of the congregation...

Leviticus 3:8 And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation...

Numbers 8:9 And you shall bring the Levites before the tabernacle of the congregation...

without the vail

Exodus 26:31-33 And you shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen of cunning work: with cherubim shall it be made...

Exodus 40:3 And you shall put therein the ark of the testimony, and cover the ark with the veil.

testimony

Exodus 16:34 As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept.

Exodus 25:16,21 And you shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you...

Aaron

Exodus 30:8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at even, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.

1 Samuel 3:3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

2 Chronicles 13:11 And they burn to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense...

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

Luke 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts...

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as to a light that shines in a dark place...

Revelation 2:1 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things said he that holds the seven stars in his right hand...

evening

Genesis 1:5,8 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day...

Leviticus 24:3 Without the veil of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation...

Psalm 134:1 Behold, bless you the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

a statute for ever

Exodus 28:43 And they shall be on Aaron, and on his sons, when they come in to the tabernacle of the congregation...

Exodus 29:9,28 And you shall gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them...

Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.

Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute to you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year...

Leviticus 24:9 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place...

Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity...

Numbers 29:9,28 And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals to a bullock, and two tenth deals to one ram...

Leviticus 3:17 It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that you eat neither fat nor blood.

Leviticus 16:34 And this shall be an everlasting statute to you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year...

Leviticus 24:9 And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; and they shall eat it in the holy place...

Numbers 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity...

Numbers 19:21 And it shall be a perpetual statute to them, that he that sprinkles the water of separation shall wash his clothes...

1 Samuel 30:25 And it was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.

Library
How a Private Man must Begin the Morning with Piety.
As soon as ever thou awakest in the morning, keep the door of thy heart fast shut, that no earthly thought may enter, before that God come in first; and let him, before all others, have the first place there. So all evil thoughts either will not dare to come in, or shall the easier be kept out; and the heart will more savour of piety and godliness all the day after; but if thy heart be not, at thy first waking, filled with some meditations of God and his word, and dressed, like the lamp in the tabernacle
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Exodus 16:34
As the LORD commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved.

Exodus 25:22
There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

Exodus 26:31
"Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.

Exodus 26:33
Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the covenant law behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.

Exodus 28:43
Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die. "This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants.

Exodus 29:9
and fasten caps on them. Then tie sashes on Aaron and his sons. The priesthood is theirs by a lasting ordinance. "Then you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

Exodus 29:42
"For the generations to come this burnt offering is to be made regularly at the entrance to the tent of meeting, before the LORD. There I will meet you and speak to you;

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