Exodus 27:19
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.
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(19) All the vessels of the tabernacle—i.e., all those which had not already been appointed to be of a richer material. (Comp. Exodus 25:38.) Bronze was the most convenient material for vessels, and maintained its place even in the magnificent Temple of Solomon (1Kings 7:15-45; 2Kings 25:13-14).

All the pins thereof.—These had not been previously mentioned; but the writer assumes it as known that every tent (’ohel). Such as he has described, can only be erected by means of cords and tent-pegs, or “pins.”

All the pins of the court.—The “pins of the court” seem to be pegs employed internally and externally to keep the pillars of the court in place. Their employment implies that of cords.

27:9-19 The tabernacle was enclosed in a court, about sixty yards long and thirty broad, formed by curtains hung upon brazen pillars, fixed in brazen sockets. Within this enclosure the priests and Levites offered the sacrifices, and thither the Jewish people were admitted. These distinctions represented the difference between the visible nominal church, and the true spiritual church, which alone has access to God, and communion with him.All the vessels ... - All the tools of the tabernacle used in all its workmanship, and all its tent-pins, and all the tent-pins of the court, shall be of bronze. The working tools of the sanctuary were most probably such things as axes, knives, hammers, etc. that were employed in making, repairing, setting up and taking down the structure. Compare Numbers 3:36.

The tabernacle - The word is here to be taken as including both the משׁכן mı̂shkân and the tent, as in Numbers 1:51, Numbers 1:53, etc. (see Exodus 26:1 note).

The pins - tent-pins.

19. pins—were designed to hold down the curtains at the bottom, lest the wind should waft them aside. With the pins the tabernacle and curtains thereof were fastened to the ground, as tents usually are with wooden pins.

All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof,.... Which either refers to the vessels belonging to the altar of burnt offering, and so is a repetition of what is said, Exodus 27:3 or rather to instruments that were used at the setting up and taking down of the tabernacle; such as hammers and the like, to drive the staves into the rings, and knock out the pillars from their sockets, &c., as Jarchi and Ben Gersom observe; for otherwise the vessels used in the sanctuary were of gold or silver, or covered therewith, and not of brass, as these are afterwards said to be:

and all the pins thereof; what these were is not easy to say; for there was nothing made of brass in the holy or most holy place, but the taches or clasps, with which the curtains of goats' hair were coupled together, and the sockets on which the five pillars were set at the entrance of the door of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:11 and it is possible that those pillars might be fastened in their sockets with brass pins; for the clasps or taches can hardly be called pins:

and all the pins of the court shall be of brass; these were brass pins, or stakes fastened in the ground all round the court, to which cords were tied, and these fastened to the hangings; whereby they were kept tight and close, that the wind could not move them to and fro, as Jarchi and Ben Melech observe, and so Josephus (k); see Isaiah 33:20.

(k) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 6. sect. 2.

All the vessels of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the {g} pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.

(g) Or stakes, with which the curtains were fastened to the ground.

19. All] read with LXX. And all (ובל for לבל, removing at the same time a grammatical anomaly in the Heb.). The instruments seem here to be the tools used in setting up the Dwelling: possibly the tent-cords (Exodus 35:18) are also included.

the service thereof] i.e. the work of putting it up: cf. Exodus 39:40, Numbers 3:26; Numbers 3:36.

pins (twice)] the regular Heb. word for tent-pins.

the pins of the court] Exodus 35:18, Exodus 38:20; Exodus 38:31; and, with the cords as well, Exodus 39:40, Numbers 3:37; Numbers 4:26; Numbers 4:32.

In the method of reckoning the pillars of the court there is an inexactness, due no doubt to the author’s love of symmetry. The two

The Court of the Tent of Meeting.

From Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible, iv. 657.

longer sides are of 100 cubits, each with 20 pillars, the two shorter sides are of 50 cubits each, with 10 pillars; and there are 60 pillars in all. If now there are 10 pillars on the E. side, the distance between each will be 50/9 cubits, and the two sides of the entrance, 15 cubits from each corner, will not coincide with two of the pillars: as, moreover, the four corner pillars must now be counted twice, there will in all be not 60, but only 56 pillars. The writer must thus, for the sake of symmetry, have reckoned the sides as having respectively 20 and 10 pillars each, when in reality they would have 21 and 11. ‘The S. side, reckoning from E. to W., has pillars nos. 1–21, of which no. 21, however, is reckoned as belonging to the W. side; the W. side has nos. 21–31 (i.e. 11), no. 31 being reckoned to the N. side; the N. side has nos. 31–51 (i.e. 21), no. 51 being reckoned to the E. side; the E. side has for the N. side of the entrance nos. 51–54, no. 54 being reckoned to the entrance: the entrance has nos. 54–58, no. 58 being reckoned to the S. side of the entrance; the S. side of the entrance has nos. 58–61, no. 61 being the same as no. 1 of the S. side’ (Di.; similarly Kennedy).

20–21 (no parallel in 35–40). A light to be kept burning in the sanctuary every night. Oil is to be provided at the cost of the people; and the priests are to arrange the lamps on the candlestick every evening. These regulations seem out of place here; and in the mention of Aaron and his sons anticipate chaps. 28–29. They recur, with slight verbal differences, in Leviticus 24:2-3, where they are followed by directions respecting a kindred subject, viz. the Presence-bread (vv. 5–9). Probably (so Di.) they were introduced here by a later editor from Lev Exo 24:1-4. Comp. Numbers 8:1-2.

Verse 19. - THE VESSELS OF THE TABERNACLE. There were many "vessels of the tabernacle" which have not hitherto been mentioned, as the great laver in the court (Exodus 30:18; Exodus 40:30) with the basins for washing which must have belonged to it; the pins or pegs whereby the various curtains were extended and supported; and probably much sacrificial apparatus besides what is enumerated in ver. 3. All these were to be of bronze, the commonest metal of the time, but one very suitable for the various purposes, being, as the Egyptians manufactured it, of great hardness, yet exceedingly ductile and ready to take all shapes. Its usefulness and convenience caused it to retain its place, even in the gorgeous and "magnificent" temple of Solomon (1 Chronicles 29:2, 7), where it was employed for the two great pillars, Jachin and Boaz, for the great laver or "brazen sea," for the mailer layers upon wheels, for the pots, the shovels, the basins, the snuffers, the spoons, and many other sacred vessels (1 Kings 7:15-45; 2 Kings 25:13, 14). Though "common," it was never reckoned "unclean," or less fitted for the service of the sanctuary than silver or gold. It had, however, its own proper place, an inferior place to that held by the more precious metals. Verse 19. - All the pins thereof. The "pins" of the tabernacle are undoubtedly the pegs or tent-pins, whereby the tent-cloth wherewith it was covered was extended and kept taut. There were also probably similar pegs or pins for cords used to keep the "pillars" (Exodus 26:37) or tent-poles in place. The pins of the court supported in the same way the pillars of the court (vers. 10-15).

CHAPTER 27:20-21 Exodus 27:19"All the vessels of the dwelling in all the work thereof (i.e., all the tools needed for the tabernacle), and all its pegs, and all the pegs of the court, (shall be of) brass or copper." The vessels of the dwelling are not the things required for the performance of worship, but the tools used in setting up the tabernacle and taking it down again.

If we inquire still further into the design and meaning of the court, the erection of a court surrounding the dwelling on all four sides is to be traced to the same circumstance as that which rendered it necessary to divide the dwelling itself into two parts, viz., to the fact, that on account of the unholiness of the nation, it could not come directly into the presence of Jehovah, until the sin which separates unholy man from the holy God had been atoned for. Although, by virtue of their election as the children of Jehovah, or their adoption as the nation of God, it was intended that the Israelites should be received by the Lord into His house, and dwell as a son in his father's house; yet under the economy of the law, which only produced the knowledge of sin, uncleanness, and unholiness, their fellowship with Jehovah, the Holy One, could only be sustained through mediators appointed and sanctified by God: viz., at the institution of the covenant, through His servant Moses; and during the existence of this covenant, through the chosen priests of the family of Aaron. It was through them that the Lord was to be approached, and the nation to be brought near to Him. Every day, therefore, they entered the holy place of the dwelling, to offer to the Lord the sacrifices of prayer and the fruits of the people's earthly vocation. But even they were not allowed to go into the immediate presence of the holy God. The most holy place, where God was enthroned, was hidden from them by the curtain, and only once a year was the high priest permitted, as the head of the whole congregation, which was called to be the holy nation of God, to lift this curtain and appear before God with the atoning blood of the sacrifice and the cloud of incense (Leviticus 16). The access of the nation to its God was restricted to the court. There it could receive from the Lord, through the medium of the sacrifices which it offered upon the altar of burnt-offering, the expiation of its sins, His grace and blessing, and strength to live anew. Whilst the dwelling itself represented the house of God, the dwelling-place of Jehovah in the midst of His people (Exodus 23:19; Joshua 6:24; 1 Samuel 1:7, 1 Samuel 1:24, etc.), the palace of the God-King, in which the priestly nation drew near to Him (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3; Psalm 5:8; Psalm 26:4, Psalm 26:6); the court which surrounded the dwelling represented the kingdom of the God-King, the covenant land or dwelling-place of Israel in the kingdom of its God. In accordance with this purpose, the court was in the form of an oblong, to exhibit its character as part of the kingdom of God. But its pillars and hangings were only five cubits high, i.e., half the height of the dwelling, to set forth the character of incompleteness, or of the threshold to the sanctuary of God. All its vessels were of copper-brass, which, being allied to the earth in both colour and material, was a symbolical representation of the earthly side of the kingdom of God; whereas the silver of the capitals of the pillars, and of the hooks and rods which sustained the hangings, as well as the white colour of the byssus-hangings, might point to the holiness of this site for the kingdom of God. On the other hand, in the gilding of the capitals of the pillars at the entrance to the dwelling, and the brass of their sockets, we find gold and silver combined, to set forth the union of the court with the sanctuary, i.e., the union of the dwelling-place of Israel with the dwelling-place of its God, which is realized in the kingdom of God.

The design and significance of the court culminated in the altar of burnt-offering, the principal object in the court; and upon this the burnt-offerings and slain-offerings, in which the covenant nation consecrated itself as a possession to its God, were burnt. The heart of this altar was of earth or unhewn stones, having the character of earth, not only on account of its being appointed as the place of sacrifice and as the hearth for the offerings, but because the earth itself formed the real or material sphere for the kingdom of God in the Old Testament stage of its development. This heart of earth was elevated by the square copper covering into a vessel of the sanctuary, a place where Jehovah would record His name, and come to Israel and bless them (Exodus 20:24, cf. Exodus 29:42, Exodus 29:44), and was consecrated as a place of sacrifice, by means of which Israel could raise itself to the Lord, and ascend to Him in the sacrifice. And this significance of the altar culminated in its horns, upon which the blood of the sin-offering was smeared. Just as, in the case of the horned animals, their strength and beauty are concentrated in the horns, and the horn has become in consequence a symbol of strength, or of fulness of vital energy; so the significance of the altar as a place of the saving and life-giving power of God, which the Lord bestows upon His people in His kingdom, was concentrated in the horns of the altar.

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