Exodus 27:3
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.
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(3) His pans to receive his ashes.—Scuttles, in which the ashes were placed for removal from the sanctuary, are intended. The word translated “to receive his ashes” is a rare one, and implies a mixture with the ashes of unburnt fat.

His shovels.—A right rendering. The “shovels” would be used in clearing away the ashes from off the altar.

His basons.—Basins were needed to receive the blood of the victims (Exodus 24:6), which was cast from basins upon the foot of the altar.

His fleshhooks.—Implements with three prongs, used for arranging the pieces of the victim upon the altar. The priests’ servants sometimes applied them to a different purpose (1Samuel 2:13).

His firepans.—The word here used is elsewhere translated either snuffdishes,” or censers.” Probably vessels employed in carrying embers from the brazen altar to the altar of incense (Leviticus 16:12) are intended.

27:1-8 In the court before the tabernacle, where the people attended, was an altar, to which they must bring their sacrifices, and on which their priests must offer them to God. It was of wood overlaid with brass. A grate of brass was let into the hollow of the altar, about the middle of which the fire was kept, and the sacrifice burnt. It was made of net-work like a sieve, and hung hollow, that the ashes might fall through. This brazen altar was a type of Christ dying to make atonement for our sins. The wood had been consumed by the fire from heaven, if it had not been secured by the brass: nor could the human nature of Christ have borne the wrath of God, if it had not been supported by Divine power.Pans - Rather pots as in Exodus 38:3; 1 Kings 7:45. On the use to which these pots were put in disposing of the ashes of the altar, see Leviticus 1:16.

Basons - Vessels used for receiving the blood of the victims and casting it upon the altar (see Exodus 24:6; Leviticus 1:5; etc.).

Fleshhooks - These were for adjusting the pieces of the victims upon the altar (compare 1 Samuel 2:13).

Firepans - The same word is rendered snuffdishes, Exodus 25:38; Exodus 37:23 : censers, Leviticus 10:1; Leviticus 16:12; Numbers 4:14; Numbers 16:6, etc. These utensils appear to have been shallow metal vessels which were employed merely to carry burning embers from the brazen altar to the altar of incense.

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].

Basons, to receive the blood of the sacrifices, which they were to sprinkle.

Flesh-hooks, wherewith they took flesh out of the pot in which it was seethed, as 1 Samuel 2:14. But this seems not proper here, because the flesh was never boiled upon the altar, but in other places appointed for that use. And the Hebrew word is general, and may signify either tongs or fire-forks.

Firepans, in which they carried live coals from this altar to that of incense, as occasion required.

And thou shall make his pans to receive his ashes,.... Not to receive them in as they fell, but to gather them up in, and carry them away; and this was done every morning about cockcrowing, not much sooner nor later (c):

and his shovels; to throw up the ashes together to be put into the pans; Jarchi describes this vessel to be like the cover of a brass pot, with a handle to it; the same we call a fire shovel:

and his basins: to receive the blood of the sacrifice, and out of which it was sprinkled, as the word signifies, and may be rendered sprinkling basins:

and his flesh hooks; not such as were used to take flesh out of the pot, 1 Samuel 2:13 for there could be no use for such at the altar of burnt offering; but were, as Jarchi says, like hooks recurved, with which they struck into the flesh, and turned it upon the coals to hasten the burning of it; and with which very probably they kept the fire and the parts of the sacrifices in good order, until they were consumed:

and his fire pans; which were a kind of censers in which coals of fire were taken off from the altar of burnt offering, and carried to the altar of incense, as Jarchi and Ben Gersom observe, see Leviticus 16:12 but as censers did not belong to the altar of burnt offering, but to the altar of incense, Fortunatus Scacchus (d) is of opinion, that these were a larger sort of vessels, wherein the fire which came down from heaven was kept burning while the altar and grate were cleansed from the coals and ashes, and when the altar was had from place to place:

all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass; as being fittest for the use of this altar.

(c) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 8. & Maimon, in ib. (d) Sacr. Elaeochrism. Myrothec. l. 2. c. 73. p. 676, 677.

And thou shalt make his pans to receive his ashes, and his shovels, and his basins, and his fleshhooks, and his firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass.
3. The vessels of the altar, for use in connexion with the sacrifices.

its pots … and its shovels] cf., in the Temple, 1 Kings 7:45, 2 Kings 25:14.

its ashes] lit. its fat, i.e. the fat, which, when a sacrifice was burnt, ran down and mixed with the ashes: cf. Numbers 4:13, Leviticus 1:16; Leviticus 4:12; Leviticus 6:10 f. Not used of ordinary ashes. The shovels would be for collecting and sweeping away (cf. the same root, Isaiah 28:17) the ashes.

basons] lit. tossing-vessels,—large bowls, used for tossing the blood in a volume against the sides of the altar: see on Exodus 24:6, and Exodus 29:16. Cf. Zechariah 9:15; Zechariah 14:20 (‘bowls’).

fleshhooks] Exodus 38:3, Numbers 4:14, 1 Chronicles 28:17, 2 Chronicles 4:16†.

firepans] 1 Kings 7:50. Cf. the note on ‘snuffdishes,’ Exodus 25:38.

Verse 3. - His pans to receive his ashes. Literally, "to cleanse it from fat' - i.e., to receive what remained after burning the victims, which would be ashes mixed with a good deal of fat. His shovels. Those would be used in removing the ashes from the altar, and depositing them in the pans. His basins. Vessels for receiving the blood of the victims and from which it was poured on the altar. Compare Exodus 24:6. His flesh hooks. So the Septuagint, and our translators again in 1 Samuel 2:13. They would seem by the latter passage to have been three-pronged forks, the proper use of which was, no doubt, to arrange the various pieces, into which the victim was cut, upon the altar. His fire-pans. The word used is generally translated "censers" (Leviticus 10:1; Leviticus 16:12; Numbers 4:14: 16:6, 17, etc.), but sometimes "snuff-dishes" (Exodus 25:38; Exodus 37:23). It here perhaps designates the vessels used for carrying burning embers from the altar of burnt-offering, to the altar of incense on certain occasions (Leviticus 16:12). Etymologically, it means simply "a receptacle." All the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. Rather, "of bronze." Bronze was the usual material of utensils and implements in Egypt (Birch, Guide to British Museum, pp. 13-21; 28, 29; 35-41; etc.). Copper was scarcely used without the alloy of tin which converts it into bronze; and brass was wholly unknown. A trace of iron is sometimes found in Egyptian bronze Exodus 27:3The Altar of Burnt-Offering (cf. Exodus 38:1-7). - "Make the altar (the altar of burnt-offering, according to Exodus 38:1) of acacia-wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad (רבוּע "foured," i.e., four-sided or quadrangular), and three cubits high. At its four corners shall its horns be from (out of) it," i.e., not removable, but as if growing out of it. These horns were projections at the corners of the altar, formed to imitate in all probability the horns of oxen, and in these the whole force of the altar was concentrated. The blood of the sin-offering was therefore smeared upon them (Leviticus 4:7), and those who fled to the altar to save their lives laid hold of them (vid., Exodus 21:14, and 1 Kings 1:50; also my commentary on the passage). The altar was to be covered with copper or brass, and all the things used in connection with it were to be made of brass. These were, - (1) the pans, to cleanse it of the ashes of the fat (Exodus 27:3 : דּשּׁן, a denom. verb from דּשׁן the ashes of fat, that is to say, the ashes that arose from burning the flesh of the sacrifice upon the altar, has a privative meaning, and signifies "to ash away," i.e., to cleanse from ashes); (2) יעים shovels, from יעה to take away (Isaiah 28:17); (3) מזרקות, things used for sprinkling the blood, from fzarq to sprinkle; (4) מזלגות forks, flesh-hooks (cf. מזלג 1 Samuel 3:13); (5) מחתּת coal-scoops (cf. Exodus 25:38). וגו לכל־כּליו: either "for all the vessels thereof thou shalt make brass," or "as for all its vessels, thou shalt make (them) of brass."
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