Exodus 27:5
And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath, that the net may be even to the midst of the altar.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(5) Under the compass of the altar beneath.—The position of the network depends upon this expression. Was “the compass of the altar” its circumference at the top, or was it a belt or step encircling the altar half-way up? The low height of the altar—four feet six inches—would seem to make a “step” unnecessary; but the altar may undoubtedly have been surrounded by a “belt” for ornament.

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.The compass of the altar - A shelf or projecting ledge, of convenient width, carried round the altar half way between the top and the base. It was supported all round its outer edge by a vertical net-like grating of bronze that rested on the ground.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). Under the compass, i.e. within the square and hollow space of the altar.

That the net may be even to the midst of the altar, or, and the net shall be at (the Hebrew ad being here used for el, as Hosea 14:2 Joel 2:12 Amos 4:6,8), the midst of the altar. And these words seem added to explain the word

beneath, to show that as it was not to be at the top, so neither at the bottom of the altar, but in the midst of it.

And thou shalt put it under the compass of the altar beneath,.... That is, the grate was to be put within the square compass of the altar, in the hollow part of it, for the wood and sacrifice to be laid upon it:

that the net may be even to the midst of the altar; and as the altar was three cubits high, this net or grate was let down by chains to its rings a cubit and a half, and being of such a depth was capable of containing a great deal.

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. the ledge] ‘the ledge’ (Exodus 38:4†) which such an altar would naturally have for the priests to stand upon: cf. the frequent use of the phrases to go up to and to come down from an altar in connexion with sacrificing: Exodus 20:26, Leviticus 9:22, 1 Kings 12:33, 2 Kings 16:12; 2 Kings 23:9; Sir 50:11; Sir 50:20.

Verse 5. - Thou shalt put it under the compass. The "compass" (karkob) is spoken of as if it were something well-known; yet it had not been previously mentioned. Etymologically the word should mean "a cincture" or "band" round the altar; and thus far critics are generally agreed. But its position, size, and object, are greatly disputed. Some hold that it was a broad bench, or step, on which the officiating priests stood at the time of a sacrifice, and that its position was about the middle of the altar. Others think that it was a mere border round the top, from which the net-work depended, and that the object of both was to catch anything that might fall from the altar. Others again, while placing it mid-way in the altar, regard it as a mere ornament, only projecting slightly, and forming a sort of finish to the net-work. This, which is the view of Knobel, seems to be, on the whole, the most probable one. That the net may be even to the midst of the altar. If the" compass" was at the top, the net must have extended thence to the middle. If it was mid-way in the altar, the net must have covered the lower half. To us this latter seems the more probable view. But the point is uncertain. Exodus 27:5The altar was to have מכבּר a grating, רשׂת מעשׂה net-work, i.e., a covering of brass made in the form of a net, of larger dimensions that the sides of the altar, for this grating was to be under the "compass" (כּרכּב) of the altar from beneath, and to reach to the half of it (half-way up, Exodus 27:5); and in it, i.e., at the four ends (or corners) of it, four brass rings were to be fastened, for the poles to carry it with. כּרכּב (from כּרכּב circumdedit) only occurs here and in Exodus 38:4, and signifies a border (סבבא Targums), i.e., a projecting framework or bench running round the four sides of the altar, about half a cubit or a cubit broad, nailed to the walls (of the altar) on the outside, and fastened more firmly to them by the copper covering which was common to both. The copper grating was below this bench, and on the outside. The bench rested upon it, or rather it hung from the outer edge of the bench and rested upon the ground, like the inner chest, which it surrounded on all four sides, and in which there were no perforations. It formed with the bench or carcob a projecting footing, which caused the lower half of the altar to look broader than the upper on every side. The priest stood upon this carcob or bench when offering sacrifice, or when placing the wood, or doing anything else upon the altar. This explains Aaron's coming down (ירד) from the altar (Leviticus 9:22); and there is no necessity to suppose that there were steps to the altar, as Knobel does in opposition to Exodus 20:26. For even if the height of the altar, viz., three cubits, would be so great that a bench half-way up would be too high for any one to step up to, the earth could be slightly raised on one side so as to make the ascent perfectly easy; and when the priest was standing upon the bench, he could perform all that was necessary upon the top of the altar without any difficulty.
Exodus 27:5 Interlinear
Exodus 27:5 Parallel Texts

Exodus 27:5 NIV
Exodus 27:5 NLT
Exodus 27:5 ESV
Exodus 27:5 NASB
Exodus 27:5 KJV

Exodus 27:5 Bible Apps
Exodus 27:5 Parallel
Exodus 27:5 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 27:5 Chinese Bible
Exodus 27:5 French Bible
Exodus 27:5 German Bible

Bible Hub

Exodus 27:4
Top of Page
Top of Page