Exodus 27:8
Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was shewed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
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(8) Hollow with boards.—Compare the second Note on Exodus 27:1.

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.Hollow with boards - Slabs, or planks, rather than boards. The word is that which is used for the stone tables of the law Exodus 24:12; Exodus 31:18, not that applied to the boards of the tabernacle Exodus 26:15.

The brazen altar was a hollow casing, formed of stout acacia planks covered with plates of bronze, seven feet six in length and width and four feet six in height. Jewish as well as Christian authorities have supposed that, when it was fixed for use, it was filled up with earth or rough stones. If we connect this suggestion with the old rule regarding the altar of earth and the altar of stone given in Exodus 20:24-25, the woodwork might in fact be regarded merely as the case of the altar on which the victims were actually burned. The shelf round the sides Exodus 27:5 was required as a stage for the priests to enable them to carry on their work conveniently on the top of the altar. Hence, it is said of Aaron that he came down from the altar Leviticus 9:22. According to rabbinical tradition, there was a slope of earth at the south side banked up for the priest to ascend to the stage (compare Exodus 20:26).

6, 7. staves … rings—Those rings were placed at the side through which the poles were inserted on occasions of removal. i.e. Not one entire piece of.wood, but consisting of four several sides, hollow within, for easiness and conveniency of carriage in their wilderness state.

Hollow with boards shalt thou make it,.... The frame of it being made of boards of shittim wood, there was nothing within side but the grate, which was put within the square, down into the middle of it, and so was light of carriage; though the Targum of Jonathan, and other Jewish writers, represent this hollow as filled up with dust and earth, to answer to the altar of earth Moses was before bid to make; but this seems quite contrary to the present direction: the hollowness of the altar may denote the emptiness of Christ when he became a sacrifice: he emptied himself, as it were, when he became incarnate, of all his greatness, glory, and riches, and became mean and poor for the sake of his people, that they through his poverty might be made rich, Philippians 2:7.

as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it; or, "as he showed thee" (g), that is, God. Moses had a model of this altar showed him, and he was to be careful to instruct the workmen, and see to it, that they built it exactly according to the model.

(g) "fecit videre", Pagninus, Montanus; "ostendit Dominus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius; so Ainsworth.

Hollow with boards shalt thou make it: as it was showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it.
8. Hollow with planks] it was a hollow framework or casing.

in the mount] see Exodus 25:9.

It is difficult to reconcile satisfactorily this plated ‘altar’ (v. 1) of acacia wood, borne upon the shoulders of Levites from one encampment to another (Numbers 4:13; Numbers 7:9), with the altar of earth or stone, reared where occasion might require, on which burnt-and peace-offerings were to be sacrificed (Exodus 20:24 f.). As nothing is said about a top to the altar, on which the victims might be placed, it is commonly assumed that, when the Tabernacle became stationary, the hollow case of the altar was filled up with earth. But it is strange that, if intended, this is not expressed. On the other hand, if the fire was kindled on the ground, within the altar, it is obvious that the wooden sides would quickly be destroyed. The directions here given are in fact entirely unrelated to those of Exodus 20:24 f. When the character of P’s Tabernacle-legislation, as a whole, is considered, and account taken of the wide differences which separate it from the ceremonial legislation of JE, it can hardly be doubted that the true explanation of the present remarkable structure is that ‘it originated in the desire to construct a portable altar on the lines of the massive bronze altar of Solomon, which was itself a departure from the true Heb. tradition (Exodus 20:24-26)’ (Kennedy, p. 658). The bronze altar in Solomon’s temple was a gigantic structure, 20 cubits (30 ft.) long and broad, and 10 cubits (15 ft.) high (2 Chronicles 4:1),—no doubt the work of Phoenician artists (cf. 1 Kings 7:13-16; 1 Kings 7:40-46). Zerubbabel’s altar, it may be added, was built of stone (1Ma 4:46): the one erected by Judas in its place, in 165 b.c., was of unhewn stone, ‘according to the law’ of Exodus 20:25 (ib. v. 47).

9–19 (cf. Exodus 38:9-20. The court of the tabernacle. This was a rectangular area, lying E. and W., 100 cubits (150 ft.) long, and 50 (75 ft.) broad, enclosed by hangings of white linen, 5 cubits (7 ½ ft.) high, suspended on pillars of wood,—20 for each of the larger sides, and 10 for each of the shorter sides. Each of the pillars was let into a socket of silver, and had a capital overlaid with silver (Exodus 38:17); and all were kept in position by cords, and tent-pins of bronze. In the centre of the E. front there was a space of 20 cubits (30 ft.), not provided with hangings, but left open as an entrance to the court, and covered by a screen of white linen, embroidered in colours.

Verse 8. - Hollow with boards shalt thou make it. See the comment on ver. 1. The term here used for" boards," (which is different from that in ch. 26:15-29) implies strength and solidity. As it was showed thee in the mount, Compare Exodus 26:30, with the comment ad loc.

CHAPTER 27:9-18 Exodus 27:8The poles were to be made of acacia-wood, and covered with brass, and to be placed in the rings that were fixed in the two sides for the purpose of carrying the altar. The additional instructions in Exodus 27:8, "hollow with tables shalt thou make it, as it was showed thee in the mount" (cf. Exodus 25:9), refer apparently, if we judge from Exo 20:24-25, simply to the wooden framework of the altar, which was covered with brass, and which was filled with earth, or gravel and stones, when the altar was about to be used, the whole being levelled so as to form a hearth. The shape thus given to the altar of burnt-offering corresponded to the other objects in the sanctuary. It could also be carried about with ease, and fixed in any place, and could be used for burning the sacrifices without the wooden walls being injured by the fire.
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