Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
And he made the altar of burnt offering of shittim wood: five cubits was the length thereof, and five cubits the breadth thereof; it was foursquare; and three cubits the height thereof.
Ex 38:1-31. Furniture of the Tabernacle.
1. the altar of burnt offering—The repetitions are continued, in which may be traced the exact conformity of the execution to the order.
And he made the horns thereof on the four corners of it; the horns thereof were of the same: and he overlaid it with brass.
And he made all the vessels of the altar, the pots, and the shovels, and the basons, and the fleshhooks, and the firepans: all the vessels thereof made he of brass.
And he made for the altar a brasen grate of network under the compass thereof beneath unto the midst of it.
And he cast four rings for the four ends of the grate of brass, to be places for the staves.
And he made the staves of shittim wood, and overlaid them with brass.
And he put the staves into the rings on the sides of the altar, to bear it withal; he made the altar hollow with boards.
And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
8. laver of brass … of the looking glasses of the women—The word mirrors should have been used, as those implements, usually round, inserted into a handle of wood, stone, or metal, were made of brass, silver, or bronze, highly polished [Wilkinson]. It was customary for the Egyptian women to carry mirrors with them to the temples; and whether by taking the looking glasses of the Hebrew women Moses designed to put it out of their power to follow a similar practice at the tabernacle, or whether the supply of brass from other sources in the camp was exhausted, it is interesting to learn how zealously and to a vast extent they surrendered those valued accompaniments of the female toilet.
of the women assembling … at the door—not priestesses but women of pious character and influence, who frequented the courts of the sacred building (Lu 2:37), and whose parting with their mirrors, like the cutting the hair of the Nazarites, was their renouncing the world for a season [Hengstenberg].
And he made the court: on the south side southward the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, an hundred cubits:
9. the court—It occupied a space of one hundred and fifty feet by seventy-five, and it was enclosed by curtains of fine linen about eight feet high, suspended on brazen or copper pillars. Those curtains were secured by rods fastened to the top, and kept extended by being fastened to pins stuck in the ground.
Their pillars were twenty, and their brasen sockets twenty; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver.
10. hooks—The hooks of the pillars in the court were for hanging up the carcasses of the sacrificial beasts—those on the pillars at the entry of the tabernacle were for hanging the sacerdotal robes and other things used in the service.
And for the north side the hangings were an hundred cubits, their pillars were twenty, and their sockets of brass twenty; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
11. sockets—mortices or holes in which the end of the pillars stood.
And for the west side were hangings of fifty cubits, their pillars ten, and their sockets ten; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver.
And for the east side eastward fifty cubits.
The hangings of the one side of the gate were fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
And for the other side of the court gate, on this hand and that hand, were hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
All the hangings of the court round about were of fine twined linen.
And the sockets for the pillars were of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets of silver; and the overlaying of their chapiters of silver; and all the pillars of the court were filleted with silver.
17. chapiters—or capitals of the pillars, were wooden posts which ran along their top, to which were attached the hooks for the hangings.
And the hanging for the gate of the court was needlework, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: and twenty cubits was the length, and the height in the breadth was five cubits, answerable to the hangings of the court.
18. the height in the breadth—or, "in the measure." The sense is that the hangings of the court gate, which was twenty cubits wide, were of the same height as the hangings all round the court [Wall].
And their pillars were four, and their sockets of brass four; their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their chapiters and their fillets of silver.
And all the pins of the tabernacle, and of the court round about, were of brass.
This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest.
21. This is the sum of the tabernacle—Having completed his description of the component parts of the tabernacle, the inspired historian digresses into a statement respecting the gold and silver employed in it, the computation being made according to an order of Moses—by the Levites, under the direction of Ithamar, Aaron's youngest son.
And Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the LORD commanded Moses.
And with him was Aholiab, son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a cunning workman, and an embroiderer in blue, and in purple, and in scarlet, and fine linen.
All the gold that was occupied for the work in all the work of the holy place, even the gold of the offering, was twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary.
24. twenty and nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels—equivalent to £150,00 sterling.
And the silver of them that were numbered of the congregation was an hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary:
25. the silver of them that were numbered—603,550 men at half a shekel each would contribute 301,775 shekels; which at 2s. 4d. each, amounts to £35,207 sterling. It may seem difficult to imagine how the Israelites should be possessed of so much wealth in the desert; but it should be remembered that they were enriched first by the spoils of the Egyptians, and afterwards by those of the Amalekites. Besides, it is highly probable that during their sojourn they traded with the neighboring nations who bordered on the wilderness [Hewlett].
A bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel of the sanctuary, for every one that went to be numbered, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty men.
And of the hundred talents of silver were cast the sockets of the sanctuary, and the sockets of the vail; an hundred sockets of the hundred talents, a talent for a socket.
And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their chapiters, and filleted them.
And the brass of the offering was seventy talents, and two thousand and four hundred shekels.
And therewith he made the sockets to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the brasen altar, and the brasen grate for it, and all the vessels of the altar,
And the sockets of the court round about, and the sockets of the court gate, and all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins of the court round about.