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Making the Altar of Burnt Offering


He made the altar of burnt offering also of acacia wood; it was five cubits long, and five cubits wide; it was square, and three cubits high. 2He made horns for it on its four corners; its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. 3He made all the utensils of the altar, the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the firepans: all its utensils he made of bronze. 4He made for the altar a grating, a network of bronze, under its ledge, extending halfway down. 5He cast four rings on the four corners of the bronze grating to hold the poles; 6he made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with bronze. 7And he put the poles through the rings on the sides of the altar, to carry it with them; he made it hollow, with boards.

8 He made the basin of bronze with its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

Making the Court of the Tabernacle

9 He made the court; for the south side the hangings of the court were of fine twisted linen, one hundred cubits long; 10its twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 11For the north side there were hangings one hundred cubits long; its twenty pillars and their twenty bases were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 12For the west side there were hangings fifty cubits long, with ten pillars and ten bases; the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver. 13And for the front to the east, fifty cubits. 14The hangings for one side of the gate were fifteen cubits, with three pillars and three bases. 15And so for the other side; on each side of the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits, with three pillars and three bases. 16All the hangings around the court were of fine twisted linen. 17The bases for the pillars were of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands were of silver; the overlaying of their capitals was also of silver, and all the pillars of the court were banded with silver. 18The screen for the entrance to the court was embroidered with needlework in blue, purple, and crimson yarns and fine twisted linen. It was twenty cubits long and, along the width of it, five cubits high, corresponding to the hangings of the court. 19There were four pillars; their four bases were of bronze, their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals and their bands of silver. 20All the pegs for the tabernacle and for the court all around were of bronze.

Materials of the Tabernacle

21 These are the records of the tabernacle, the tabernacle of the covenant, which were drawn up at the commandment of Moses, the work of the Levites being under the direction of Ithamar son of the priest Aaron. 22Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that the L ord commanded Moses; 23and with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, engraver, designer, and embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen.

24 All the gold that was used for the work, in all the construction of the sanctuary, the gold from the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, measured by the sanctuary shekel. 25The silver from those of the congregation who were counted was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, measured by the sanctuary shekel; 26a beka a head (that is, half a shekel, measured by the sanctuary shekel), for everyone who was counted in the census, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand, five hundred fifty men. 27The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary, and the bases of the curtain; one hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent for a base. 28Of the thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, and overlaid their capitals and made bands for them. 29The bronze that was contributed was seventy talents, and two thousand four hundred shekels; 30with it he made the bases for the entrance of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar and the bronze grating for it and all the utensils of the altar, 31the bases all around the court, and the bases of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court.

1. And he made the altar of burnt-offering. The purport of this chapter is the same as that of the last, except that the order of some parts of it is transposed, though not a word is changed. He begins with the altar of burnt-offering, which he states to have been made of the materials and the form prescribed by God, in order that the people might there offer with surer confidence their sacrifices for the expiation of sin, and for thanksgiving. One thing which had not been mentioned before, is here added respecting the laver of brass, or cauldron (concha,) from whence they took the water of sprinkling for expiation, viz., that this laver was ornamented with the mirrors of the women. Some explain this, 298298     All the difficulties connected with this matter are set at rest by our increased acquaintance with Egyptian Antiquities. C., and almost all the earlier commentators, were evidently possessed with the idea that the mirrors of the women were literally looking-glasses; and hence arose the various solutions which are here given, and others which might be added. Sir G. Wilkinson, in his “Popular Account of the Ancient Egyptians,” tells us; — “One of the principal objects of the toilet was the mirror. It was of mixed metal, chiefly copper, most carefully wrought and highly polished; and so admirably did the Egyptians succeed in the composition of metals, that this substitute for our modern looking-glass was susceptible of a lustre which has even been partially revived at the present day, in some of those discovered at Thebes, though buried in the earth for many centuries. The same kind of metal-mirror was used by the Israelites, who doubtless brought them from Egypt.” — Vol. 2, p. 346. that the vessel was so bright that it might be easily discovered on every side whether there was any scandalous, or wanton, or indelicate act committed; for we know that impure and ungodly men sometimes conceal their iniquities under the cover of religion, even as it; is written that the women who frequented the tabernacle for religious exercises were defiled by the sons of Eli, the priests. (1 Samuel 2:22.) But there is another conjecture equally probable, that these mirrors were dedicated by holy women for the ornament of the Temple, and for sacred purposes; for, whereas women are only too much given to outward adornment and finery, they have been always very fond of mirrors, both for the purpose of painting their cheeks and arranging their hair, so that not a single hair should be out of place. Isaiah, therefore, (3:23,) enumerates mirrors amongst the luxuries 299299     “Entre les bagages superflus des femmes.” — Fr. of the female world. Some, then, think that women, being devoted to God’s service, laid aside this vanity, and consecrated their mirrors in testimony of their repentance. It might, however, have been that, amongst the other gifts before spoken of, they offered mirrors also, which were mounted as embossments in this brasen laver. Others suppose that they were carvings, by which the portraits of females were depicted, as if seen in mirrors. The simple notion is most approved by me, that they were votive offerings, wherewith pious women had desired to decorate the sanctuary, and that they had been applied to this use by the advice of the artificers; for he does not speak generally of all the women, but of those who warred or assembled by troops at the door of the tabernacle; for translators 300300     C. here affords the reader a curious proof that he composed this note with S M. under his eye, by employing Munster’s word labrum for the Hebrew כיור, which he had previously rendered concha in his own text. But whilst S M had translated צבאת אשר צבאו, (mulierum) militantium, quae militabant, C. had the sagacity to drop the metaphor, and render the words convenientium, quae conveniebant צבא, says Professor Robertson, to assemble for worship, or for war. Clav Pentat in loco. — W variously explain this word צבא, tzaba, both in this passage and that from Samuel which I have just quoted. It is also applied to the Levites, who are said 301301     Numbers 4:3, “All that enter into the host.” — A.V. Numbers 8:24, “They shall go in to wait upon the service,” margin, “Heb., to war the warfare of the tabernacle.” — A.V. “to war the warfare” of the sanctuary, whilst performing their appointed work. (Numbers 4:3; 8:24.) Indeed this metaphor is by no means unsuitable to watchings and long-continued prayers. The sum is, that the laver was cast of their materials, or, as I rather suppose, embossed with these mirrors, in order that it might be more splendid.

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