Exodus 38

1 The altar of burnt offering.

8 The laver of brass.

9 The court, and its hangings.

21 The sum of what the people offered, and the use to which it was applied.

the altar.This altar consisted of four boards of {shittim} (acacia) wood, covered with brass, and hollow in the middle; but it is supposed to have been filled up with earth when used, for it is expressly said (ch. 20:24) that the altar is to be of earth. As it was five cubits long and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, if the cubit be reckoned at 21 inches, it must have been eight feet nine inches square, and about five feet three inches in height.

27:1-8; 40:6,29; 2Ch 4:1; Eze 43:13-17; Ro 8:3,4; 12:1; Heb 3:1

Heb 9:14; 13:10; 1Pe 2:5

foursquare; and three cubits the height thereof.

Eze 43:16; Joh 6:37; Heb 13:8; Re 21:16

he made.



Job 6:12

he made.



1Sa 2:13


the grate.


25:6; De 10:3

to bear it withal.

Ac 9:15; 1Co 1:24; 2:2

the laver.

30:18-21; 40:7,30-32; 1Ki 7:23-26,38; Ps 26:6; Zec 13:1; Joh 13:10

Tit 3:5,6; Heb 9:10; 1Jo 3:7; Re 1:5

looking glasses. or, brazen glasses.The word {maroth,} from {raah,} to see, denotes reflectors, or mirrors, of any kind. That these could not have been looking glasses, as in our translation, is sufficiently evident, not only from the glass not being then in use, but also from the impossibility of making the brazen laver of such materials. The first mirrors known among men, were the clear fountain and unruffled lake. The first artificial ones were made of polished brass, afterwards of steel, and when luxury increased, of silver; but at a very early period, they were made of a mixed metal, particularly of tin and copper, the best of which, as Pliny informs us, were formerly manufactured at Brundusium. When the Egyptians went to their temples, according to St. Cyril, they always carried their mirrors with them. The Israelitish women probably did the same; and Dr. Shaw says, that looking-glasses are still part of the dress of Moorish women, who carry them constantly hung at their breasts.

assembling. Heb. assembling by troops.It is supposed that these women kept watch during the night. Among the ancients, women were generally employed as door-keepers. See 1 Sa 2:22.

Pr 8:34; Mt 26:69; Lu 2:37; Joh 18:16; 1Ti 5:5

the court.

27:9-19; 40:8,33; 1Ki 6:36; Ps 84:2,10; 89:7; 92:13; 100:4











2Ch 3:14


the pins.

27:19; 2Ch 3:9; Ezr 9:8; Ec 12:11; Isa 22:23; 33:20; Eph 2:21,22

Col 2:19

tabernacle of testimony.

25:16; 26:33; 40:3; Nu 1:50,53; 9:15; 10:11; 17:7,8; 18:2; 2Ch 24:6

Ac 7:44; Re 11:19 The word tabernacle is used in many different senses, and signifies, I. A tent or pavilion,

Nu 24:5; Mt 17:4 II. A house or dwelling,

Job 11:4; 22:23 III. A kind of tent, which is designated, to speak after the manner of the men, the palace of the Most High, the dwelling of the God of Israel,

26:1; Heb 9:2,3 IV. Christ's human nature, of which the Jewish tabernacle was a type, wherein God dwells really, substantially, and personally,

Heb 8:2; 9:11 V. The true church militant,

Ps 15:1 VI. Our natural body, in which the soul lodges as in a tabernacle,

2Co 5:1; 2Pe 1:13 VII. The token of God's gracious presence,

Re 21:3

by the hand.

Nu 4:28-33; Ezr 8:26-30


6:23; 1Ch 6:3


31:1-5; 35:30-35; 36:1-3The supernatural qualifications of Bezaleel and Aholiab proved their divine appointment; yet they had an express nomination to their work: they were also miraculously qualified to instruct their assistants, as well as to superintend them. Christ alone builds the Temple of the Lord, and bears the glory; but ministers and private Christians, under his direction and by his grace, may be fellow-workers together with him. They who, in mean employments, are diligent and humbly contented, are equally acceptable with those who are engaged in more splendid services. The women who spun the goats' hair were wise-hearted, as well as the persons who presided over the work of the tabernacle, or as Aaron, who burnt incense there, because they did it heartily unto the Lord. Our wisdom and duty consist in giving God the glory and use of our talents, be they more or less; neither abusing nor burying them, but occupying with them until our Lord shall come; being satisfied that it is better to be a door-keeper in his service, than the most mighty and renowned of the ungodly.--Scott.

all that the Lord.

Ps 119:6; Jer 1:7; Mt 28:20



a cunning.


All the gold.If we follow the estimation of the learned Dean Prideaux, the value of the twenty-nine talents, and 730 shekels of gold, will be 198,347£. 12s. 6d. The value of the silver contributed by 603,550 Israelites, at half a shekel, or 1s. 6d. per man, will amount to 45,266£. 5s. The value of the 70 talents, 2,400 shekels of brass, will be 513£. 17s. The gold weighed 4,245 pounds; the silver, 14,603 pounds; and the brass, 10,277 pounds, troy weight. The total value of all the gold, silver, and brass, will consequently amount to 244,127£. 14s. 6d.; and the total weight of these three metals will amount to 29,124 pounds troy, which reduced to avoirdupois weight, is equal to fourteen tons, 226 pounds!--It may, perhaps, seem difficult to imagine how the Israelites should be possessed of so much wealth in the desert; but it should be remembered, that their ancestors were opulent men before they came into Egypt; that they were further enriched by the spoils of the Egyptians and Amalekites; and that it is probable, they traded with the neighbouring nations who bordered on the wilderness. There appear to be three reasons why so much riches should have been employed in the construction of the tabernacle, etc. 1. To impress the people's minds with the glory and dignity of the Divine Majesty, and the importance of his service. 2. To take out of their hands the occasion of covetousness. 3. To prevent pride and vain glory, by leading them to give up to the divine service even the ornaments of their persons.

1Ch 22:14-16; 29:2-7; Hag 2:8


25:2; 29:24; 35:22

the shekel.

30:13,14,24; Le 5:15; 27:3,25; Nu 3:47; 18:16




every man. Heb. a poll.

Nu 1:46

six hundred.

12:37; Nu 1:46

and the sockets.


and filleted them.



the sockets.

26:37; 27:10,17

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