Research Sources: Dakes Annotated Bible and Commentary, Matthew Henry Commentary, Barnes Theological Notes, Wycliffe Bible Commentary
I. The Brazen Altar Exodus 27:1-8
(Cross Reference: (Exodus 38:1-7)
Altar total Dimensions: 10 ft. 5in. squared (length and width) and 6ft. 3 in. high
Other names: Altar of burnt offerings because all offerings offered on it were to be offered by fire,
The Altar of God (Psalms 43:4) and the Altar of the Lord (Malachi 2:13)
According to the Dakes Annotated Bible, God gave 20 commands concerning the construction of the Brazen Altar.
Making the Brazen Altar Exodus 27:1-8 (cubit= 25 inches)
A. Made of Acadia(Shittim wood) (vs. 1)
B. Was to be a square altar 5 Cubits long in length and width (125 inches)
C. Was to be 3 cubits in height (75 inches)
Notes: Commentary from Matthew Henry
“This brazen altar was a “type” of Christ dying to make atonement for our sins. The wood would have been consumed by the fire from heaven if it had not been secured overlaid by the brass. In like manner, the “human” Christ (his physical fleshly body) could not have withstood the wrath of God if it (his body) had not been supported by a divine power. Christ “sanctified” himself for his church, as “our” altar (John 17:19), and by his “mediation” (daily intercessions) sanctifies the daily services of his people (us) , who have also a right to eat of this altar (Heb 13:10), for we serve at it as spiritual priests. To the horns of this altar poor sinners fly for refuge when justice pursues them, and they are safe in virtue of the sacrifice there offered”.
D. The Horns (4) (vs. 2)
1. Horns were to be place on each corner projecting upward shaped similar to ox horns. The Brazen Altar and the horns made up a “one- piece” unit all overlaid with bronze.
2. The sacrifices were tied to the horns (Psalms 118:27) and people guilty of sin would grab hold to the horns as well. When the malefactor grab the horns, it symbolized that individual seeking protection from the God of Israel (Exodus 21:14; 1 Kings 1:50)
Make a grate of network of brass and upon the net make 4 brazen rings on each corner: placed under the “compass” (a protective shelf projected all around the altar) between the top and the base of the altar (underneath the framework in the middle). According to Leviticus 9:22, the priest walked on the shelf to carry out their work at the brazen altar. (Vs. 4-5)
F. 2 (bearing ) Staves: made of (Shittim) wood overlaid with brass places into the 4 rings (one on each side) to bear the firebox (vs. 6-7)
Other items to be used at the Brazen Altar
Flesh hooks: made of brass (used to maneuver the sacrifice on the altar) and Fire pans or snuff dishes or censers: made of brass (used to keep a perpetual fire going while the altar was being cleaned) vs. 3
Note: “Perpetual” fire was kept on it so if at any time anyone sinned, he had immediate access to God (Leviticus 6:13). The complete Brazen Altar and accessories must be made according to the model shown to Moses on the Mountain of God. (vs. 8)
Special note: Concerning the Priests: (From Dakes Commentary)
1. The priests were required to wear certain clothes while ministering around the altar
2. They were supposed to be sober (Leviticus 10:1-10)
3. They were required to obey (to the letter) all that the person offering the sacrifice was commanded, or bear their sin (Exodus 30:18-21).
4. All who touched the altar were considered holy (Exodus 29:37). It was sanctified and anointed before use (Exodus 29:36-44; 30:26-28; 40:10; Numbers 7).
II. The Outer Court Exodus 27:9-15 Cross reference: Exodus 38:9-17
Dimensions: The court of the tabernacle was 104 ft. 2 in. x 208 ft. 4 in. It had 60 brass pillars and 60 brass bases. It had 120 fillets or (connecting rods); one rod on each side of each pillar, to hold up the pillar. The brass pillars had silver chapiters (Exodus 38:17). The gate space was 41 ft. 8 in.; and the height of the hangings 5 ft. 5 in. (Exodus 27:18; 38:18). The stakes which held the silver rods on each side of the pillars were brass (Exodus 38:20).
A. Both the North and South sides of the outer court (left and right side) make hangings of fine linen (twined) (vs. 9- 11) 100 cubits long (208 ft. 4 in.) on each side:
20 brass pillars and 20 brass sockets (stakes).
B. The hooks and fillets (connecting rods) were to be made of silver to go between the brass pillars and stakes in the ground to aid in holding up both the post and curtains
C. Breath of the court: both on the west and east sides hangings (same material) fine linen (twined)
Dimension of the width: 50 cubits (104 ft. 2 in.) on each side:
Hangings on each of the gates: 15 cubits (31 ft. 3 in.) 3 brass pillars and 3 sockets (stakes)
III. Outer court Gate Exodus 27:16-17 Cross reference: Exodus 38:18
The gate is 41ft. 8 in. wide (according to Dakes Annotated reference Bible)
A. Hung on the gate of the court shall be a curtain 20 cubits (41 ft. 8 in.) twined linen wrought with needlework
(Embroidered with blue, purple and scarlet just like the curtain of the tabernacle)
B. 4 brass pillars for the gates
C. 4 brass socket (bases) for the foundations of the brass pillars just like the other 56 brass pillars of the outer court (vs. 17)
D. 120 silver fillets (rods) 2 to a pillar, 60 pillars in all to hold it up
20 pillars for the north and south side, 10 pillars for the east and west sides4 pillars for the inner veil, 5 pillars for the outer veil- 69 pillars in all.
Special note: The 9 pillars (4 inner veils, 5 outer veils) were longer than the other 60. Many scholars believe that this was so the top of the Tabernacle could be raised (if need be) in the middle to resemble a tent or house roof with gable ends
E. Hooks are to be made of silver, sockets (bases) are to be made of brass
IV. Recap of the dimensions of the Outer Court Exodus 27:18-19
A. God said: the dimensions of the court (according to the Dakes Annotated Bible) are as follows:
Height: 10 feet 5 inches
Length: 208 feet 4 inches
Width: 104 feet 2 inches (vs. 18)
B. All of the vessels of the Tabernacle (of The Outer Court), the Brazen Altar and its service as well as the pins were to be of brass. (vs. 19)
C. These brass pins were driven in the ground like tent stakes (the silver rods were held by them)
(This was because brass rods (being a stronger metal) could withstand the tremendous pressure of being driven in the ground much better than either gold or silver).
V. Oil of Eternal light Exodus 27:20-21 Cross reference: Leviticus 24:1
A. God commanded that the children of Israel bring Olive Oil (beaten- cold pressed not heated) for the Oil lamps to cause them to burn always. (vs. 20)
B. Place the Lamps in the tabernacle of the congregation outside the veil separating the holy place from the Most Holy Place (the Ark of the Covenant)
C. The Priest shall create a statue that states that the Lamps must always burn every evening to morning. (vs. 21)
Lamps were probably serviced both day and night