And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold
Hence this altar is sometimes called the golden altar, ( Numbers 4:11 ) ( Revelation 8:3 ) this may figure the deity of Christ, whose head is as the most fine gold, and is in the divine nature, in the form of God, and is the brightness of his glory, and possessed of the same perfections; or rather the glorification of his human nature in heaven, where he is highly exalted, and the preciousness of his intercession, which is always powerful and prevalent, and the duration of it:
the top thereof, and the sides thereof, round about, and the horns
all and each of them were covered with gold; this altar had a top, when the altar of burnt offering had none, but its hollow place was filled up with earth at every encampment; so Jarchi observes: this was not a grate, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, for here were neither blood nor ashes to be let through; but it was a flat covering like the roof of a house, as the word signifies, on which was set a golden dish, with live coals and incense burning on them; and which, when burnt, was carried away: and the sides are the four sides of the frame, it being a square, or the two sides and two ends of it; and the horns, the four horns at each corner, all were covered with plates of gold; so that this altar was a richer and more excellent one than that of burnt offering; and may signify the superior excellency of Christ's state of exaltation to that of his humiliation: in the latter, which the altar of burnt offering respected, he was made of no reputation, and became obedient to the death of the cross, yea, was made sin, and a curse for his people; but in the former, which the altar of incense respected, he was raised from the dead, and had glory given him; he was raised for the justification of his people, and was himself justified in the Spirit, ascended on high, was received into glory, sat down at the right hand of God, making continual intercession for his saints:
and thou shall make unto it a crown of gold round about;
which was partly to keep from slipping what was put upon it, but chiefly for ornament; and plainly points at the exaltation of Christ in our nature in heaven, as our interceding high priest, where he is a priest upon his throne; and is crowned with glory and honour.