Exodus 38

Making the altar for entirely burned offerings

1 He made the altar for entirely burned offerings out of acacia wood. The altar was square, seven and a half feet long and seven and a half feet wide. It was four and a half feet high.
2 He made horns for it, one horn on each of its four corners. Its horns were attached to the altar, and he covered it with copper.
3 He made all the altar's equipment: the pails, the shovels, the bowls, the meat forks, and the trays. He made all its equipment out of copper.
4 He made a grate for the altar of copper mesh underneath its bottom edge and extending halfway up to the middle of the altar.
5 He made four rings for each of the four corners of the copper grate to house the poles.
6 He made the poles out of acacia wood, and he covered them with copper.
7 He put the poles through the rings so that the poles were on the two sides of the altar when it was carried. He made the altar with planks but hollow inside.
8 He made the copper washbasin with its copper stand from the copper mirrors among the ranks of women assigned to the meeting tent's entrance.

Constructing the dwelling’s plaza

9 He also set up the courtyard. The courtyard's south side had drapes of fine twisted linen stretching one hundred fifty feet
10 with twenty posts, twenty copper bases, and silver hooks and bands for the posts.
11 Likewise the north side stretched one hundred fifty feet, with twenty posts, twenty copper bases, and silver hooks and bands for the posts.
12 On the west side the drapes stretched seventy-five feet, with their ten posts, their ten bases, and silver hooks and bands for the posts.
13 The front side facing east was seventy-five feet.
14 There were twenty-two and a half feet of drapes on one side with three posts and three bases for them.
15 Likewise, there were twenty-two and a half feet of drapes on the other side of the plaza's gate with three posts and three bases for them.
16 All the drapes around the courtyard were made of fine twisted linen.
17 The bases for the posts were made of copper, but the hooks for the posts and their bands were made of silver. The tops of the posts were covered with silver, and all the posts surrounding the courtyard had silver bands.
18 The screen for the gate into the courtyard was made with blue, purple, and deep red yarns and fine twisted linen, decorated with needlework. It was thirty feet long and, along the width of it, seven and a half feet high, corresponding to the courtyard's drapes.
19 It had four posts, their four copper bases, their silver hooks, and their tops and bands covered with silver.
20 All the tent pegs for the dwelling and for the courtyard all around were made of copper.

A listing of materials used

21 These are the accounts of the dwelling, the covenant dwelling, that were recorded at Moses' instructions. They are the work of the Levites, under the direction of Ithamar, Aaron the priest's son.
22 Bezalel, Uri's son and Hur's grandson from the tribe of Judah, made everything that the LORD had commanded Moses to make.
23 Working with Bezalel was Oholiab, Ahisamach's son from the tribe of Dan, who was a gem cutter, a designer, and a needleworker in blue, purple, and deep red yarns and in fine linen.
24 The total amount of the gold that was used for construction of the whole sanctuary, gold from the uplifted offerings, was twenty-nine kikkars and seven hundred thirty shekels in weight, measured by the sanctuary shekel.
25 The silver from the community census totaled one hundred kikkars and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels in weight, measured by the sanctuary shekel.
26 They gave a beqa per person (that is, half a shekel, measured by the sanctuary shekel) for everyone who was counted in the census, 20 years old and above, 603,550 men.
27 One hundred kikkars of silver were used to cast the bases for the sanctuary and the bases for the veil, one hundred bases from one hundred kikkars of silver, one kikkar for every base.
28 He used one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels of silver to make the hooks for the posts, cover their tops, and make bands for them.
29 The amount of copper from the uplifted offering was seventy kikkars and two thousand four hundred shekels in weight.
30 He used it to make the bases for the meeting tent's entrance, the copper altar, its copper grate, and all the altar's equipment,
31 the bases all around the courtyard, and the bases for the courtyard's gate, all the dwelling's tent pegs, and all the tent pegs used around the courtyard.

Exodus 38 Commentary

Chapter 38

The brazen altar and laver. (1-8) The court. (9-20) The offerings of the people. (21-31)

Verses 1-8 In all ages of the church there have been some persons more devoted to God, more constant in their attendance upon his ordinances, and more willing to part even with lawful things, for his sake, than others. Some women, devoted to God and zealous for the tabernacle worship, expressed zeal by parting with their mirrors, which were polished plates of brass. Before the invention of looking-glasses, these served the same purposes.

Verses 9-20 The walls of the court being of curtains only, intimated that the state of the Jewish church itself was movable and changeable; and in due time to be taken down and folded up, when the place of the tent should be enlarged, and its cords lengthened, to make room for the Gentile world.

Verses 21-31 The foundation of massy pieces of silver showed the solidity and purity of the truth upon which the church is founded. Let us regard the Lord Jesus Christ while reading of the furniture of the tabernacle. While looking at the altar of burnt-offering, let us see Jesus. In him, his righteousness, and salvation, is a full and sufficient offering for sin. In the laver of regeneration, by his Holy Spirit, let our souls be washed, and they shall be clean; and as the people offered willingly, so may our souls be made willing. Let us be ready to part with any thing, and count all but loss to win Christ.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Heb lacks shekels of silver.

Chapter Summary


This chapter is a continuation of the account of the making of the things belonging to the tabernacle, particularly the altar of burnt offering, Ex 38:1-7 the laver of brass, and the things it was made of, Ex 38:8 the court and its hangings, pillars, sockets, hooks and pins, Ex 38:9-20 then follows an account of the quantities of gold, silver, and brass, expended in the making of the several things appertaining to the sanctuary, Ex 38:21-31.

Bezaleel made it, or it was made by his direction, he having the care and oversight of it, wherefore the making of it is ascribed to him, 2Ch 1:5 the account of this, its horns, vessels, rings, and staves, is carried on to Ex 38:2-7 of which \\see Gill on "Ex 27:1"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:2"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:3"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:4"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:5"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:6"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:7"\\ \\see Gill on "Ex 27:8"\\. 10593-941108-1338-Ex38.2

Exodus 38 Commentaries