Exodus 27

Listen to Exodus 27

The Bronze Altar

1 "You shall make the 1altar of acacia wood, five cubits[a] long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits.
2 And you shall make 2horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and 3you shall overlay it with bronze.
3 You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and 4forks and fire pans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze.
4 You shall also make for it a grating, a network of bronze, and on the net you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners.
5 And you shall set it under the ledge of the altar so that the net extends halfway down the altar.
6 And you shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze.
7 And the poles shall be put through the rings, so that the poles are on the two sides of the altar when it is carried.
8 You shall make it hollow, with boards. 5As it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall it be made.

The Court of the Tabernacle

9 6"You shall make the court of the tabernacle. On the south side the court shall have hangings of fine twined linen a hundred cubits long for one side.
10 Its twenty pillars and their twenty bases shall be of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
11 And likewise for its length on the north side there shall be hangings a hundred cubits long, its pillars twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side there shall be hangings for fifty cubits, with ten pillars and ten bases.
13 The breadth of the court on the front to the east shall be fifty cubits.
14 The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases.
15 On the other side the hangings shall be fifteen cubits, with their three pillars and three bases.
16 For the gate of the court there shall be 7a screen twenty cubits long, of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen, embroidered with needlework. It shall have four pillars and with them four bases.
17 All the pillars around the court shall be filleted with silver. Their hooks shall be of silver, and their bases of bronze.
18 The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height five cubits, with hangings of fine twined linen and bases of bronze.
19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for every use, and all its pegs and all the pegs of the court, shall be of bronze.

Oil for the Lamp

20 8"You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn.
21 9In the tent of meeting, 10outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the LORD. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.

Exodus 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

The altar of burnt offerings. (1-8) The court of the tabernacle. (9-19) The oil for the lamps. (20,21)

Verses 1-8 In the court before the tabernacle, where the people attended, was an altar, to which they must bring their sacrifices, and on which their priests must offer them to God. It was of wood overlaid with brass. A grate of brass was let into the hollow of the altar, about the middle of which the fire was kept, and the sacrifice burnt. It was made of net-work like a sieve, and hung hollow, that the ashes might fall through. This brazen altar was a type of Christ dying to make atonement for our sins. The wood had been consumed by the fire from heaven, if it had not been secured by the brass: nor could the human nature of Christ have borne the wrath of God, if it had not been supported by Divine power.

Verses 9-19 The tabernacle was enclosed in a court, about sixty yards long and thirty broad, formed by curtains hung upon brazen pillars, fixed in brazen sockets. Within this enclosure the priests and Levites offered the sacrifices, and thither the Jewish people were admitted. These distinctions represented the difference between the visible nominal church, and the true spiritual church, which alone has access to God, and communion with him.

Verses 20-21 The pure oil signified the gifts and graces of the Spirit, which all believers receive from Christ, the good Olive, and without which our light cannot shine before men. The priests were to light the lamps, and tend them. It is the work of ministers, by preaching and expounding the Scriptures, which are as a lamp, to enlighten the church, God's tabernacle upon earth. Blessed be God, this light is not now confined to the Jewish tabernacle, but is a light to lighten the gentiles, and for salvation unto the ends of the earth.

Cross References 10

  • 1. For ver. 1-8, see Exodus 38:1-7; [Ezekiel 43:13]
  • 2. Exodus 29:12; Exodus 30:2; [Leviticus 4:7, 30; 1 Kings 1:50; Psalms 118:27]
  • 3. [Numbers 16:38]
  • 4. [1 Samuel 2:13]
  • 5. See Exodus 25:40
  • 6. For ver. 9-19, see Exodus 38:9-20
  • 7. Exodus 26:36
  • 8. Leviticus 24:1-4
  • 9. Exodus 25:22; Exodus 29:42; Exodus 30:36
  • 10. See Exodus 26:31

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the altar of burnt offering, and of all things relative to it, Ex 27:1-8, of the court of the tabernacle, its hangings on each side, with pillars, sockets, and hooks for them, Ex 27:9-19 and it is concluded with an order to the Israelites to bring oil olive for the lamp of the sanctuary, Ex 27:20,21.

Exodus 27 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.