Exodus 27

The Altar of Burnt Offering

1 “Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits[a] high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.[b]
2 Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze.
3 Make all its utensils of bronze—its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans.
4 Make a grating for it, a bronze network, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the network.
5 Put it under the ledge of the altar so that it is halfway up the altar.
6 Make poles of acacia wood for the altar and overlay them with bronze.
7 The poles are to be inserted into the rings so they will be on two sides of the altar when it is carried.
8 Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.

The Courtyard

9 “Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits[c] long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen,
10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
11 The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.
12 “The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits[d] wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases.
13 On the east end, toward the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide.
14 Curtains fifteen cubits[e] long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases,
15 and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.
16 “For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits[f] long, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen—the work of an embroiderer—with four posts and four bases.
17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands and hooks, and bronze bases.
18 The courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide,[g] with curtains of finely twisted linen five cubits[h] high, and with bronze bases.
19 All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze.

Oil for the Lampstand

20 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning.
21 In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the LORD from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.

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 15

  • 1. S Exodus 20:24; S Exodus 40:6; S 1 Kings 8:64; Ezekiel 43:13
  • 2. Exodus 29:12; Exodus 30:2; Exodus 37:25; Leviticus 4:7; 1 Kings 1:50; 1 Kings 2:28; Psalms 118:27; Jeremiah 17:1; Ezekiel 43:15; Amos 3:14; Zechariah 9:15
  • 3. Numbers 7:13; 1 Kings 7:40,45; 2 Kings 12:13
  • 4. Numbers 4:14; 1 Chronicles 28:17; Jeremiah 52:18
  • 5. S Exodus 25:13
  • 6. Exodus 25:14,28
  • 7. S Exodus 25:9; Exodus 25:9,40
  • 8. Exodus 35:17; Exodus 40:8,33; Leviticus 6:16,26; Ezekiel 40:14; Ezekiel 42:1
  • 9. Exodus 40:33
  • 10. Exodus 36:37
  • 11. S Exodus 25:6
  • 12. Exodus 28:43; Exodus 29:42; Exodus 30:36; Exodus 33:7; Leviticus 1:1; Leviticus 6:26; Leviticus 8:3,31; Numbers 1:1; Numbers 31:54; Joshua 18:1; 1 Kings 1:39
  • 13. S Exodus 16:34; Exodus 26:31,33
  • 14. S Exodus 25:37; Exodus 30:8; 1 Samuel 3:3; 2 Chronicles 13:11
  • 15. Exodus 29:9; Exodus 30:21; Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 16:34; Leviticus 17:7; Numbers 18:23; Numbers 19:21; 1 Samuel 30:25

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. That is, about 4 1/2 feet or about 1.4 meters
  • [b]. That is, about 7 1/2 feet or about 2.3 meters long and wide
  • [c]. That is, about 150 feet or about 45 meters; also in verse 11
  • [d]. That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters; also in verse 13
  • [e]. That is, about 23 feet or about 6.8 meters; also in verse 15
  • [f]. That is, about 30 feet or about 9 meters
  • [g]. That is, about 150 feet long and 75 feet wide or about 45 meters long and 23 meters wide
  • [h]. That is, about 7 1/2 feet or about 2.3 meters

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

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