Concerning the court of the tabernacle, ver. 9 - 19.
Concerning the oil for the lamp, ver. 20 - 21.
1: As God intended in the tabernacle to manifest his presence among
his people, so there they were to pay their devotions to him; not in the
tabernacle itself, into that only the priests entered as God's domestic
servants, but in the court before the tabernacle, where, as common subjects
they attended. There an altar was ordered so be set up, to which they
must bring their sacrifices; and this altar was to sanctify their gifts;
from hence they were to present their services to God, as from the
mercy - seat he gave his oracles to them; and thus a communion was settled
between God and Israel.
2: The horns of it, were for ornament and for use; the sacrifices
were bound with cords to the horns of the altar, and to them malefactors
fled for refuge.
4: The grate was set into the hollow of the altar, about the middle of
it, in which the fire was kept, and the sacrifice burnt; it was made of
net - work like a sieve, and hung hollow, that the fire might burn the better,
and that the ashes might fall through. Now, this brazen altar was a type of
Christ dying to make atonement for our sins. Christ sanctified himself for
his church as their altar, (Joh 17:19), and by his mediation sanctifies
the daily services of his people. To the horns of this altar poor sinners
fly for refuge, and are safe in virtue of the sacrifice there offered.
9: Before the tabernacle there was to be a court, enclosed with
hangings of fine linen. This court, according to the common computation,
was 50 yards long, and 25 broad. Pillars were set up at convenient
distances, in sockets of brass, the pillars filleted with silver, and silver
tenterhooks in them, on which the linen hangings were fastened: the hanging
which served for the gate was finer than the rest. This court was a
type of the church, enclosed, and distinguished from the rest of the world;
the inclosure supported by pillars, noting the stability of the church
hung with the clean linen, which is said to be the righteousness of
saints, (Re 19:8). Yet this court would contain but a few
worshippers; thanks be to God, now the inclosure is taken down; and there
is room for all that in every place call on the name of Christ.
20: We read of the candlestick in the 25th chapter; here is order given
for the keeping of the lamps constantly burning in it. The pure oil
signified the gifts and graces of the Spirit, which are communicated to all
believers from Christ the good olive, of whose fulness we receive,(Zec 4:11,12).
The priests were to light the lamps, and to tend them; to cause
the lamp to burn always, night and day. Thus it is the work of
ministers to preach and expound the scriptures, which are as a lamp to
enlighten the church. This is to be a statute for ever, that the
lamps of the word be lighted as duly as the incense of prayer and praise