Of the making of the brazen altar, ver. 1 - 7.
and the laver, ver. 8.
The preparing of the hangings for the inclosing of the court in
which the tabernacle was to stand, ver. 9 - 20.
A summary account of the gold, silver and brass that was
contributed to, and, used in the preparing of the tabernacle,
ver. 21 - 31.
1: The altar of burnt - offering - On this all their sacrifices were
offered. Christ was himself the altar to his own sacrifice of atonement,
and so he is to all our sacrifices of acknowledgment. We must have an eye
to him in offering them, as God hath in accepting them.
8: This laver signified the provision that is made in the gospel
for cleansing our souls from the pollution of sin by the merit of Christ,
that we may be fit to serve the holy God in holy duties. This is here said
to be made of the looking - glasses of the women that assembled at the
door of the tabernacle. It should seem these women were eminent for
devotion, attending more constantly at the place of public worship than
others, and notice is here taken of it to their honour. These
looking - glasses were of the finest brass, burnished for that purpose.
In the laver, either they were artfully joined together, or else molten
down and cast anew; but it is probable the laver was so brightly burnished
that the sides of it still served for looking - glasses, that the priests when
they came to wash might there see their faces, and so discover the spots to
wash them clean.
9: And he made the court - The walls of the court, were like the
rest, curtains, or hangings. This represented the state of the Old
Testament church, it was a garden enclosed; the worshippers were then
confined to a little compass. But the inclosure being of curtains only,
intimated that that confinement of the church to one particular nation was
not to be perpetual. The dispensation itself was a tabernacle - dispensation,
moveable and mutable, 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.
21: By the hand of Ithamar - Here we have a breviate of the account
which by Moses's appointment the Levites took and kept of the gold,
silver, and brass, that was brought in for the tabernacle's use, and how it
was employed. Ithamar the son of Aaron was appointed to draw up
this account. All the gold amounted to twenty nine talents, and seven
hundred and thirty shekels over; Which some compute to be about one hundred
and fifty thousand pounds worth of gold, according to the present value of
it. The silver amounted to about thirty - four thousand pounds of our money.
The raising of the gold by voluntary contribution, and of the silver by way
of tribute, shews that either way may be taken for the defraying of public
expences, provided that nothing be done with partiality.