Exodus 27

Exodus 27


“You shall makeI the altarII of acaciaIII wood,IV

Notes on verse 1a

I “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
II “altar” = mizbeach. From zabach (to kill, slay, offer; slaughtering an animal to offer as a sacrifice). This is an altar.
III “acacia” = shittah. This is acacia or shittim.
IV “wood” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.

fiveV cubitsVI longVII and five cubits wide;VIII

Notes on verse 1b

V “five” = chamesh. This is five, fifth.
VI “cubits” = ammah. From the same as em (mother). This is a cubit, post, threshold, pivot. It is mother as the basic measure (the length of the forearm). It is also mother as the which bonds an entryway i.e. the base of the door.
VII “long” = orek. From arak (to be long in a literal or figurative sense, to continue, defer, draw out). This is length, long, or forever.
VIII “wide” = rochab. From rachab (to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense; extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly). This is breadth, depth, thickness, expanse. It is width in a literal or figurative sense.

the altar shall be square,IX and itX shall beXI threeXII cubits high.XIII 

Notes on verse 1c

IX “be square” = raba. 12x in OT. From arba (four). This is to be square or four-sided. It may have a sense of sprawled out on all fours.
X “it” = mizbeach. Same as “altar” in v1. See note II above.
XI “be” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
XII “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
XIII “high” = qomah. From qum (to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is tall, high, length, or height.

You shall make hornsXIV for it on its fourXV corners;XVI its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlayXVII it with bronze.XVIII 

Notes on verse 2

XIV “horns” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
XV “four” = arba. Related to “be square” in v1. See note IX above.
XVI “corners” = pinnah. Perhaps from pen (corner, angle, street, wall). This is an angle, corner, cornerstone, tower, bulwark, pinnacle. Figuratively, it can be a chieftain.
XVII “overlay” = tsaphah. This is to spread, to cover with sheets (as with metal).
XVIII “bronze” = nechosheth. Perhaps from nechushah (copper, bronze, brass – something made from this metal like a coin or fetter; something that is considered base in contrast to gold or silver.; from nachush (made of bronze or brass, coppery; figuratively, hard); from nachash (to divine, interpret omens, learn from experience, observe; to hiss). This is bronze, copper, steel, brass or something made from copper. So, it could be a coin or chains. It can also figuratively mean something considered lesser in contrast to gold or silver.

You shall make potsXIX for its ashesXX and shovelsXXI and basinsXXII

Notes on verse 3a

XIX “pots” = siyr. From a root that may mean to boil. So it is a pot or pan. It can also be a thorn because it grows quickly or a hook.
XX “ashes” = dashen. 11x in OT. Perhaps related to deshen (fat or the ashes from fat). This is to be fat or anointed, to be fattened. It can also mean to remove ashes from. Figuratively, this can mean to enrich, satisfy.
XXI “shovels” = ya. 9x in OT – all used of tools in the tabernacle/Temple From yaah (to sweep together, brush aside). This is a shovel.
XXII “basins” = mizraq. From zaraq (to toss, scatter, sprinkle). This is a bowl or basin. It comes from the root in the sense that it was used for sprinkling.

and forksXXIII and firepans;XXIV you shall make allXXV its utensilsXXVI of bronze. 

Notes on verse 3b

XXIII “forks” = mazleg. 7x in OT– all related to the altar/Temple. Root may mean to draw up. This is fleshhook or fork – it is a utensil for sacrifices.
XXIV “firepans” = machtah. From chathah (to take, snatch up, carry fire). This is a censer or firepan that holds burning coals.
XXV “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XXVI “utensils” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.

You shall also make for it a grating,XXVII a networkXXVIII of bronze, and on the netXXIX you shall make four bronze ringsXXX at its four corners.XXXI 

Notes on verse 4

XXVII “grating” = makber. 6x in OT – all in reference to the tabernacle. From the same as kabir (something braided or woven together; a pillow, quilt, or net); from kabar (to be many, multiply, increase amount or quality; properly, this is to braid or weave together). This is something that covers – a cloth woven like netting, a grate.
XXVIII “network” = maaseh + resheth. Maaseh is related to “make” in v1. From asah (see note I above). This is a word – any action whether positive or negative. It can also be a transaction, construction, activity, property, or something that is produced. Resheth is from yarash (inheriting or dispossessing; refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them; by implication, to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish). This is a net used to capture animals.
XXIX “net” = resheth. Same as “network” in v4. See note XXVIII above.
XXX “rings” = tabbaath. From taba (to sink, drown, settle, or fasten). This is a signet ring or seal. It can also be used more broadly for rings in general.
XXXI “corners” = qatsah. From qatseh (end, brink, border, edge, frontier; that which is within set boundaries); from qatsah (to cut off, cut short; figuratively, to destroy). This is an end, corner, outer limit, coast, corner, fringe.

You shall setXXXII it underXXXIII the ledgeXXXIV of the altarXXXV so that the net shall extendXXXVI halfwayXXXVII down the altar. 

Notes on verse 5

XXXII “set” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XXXIII “under” = tachat. This is underneath, below, the bottom, instead of.
XXXIV “ledge” = karkob. 2x in OT – both in reference to the tabernacle. Perhaps from the same as Kabbon (Cabbon; a place name; root may mean to pile up). This is a border or rim.
XXXV {untranslated} = mattah. 19x in OT. From natah (to stretch or spread out, extend, bend). This is downwards, bottom, under, lower.
XXXVI “extend” = hayah. Same as “be” in v1. See note XI above.
XXXVII “halfway” = chatsi. From chatsah (to halve, divide, reach, participate). This is half, middle, midnight, midst.

You shall make polesXXXVIII for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze; the poles shall be putXXXIX through the rings, so that the poles shall be on the twoXL sidesXLI of the altar when it is carried.XLII 

Notes on verses 6-7

XXXVIII “poles” = bad. From badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is apart, alone, separation, body part, tree branch, except. It can also be a city’s chief.
XXXIX “put” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XL “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
XLI “sides” = tsela. Perhaps from tsala (to limp, be lame). This is rib, side, leaf, plank, side of a person or object; quarter of the sky.
XLII “carried” = nasa. This is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept.

You shall make it hollow,XLIII with boards.XLIV They shall be made justXLV as you were shownXLVI on the mountain.XLVII

Notes on verse 8

XLIII “hollow” = nabab. 4x in OT. This is to pierce or hollow out. Figuratively, it can mean to be a fool.
XLIV “boards” = luach. Root likely means glistening, so this would refer to a tablet as being polished in some sense, whether it’s made of stone, wood, or metal.
XLV “just” = ken. Perhaps from kun (properly, in a perpendicular position; literally, to establish, fix, fasten, prepare; figuratively, it is certainty, to be firm, faithfulness, render sure or prosperous). This is to set upright. Generally used figuratively to mean thus, so, afterwards, rightly so.
XLVI “shown” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XLVII “mountain” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.

“You shall make the courtXLVIII of the tabernacle.XLIX On the southL sideLI the court

Notes on verse 9a

XLVIII “court” = chatser. From chatsar (to blow a trumpet, trumpeter, to surround); from chatsotsrah (trumpet). This is an enclosure or court – a yard that is fenced in. It could also be a village or hamlet that is walled in.
XLIX “tabernacle” = mishkan. From shakan (to settle down in the sense of residing somewhere or staying there permanently; to abide or continue). This is a place where one lives – a tabernacle, tent, or other kind of dwelling. It can also be a lair where animals live, the grave, the Temple, or the Tabernacle.
L “south” = negeb + teman. Negeb has a root that may mean to be parched. The Negeb is the south country – sometimes used to refer to Egypt. This is a land that suffers from a lot of drought. Teman is from the same as yamin (right hand or side; that which is stronger or more agile; the south); {perhaps yamam (to go or choose the right, use the right hand; to be physically fit or firm)}. This is south, towards the south, wind from the south.
LI “side” = peah. From paah (to puff, scatter, cut in pieces) OR poh (here, side). This is a side, edge, region, temple, corner.

shall have hangingsLII of fine twistedLIII linenLIV one hundredLV cubits long for thatLVI side;LVII 

Notes on verse 9b

LII “hangings” = qela. From qala (to sling, carve). This is something that hangs like a door screen, a door, a leaf or a sling.
LIII “fine twisted” = shazar. All in Exodus. This is to twist or twine.
LIV “linen” = shesh. This refers to byssus flax, a bleached fabric – white linen. It can also figuratively refer to marble.
LV “hundred” = meah. This is hundred or some number times one hundred (i.e. hundredfold or the base of two hundred, three hundred, etc.).
LVI “that” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LVII “side” = peah. Same as “side” in v9. See note LI above.

10 its twentyLVIII pillarsLIX and their twenty basesLX shall be of bronze, but the hooksLXI of the pillars and their bandsLXII shall be of silver.LXIII 

Notes on verse 10

LVIII “twenty” = esrim. From the same as eser (ten, tenth). This is twenty or twentieth.
LIX “pillars” = ammud. From amad (to stand up in a literal or figurative sense; to establish, continue, endure, take a stand, act, be a servant, stand still, remain, stand against an enemy). This is a pillar, stand, or platform.
LX “bases” = eden. From the same as adon (lord, master, owner); root means to rule or be sovereign. This is a base, pedestal, or foundation.
LXI “hooks” = vav. 13x in OT. This is a hook, pin, or peg. It is also the name of a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
LXII “bands” = chashuq. 8x in OT – all in reference to the Tabernacle. From chashaq (to cling, have a desire, love, join, deliver). This is a ring or band.
LXIII “silver” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.

11 LikewiseLXIV for its lengthLXV on the northLXVI sideLXVII there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, their pillars twenty and their bases twenty, of bronze, but the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver. 

Notes on verse 11

LXIV “likewise” = ken. Same as “just” in v8. See note XLV above.
LXV “length” = orek. Same as “long” in v1. See note VII above.
LXVI “north” = tsaphon. From tsaphan (to hide, hoard, reserve; to cover over or figuratively to deny; also to lurk). This is properly hidden, dark, or gloomy. It can also be used to refer to the north.
LXVII “side” = peah. Same as “side” in v9. See note LI above.

12 For the widthLXVIII of the court on the westLXIX sideLXX there shall be fiftyLXXI cubits of hangings, with tenLXXII pillars and ten bases. 

Notes on verse 12

LXVIII “width” = rochab. Same as “wide” in v1. See note VIII above.
LXIX “west” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
LXX “side” = peah. Same as “side” in v9. See note LI above.
LXXI “fifty” = chamishshim. Related to “five” in v1. From chamesh (see note V above). This is fifty.
LXXII “ten” = eser. Perhaps from asar (to tithe, render a tenth of). This is ten or -teen. While 7 is symbolically the number of perfection, ten is also symbolically a number of perfection (but to a lesser degree than 7 is).

13 The width of the court on the frontLXXIII to the eastLXXIV shall be fifty cubits. 14 There shall be fifteenLXXV cubits of hangings on one side,LXXVI with three pillars and three bases. 

Notes on verses 13-14

LXXIII “front” = peah. Same as “side” in v9. See note LI above.
LXXIV “east” = qedem + mizrach. Qedem is perhaps from qadam (to come in front or be in front; to meet, anticipate, confront, receive, or rise; sometimes to meet for help). This is front, formerly, before, east, eternal, everlasting, antiquity. Mizrach is from zarach (to rise, shine, or dawn; can also describe symptoms of leprosy). This is the east as the place where the sun rises. It can also refer to the sunrise itself.
LXXV “fifteen” = chamesh + asar. Chamesh is the same as “five” in v1. See note V above. Asar is related to “ten” in v12. From the same as eser (see note LXXII above). This is -teen or -teenth.
LXXVI “side” = katheph. Root may mean to clothe. This is shoulder, side, corner.

15 There shall be fifteen cubits of hangings on the otherLXXVII side,LXXVIII with three pillars and three bases. 16 For the gateLXXIX of the court there shall be a screenLXXX twenty cubits long,

Notes on verses 15-16a

LXXVII “other” = sheni. Related to “two” in v7. See note XL above.
LXXVIII “side” = katheph. Same as “side” in v14. See note LXXVI above.
LXXIX “gate” = shaar. May be related to sha’ar (to calculate or reckon; may come from a root that means to open up or split). This is a gate, door, or other opening like a port.
LXXX “screen” = masak. From sakak (to cover or overshadow; to hedge or fence in; figuratively, to defend, protect, or join together). This is a covering, screen, or curtain. It could also refer to some kind of defense.

of blue,LXXXI purple,LXXXII and crimson yarnsLXXXIII and of fine twisted linen, embroidered with needlework;LXXXIV it shall have four pillars and with them four bases. 

Notes on verse 16b

LXXXI “blue” = tekeleth. Perhaps from shechelet (something that is in incense; maybe onycha, a mussel); from the same as shachal (lion). This is violet or blue. It refers to a mussel that contains a dye or things dyed using that dye.
LXXXII “purple” = argaman. This is purple or red-purple. It can refer to the color or something dyed in that color.
LXXXIII “crimson yarns” = tola + shani. Tola is a worm or maggot, perhaps a crimson-grub of species coccus ilicis. It is used in the manufacture of red dye. So, this word could be crimson, purple, or something dyed in those colors. It could also refer to an oppressor. Shani is crimson or scarlet. It can also refer to the insect that the red dye is made from (coccus ilicis), the color of that dye, or things dyed with it (like thread).
LXXXIV “embroidered with needlework” = maaseh + raqam. Maaseh is the same as “network” in v4. See note XXVIII above. Raqam is 9x in OT– 8x in Exodus of materials for the tabernacle and priesthood & 1x in Psalm 139:15 of being “intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” This is to embroider, weave, vary color, fabricate.

17 All the pillars aroundLXXXV the court shall be bandedLXXXVI with silver; their hooks shall be of silver and their bases of bronze. 18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, the width fifty, and the heightLXXXVII five cubits, with hangings of fine twisted linen and bases of bronze. 19 All the utensils of the tabernacle for everyLXXXVIII use,LXXXIX and all its pegsXC and all the pegs of the court, shall be of bronze.

Notes on verses 17-19

LXXXV “around” = sabib. From sabab (turning around, going around; to surround, cast, walk, fetch; to revolve or border in a literal or figurative sense). This is a circuit or a circle. It could refer to an environment, one’s neighbors, or a circular path round about.
LXXXVI “banded” = chashaq. Related to “bands” in v10. 11x in OT. See note LXII above.
LXXXVII “height” = qomah. Same as “high” in v1. See note XIII above.
LXXXVIII “every” = kol. Same as “all” in v3. See note XXV above.
LXXXIX “use” = abodah. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is labor, service, bondage, job, servitude, worker. It can refer to any kind of work.
XC “pegs” = yathed. This may come from a word that means to pin securely. This is a peg, a tent peg, a pin.

20 “You shall further commandXCI the IsraelitesXCII to bringXCIII you pureXCIV oilXCV

Notes on verse 20a

XCI “command” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
XCII “Israelites” = ben + Yisrael. Literally, “children of Israel.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Yisrael is from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XCIII “bring” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XCIV “pure” = zak. 11x in OT. From zakak (to be bright, cleanse, transparent; to be morally pure). This is pure or clean.
XCV “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.

of beatenXCVI olivesXCVII for the light,XCVIII so that a lampXCIX may be set up to burnC continually.CI 

Notes on verse 20b

XCVI “beaten” = kathith. 5x in OT. From kathath (to crush into pieces, to beat with a hammer, smash, bruise). This is beaten or fine.
XCVII “olives” = zayith. This is olive tree, grove, or other parts of the olive tree like the branch or berry.
XCVIII “light” = maor. 19x in OT. From or (to be or become light, shine). This is light as an element, something that gives off light, the quality of brightness, or cheerfulness.
XCIX “lamp” = ner. This is to glisten. It is used for a lamp, candle, or light in a literal or figurative sense.
C “burn” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
CI “continually” = tamid. May come from a word that means to stretch. This word means an indefinite period of time. So, it could be regular or daily. It could also be constantly, continually, always, or perpetually.

21 In the tentCII of meeting,CIII outsideCIV the curtainCV that is before the covenant,CVI

Notes on verse 21a

CII “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
CIII “meeting” = moed. From yaad (to appoint, assemble or gather selves, agree). This is a meeting, assembly, fixed time. It can be used for a festival or feast. It can also refer to a meeting place.
CIV “outside” = chuts. Root may mean to sever. So, this is something that is separated by a wall – the outside, the street, a field, highway, or abroad.
CV “curtain” = paroketh. Perhaps from the same as perek (perhaps from a word meaning fracture or break apart, emphasizing the severity or the break; harshness, severity, cruelty; rigorously). This is something that separates – a screen, curtain, or veil.
CVI “covenant” = eduth. From ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve). This is testimony, ordinance, decree, warning, or witness.

AaronCVII and his sonsCVIII shall tendCIX it from evening to morningCX beforeCXI the Lord.CXII

Notes on verse 21b

CVII “Aaron” = Aharon. Derivation uncertain. May mean “bearer of martyrs” OR be related to Ancient Egyptian ꜥḥꜣ rw (warrior lion) OR elevated, exalted, high mountain. This is Aaron. See https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aaron
CVIII “sons” = ben. Same as “Israelites” in v20. See note XCII above.
CIX “tend” = arak. This is to arrange by setting in a row. It can also mean to set a battle, estimate, put in order, or compare.
CX “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
CXI “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
CXII “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “be” in v1. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note XI above). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

It shall be a perpetualCXIII ordinanceCXIV to be observed throughout their generationsCXV by the Israelites.

Notes on verse 21c

CXIII “perpetual” = olam. This is a long scope of time whether in the past (antiquity, ancient time) or in the future (eternal, everlasting).
CXIV “ordinance” = chuqqah. From choq (statute, boundary, condition, custom, limit, ordinance; something that is prescribed or something that is owed); from chaqaq (to inscribe, carve, or decree; a lawmaker; literally, this is engraving, but it implies enacting a law because laws were carved into stone or metal). This is something prescribed such as a statue, custom, or ordinance.
CXV “generations” = dor. From dur (to move in a circle, which implies living somewhere or remaining there; it can also be the sense of piling or heaping up). This is a revolution of time, which is to say, an age or generation. It can also be a dwelling or one’s posterity.

Image credit: “Timna: Tabernacle, Altar of Incense.” Photo by Mboesch, 2016.

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