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Exodus 27:20-21

Context
Offering the Oil

27:20 “You are to command the Israelites that they bring 1  to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, so that the lamps 2  will burn 3  regularly. 4  27:21 In the tent of meeting 5  outside the curtain that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons are to arrange it from evening 6  to morning before the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come. 7 

1 tn The form is the imperfect tense with the vav showing a sequence with the first verb: “you will command…that they take.” The verb “take, receive” is used here as before for receiving an offering and bringing it to the sanctuary.

2 tn Heb “lamp,” which must be a collective singular here.

3 tn The verb is unusual; it is the Hiphil infinitive construct of עָלָה (’alah), with the sense here of “to set up” to burn, or “to fix on” as in Exod 25:37, or “to kindle” (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 370).

4 sn The word can mean “continually,” but in this context, as well as in the passages on the sacrifices, “regularly” is better, since each morning things were cleaned and restored.

5 tn The LXX has mistakenly rendered this name “the tent of the testimony.”

6 sn The lamps were to be removed in the morning so that the wicks could be trimmed and the oil replenished (30:7) and then lit every evening to burn through the night.

7 sn This is the first of several sections of priestly duties. The point is a simple one here: those who lead the worship use the offerings of the people to ensure that access to God is illumined regularly. The NT will make much of the symbolism of light.



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