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Exodus 27:3-7

Context
27:3 You are to make its pots for the ashes, 1  its shovels, its tossing bowls, 2  its meat hooks, and its fire pans – you are to make all 3  its utensils of bronze. 27:4 You are to make a grating 4  for it, a network of bronze, and you are to make on the network four bronze rings on its four corners. 27:5 You are to put it under the ledge of the altar below, so that the network will come 5  halfway up the altar. 6  27:6 You are to make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and you are to overlay them with bronze. 27:7 The poles are to be put 7  into the rings so that the poles will be on two sides of the altar when carrying it. 8 

Exodus 29:11-14

Context
29:11 You are to kill the bull before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting 29:12 and take some of the blood of the bull and put it on the horns of the altar 9  with your finger; all the rest of 10  the blood you are to pour out at the base of the altar. 29:13 You are to take all the fat that covers the entrails, and the lobe 11  that is above the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and burn them 12  on the altar. 29:14 But the meat of the bull, its skin, and its dung you are to burn up 13  outside the camp. 14  It is the purification offering. 15 

1 sn The word is literally “its fat,” but sometimes it describes “fatty ashes” (TEV “the greasy ashes”). The fat would run down and mix with the ashes, and this had to be collected and removed.

2 sn This was the larger bowl used in tossing the blood at the side of the altar.

3 tn The text has “to all its vessels.” This is the lamed (ל) of inclusion according to Gesenius, meaning “all its utensils” (GKC 458 §143.e).

4 tn The noun מִכְבָּר (mikhbar) means “a grating”; it is related to the word that means a “sieve.” This formed a vertical support for the ledge, resting on the ground and supporting its outer edge (S. R. Driver, Exodus, 292).

5 tn The verb is the verb “to be,” here the perfect tense with vav (ו) consecutive. It is “and it will be” or “that it may be,” or here “that it may come” halfway up.

6 tn Heb “to the half of the altar.”

7 tn The verb is a Hophal perfect with vav consecutive: וְהוּבָא (vÿhuva’, “and it will be brought”). The particle אֶת (’et) here introduces the subject of the passive verb (see a similar use in 21:28, “and its flesh will not be eaten”).

8 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with bet (ב) preposition: “in carrying it.” Here the meaning must be that the poles are not left in the rings, but only put into the rings when they carried it.

9 sn This act seems to have signified the efficacious nature of the blood, since the horns represented power. This is part of the ritual of the sin offering for laity, because before the priests become priests they are treated as laity. The offering is better described as a purification offering rather than a sin offering, because it was offered, according to Leviticus, for both sins and impurities. Moreover, it was offered primarily to purify the sanctuary so that the once-defiled or sinful person could enter (see J. Milgrom, Leviticus [AB]).

10 tn The phrase “rest of” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

11 tn S. R. Driver suggests that this is the appendix or an appendix, both here and in v. 22 (Exodus, 320). “The surplus, the appendage of liver, found with cow, sheep, or goat, but not with humans: Lobus caudatus” (HALOT 453 s.v. יֹתֶרֶת).

12 tn Heb “turn [them] into sweet smoke” since the word is used for burning incense.

sn The giving of the visceral organs and the fat has received various explanations. The fat represented the best, and the best was to go to God. If the animal is a substitute, then the visceral organs represent the will of the worshiper in an act of surrender to God.

13 tn Heb “burn with fire.”

14 sn This is to be done because there is no priesthood yet. Once they are installed, then the sin/purification offering is to be eaten by the officiating priests as a sign that the offering was received. But priests could not consume their own sin offering.

15 sn There were two kinds of “purification offering,” those made with confession for sin and those made without. The title needs to cover both of them, and if it is called in the traditional way “the sin offering,” that will convey that when people offered it for skin diseases, menstruation, or having babies, they had sinned. That was not the case. Moreover, it is usual to translate the names of the sacrifices by what they do more than what they cover – so peace offering, reparation offering, and purification offering.



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