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Exodus 38:1-8

The Making of the Altar for the Burnt Offering

38:1 He made the altar for the burnt offering of acacia wood seven feet six inches long and seven feet six inches wide – it was square – and its height was four feet six inches. 38:2 He made its horns on its four corners; its horns were part of it, 1  and he overlaid it with bronze. 38:3 He made all the utensils of the altar – the pots, the shovels, the tossing bowls, the meat hooks, and the fire pans – he made all its utensils of bronze. 38:4 He made a grating for the altar, a network of bronze under its ledge, halfway up from the bottom. 38:5 He cast four rings for the four corners of the bronze grating, to provide places for the poles. 38:6 He made the poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with bronze. 38:7 He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made the altar 2  hollow, out of boards.

38:8 He made the large basin of bronze and its pedestal of bronze from the mirrors of the women who served 3  at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

1 tn Heb “its horns were from it,” meaning from the same piece.

2 tn Heb “it”; the referent (the altar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 sn The word for “serve” is not the ordinary one. It means “to serve in a host,” especially in a war. It appears that women were organized into bands and served at the tent of meeting. S. R. Driver thinks that this meant “no doubt” washing, cleaning, or repairing (Exodus, 391). But there is no hint of that (see 1 Sam 2:22; and see Ps 68:11 [12 Hebrew text]). They seem to have had more to do than what Driver said.

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