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Exodus 27 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

The altar of burnt offering

27 ‘Build an altar of acacia wood, three cubits[a] high; it is to be square, five cubits long and five cubits wide.[b] Make a horn at each of the four corners, so that the horns and the altar are of one piece, and overlay the altar with bronze. Make all its utensils of bronze – its pots to remove the ashes, and its shovels, sprinkling bowls, meat forks and firepans. Make a grating for it, a bronze network, and make a bronze ring at each of the four corners of the network. Put it under the ledge of the altar so that it is halfway up the altar. Make poles of acacia wood for the altar and overlay them with bronze. The poles are to be inserted into the rings so they will be on two sides of the altar when it is carried. Make the altar hollow, out of boards. It is to be made just as you were shown on the mountain.

The courtyard

‘Make a courtyard for the tabernacle. The south side shall be a hundred cubits[c] long and is to have curtains of finely twisted linen, 10 with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts. 11 The north side shall also be a hundred cubits long and is to have curtains, with twenty posts and twenty bronze bases and with silver hooks and bands on the posts.

12 ‘The west end of the courtyard shall be fifty cubits[d] wide and have curtains, with ten posts and ten bases. 13 On the east end, towards the sunrise, the courtyard shall also be fifty cubits wide. 14 Curtains fifteen cubits[e] long are to be on one side of the entrance, with three posts and three bases, 15 and curtains fifteen cubits long are to be on the other side, with three posts and three bases.

16 ‘For the entrance to the courtyard, provide a curtain twenty cubits[f] long, of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen – the work of an embroiderer – with four posts and four bases. 17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands and hooks, and bronze bases. 18 The courtyard shall be a hundred cubits long and fifty cubits wide,[g] with curtains of finely twisted linen five cubits[h] high, and with bronze bases. 19 All the other articles used in the service of the tabernacle, whatever their function, including all the tent pegs for it and those for the courtyard, are to be of bronze.

Oil for the lampstand

20 ‘Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.


  1. Exodus 27:1 That is, about 1.4 metres
  2. Exodus 27:1 That is, about 2.3 metres long and wide
  3. Exodus 27:9 That is, about 45 metres; also in verse 11
  4. Exodus 27:12 That is, about 23 metres; also in verse 13
  5. Exodus 27:14 That is, about 6.8 metres; also in verse 15
  6. Exodus 27:16 That is, about 9 metres
  7. Exodus 27:18 That is, about 45 metres long and 23 metres wide
  8. Exodus 27:18 That is, about 2.3 metres
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

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Exodus 27 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Altar

27 “You are to make the[a] altar of acacia wood, 7½ feet long,[b] and 7½ feet wide; the altar is to be square,[c] and its height is to be 4½ feet[d] . You are to make its four horns[e] on its four corners; its horns will be part of it,[f] and you are to overlay it with bronze. You are to make its pots for the ashes,[g] its shovels, its tossing bowls,[h] its meat hooks, and its fire pans—you are to make all[i] its utensils of bronze. You are to make a grating[j] for it, a network of bronze, and you are to make on the network four bronze rings on its four corners. You are to put it under the ledge of the altar below, so that the network will come[k] halfway up the altar.[l] You are to make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and you are to overlay them with bronze. The poles are to be put[m] into the rings so that the poles will be on two sides of the altar when carrying it.[n] You are to make the altar hollow, out of boards. Just as it was shown you[o] on the mountain, so they must make it.[p]

The Courtyard

“You are to make the courtyard[q] of the tabernacle. For the south side[r] there are to be hangings[s] for the courtyard of fine twisted linen, 150 feet long for one side,[t] 10 with[u] twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with the hooks of the posts and their bands of silver. 11 Likewise[v] for its length on the north side, there are to be[w] hangings for 150 feet, with twenty posts and their twenty bronze bases, with silver hooks and bands[x] on the posts. 12 The width of the court on the west side is to be 75 feet with hangings, with their ten posts and their ten bases. 13 The width of the court on the east side, toward the sunrise, is to be 75 feet. 14 The hangings on one side[y] of the gate are to be[z] 22½ feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 15 On the second side[aa] there are to be[ab] hangings 22½ feet long, with their three posts and their three bases. 16 For the gate of the courtyard there is to be a curtain of 30 feet, of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twisted linen, the work of an embroiderer, with four posts and their four bases. 17 All the posts around the courtyard are to have silver bands;[ac] their hooks are to be[ad] silver, and their bases bronze. 18 The length of the courtyard is to be 150 feet[ae] and the width 75 feet,[af] and the height of the fine twisted linen hangings[ag] is to be[ah] 7½ feet, with their bronze bases. 19 All[ai] the utensils of the tabernacle used[aj] in all its service, all its tent pegs, and all the tent pegs of the courtyard are to be made of bronze.[ak]

Offering the Oil

20 “You are to command the Israelites that they bring[al] to you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, so that the lamps[am] will burn[an] regularly.[ao] 21 In the tent of meeting[ap] outside the curtain that is before the testimony,[aq] Aaron and his sons are to arrange it from evening[ar] to morning before the Lord. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come.[as]


  1. Exodus 27:1 tn The article on this word identifies this as the altar, meaning the main high altar on which the sacrifices would be made.
  2. Exodus 27:1 tn The dimensions are 5 cubits by 5 cubits by 3 cubits high.
  3. Exodus 27:1 tn Heb “four”; this refers to four sides. S. R. Driver says this is an archaism that means there were four equal sides (Exodus, 291).
  4. Exodus 27:1 tn Heb “and 3 cubits its height.”
  5. Exodus 27:2 sn The horns of the altar were indispensable—they were the most sacred part. Blood was put on them; fugitives could cling to them, and the priests would grab the horns of the little altar when making intercessory prayer. They signified power, as horns on an animal did in the wild (and so the word was used for kings as well). The horns may also represent the sacrificial animals killed on the altar.
  6. Exodus 27:2 sn The text, as before, uses the prepositional phrase “from it” or “part of it” to say that the horns will be part of the altar—of the same piece as the altar. They were not to be made separately and then attached, but made at the end of the boards used to build the altar (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 363).
  7. Exodus 27:3 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.
  8. Exodus 27:3 sn This was the larger bowl used in tossing the blood at the side of the altar.
  9. Exodus 27:3 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).
  10. Exodus 27:4 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).
  11. Exodus 27:5 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.
  12. Exodus 27:5 tn Heb “to the half of the altar.”
  13. Exodus 27:7 tn The verb is a Hophal perfect with vav consecutive: וְהוּבָא (vehuvaʾ, “and it will be brought”). The particle אֶת (ʾet) here introduces the subject of the passive verb (see a similar use in 21:28, “and its flesh will not be eaten”).
  14. Exodus 27:7 tn The construction is the infinitive construct with the preposition ב (bet): “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.
  15. Exodus 27:8 tn The verb is used impersonally; it reads “just as he showed you.” This form then can be made a passive in the translation.
  16. Exodus 27:8 tn Heb “thus they will make.” Here too it could be given a passive translation since the subject is not expressed. But “they” would normally refer to the people who will be making this and so can be retained in the translation.sn Nothing is said about the top of the altar. Some commentators suggest, in view of the previous instruction for making an altar out of earth and stone, that when this one was to be used it would be filled up with dirt clods and the animal burnt on the top of that. If the animal was burnt inside it, the wood would quickly burn. A number of recent scholars think this was simply an imagined plan to make a portable altar after the pattern of Solomon’s—but that is an unsatisfactory suggestion. This construction must simply represent a portable frame for the altar in the courtyard, an improvement over the field altar. The purpose and function of the altar are not in question. Here worshipers would make their sacrifices to God in order to find forgiveness and atonement, and in order to celebrate in worship with him. No one could worship God apart from this; no one could approach God apart from this. So too the truths that this altar communicated form the basis and center of all Christian worship. One could word an applicable lesson this way: Believers must ensure that the foundation and center of their worship is the altar, i.e., the sacrificial atonement.
  17. Exodus 27:9 tn Or “enclosure” (TEV).
  18. Exodus 27:9 tn Heb “south side southward.”
  19. Exodus 27:9 tn Or “curtains.”
  20. Exodus 27:9 sn The entire courtyard of 150 feet by 75 feet was to be enclosed by a curtain wall held up with posts in bases. All these hangings were kept in place by a cord and tent pegs.
  21. Exodus 27:10 tn Heb “and.”
  22. Exodus 27:11 tn Heb “and thus.”
  23. Exodus 27:11 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.
  24. Exodus 27:11 sn These bands have been thought by some to refer to connecting rods joining the tops of the posts. But it is more likely that they are bands or bind rings surrounding the posts at the base of the capitals (see 38:17).
  25. Exodus 27:14 tn The word literally means “shoulder.” The next words, “of the gate,” have been supplied here and in v. 15. The east end would contain the courtyard’s entry with a wall of curtains on each side of the entry (see v. 16).
  26. Exodus 27:14 tn Here “will be” has been supplied.
  27. Exodus 27:15 tn Heb “shoulder.”
  28. Exodus 27:15 tn Here the phrase “there will be” has been supplied.
  29. Exodus 27:17 tn The text uses the passive participle here: they are to “be filleted with silver” or “bound round” with silver.
  30. Exodus 27:17 tn Here the phrase “are to be” has been supplied.
  31. Exodus 27:18 tn Heb “100 cubits.”
  32. Exodus 27:18 tn Heb “fifty.” The text has “and the width 50 [cubits] with 50.” This means that it is 50 cubits wide on the western end and 50 cubits wide on the eastern end.
  33. Exodus 27:18 tn Here “hangings” has been supplied.
  34. Exodus 27:18 tn Here the phrase “is to be” has been supplied.
  35. Exodus 27:19 tn Heb “to all”; for use of the preposition ל (lamed) to show inclusion (“all belonging to”) see GKC 458 §143.e.
  36. Exodus 27:19 tn Here “used” has been supplied.
  37. Exodus 27:19 sn The tabernacle is an important aspect of OT theology. The writer’s pattern so far has been: ark, table, lamp, and then their container (the tabernacle); then the altar and its container (the courtyard). The courtyard is the place of worship where the people could gather—they entered God’s courts. Though the courtyard may not seem of much interest to current readers, it did interest the Israelites. Here the sacrifices were made, the choirs sang, the believers offered their praises, they had their sins forgiven, they came to pray, they appeared on the holy days, and they heard from God. It was sacred because God met them there; they left the “world” (figuratively speaking) and came into the very presence of God.
  38. Exodus 27:20 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.
  39. Exodus 27:20 tn Heb “lamp,” which must be a collective singular here.
  40. Exodus 27:20 tn The verb is unusual; it is the Hiphil infinitive construct of עָלָה (ʿalah), 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).
  41. Exodus 27:20 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.
  42. Exodus 27:21 tn The LXX has mistakenly rendered this name “the tent of the testimony.”
  43. Exodus 27:21 tn Or “covenant,” or “treaty.”
  44. Exodus 27:21 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.
  45. Exodus 27:21 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.
New English Translation (NET)

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