Lent with the Book of Exodus (Ch 38)
March 22, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

Exodus 38 (Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent)

He made the altar of burnt offering of acacia wood. It was square. Its length was five cubits, its width was five cubits, and its height was three cubits. He made its horns on its four corners. Its horns were of one piece with it, and he overlaid it with bronze. He made all the vessels of the altar: the pots, the shovels, the basins, the forks, and the fire pans. He made all its vessels of bronze. He made for the altar a grating of a network of bronze, under the ledge around it beneath, reaching halfway up. He cast four rings for the four corners of bronze grating, to be places for the poles. He made the poles of acacia wood, and overlaid them with bronze. He put the poles into the rings on the sides of the altar, with which to carry it. He made it hollow with planks.

He made the basin of bronze, and its base of bronze, out of the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered at the door of the Tent of Meeting.

He made the court: for the south side southward the hangings of the court were of fine twined linen, one hundred cubits; their pillars were twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. For the north side one hundred cubits, their pillars twenty, and their sockets twenty, of bronze; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the west side were hangings of fifty cubits, their pillars ten, and their sockets ten; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. For the east side eastward fifty cubits, the hangings for the one side were fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three; and so for the other side: on this hand and that hand by the gate of the court were hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. All the hangings around the court were of fine twined linen. The sockets for the pillars were of bronze. The hooks of the pillars and their fillets were of silver. Their capitals were overlaid with silver. All the pillars of the court had silver bands. The screen for the gate of the court was the work of the embroiderer, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen. Twenty cubits was the length, and the height along the width was five cubits, like the hangings of the court. Their pillars were four, and their sockets four, of bronze; their hooks of silver, and the overlaying of their capitals, and their fillets, of silver. All the pins of the tabernacle, and around the court, were of bronze.

These are the amounts of materials used for the tabernacle, even the Tabernacle of the Testimony, as they were counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest. Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made all that Yahweh commanded Moses. With him was Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, an engraver, and a skillful workman, and an embroiderer in blue, in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen.

All the gold that was used for the work in all the work of the sanctuary, even the gold of the offering, was twenty-nine talents and seven hundred thirty shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary. The silver of those who were counted of the congregation was one hundred talents and one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels, according to the shekel of the sanctuary: a beka a head, that is, half a shekel, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, for everyone who passed over to those who were counted, from twenty years old and upward, for six hundred three thousand five hundred fifty men. The one hundred talents of silver were for casting the sockets of the sanctuary and the sockets of the veil: one hundred sockets for the one hundred talents, one talent per socket. From the one thousand seven hundred seventy-five shekels he made hooks for the pillars, overlaid their capitals, and made fillets for them. The bronze of the offering was seventy talents and two thousand four hundred shekels. With this he made the sockets to the door of the Tent of Meeting, the bronze altar, the bronze grating for it, all the vessels of the altar, the sockets around the court, the sockets of the gate of the court, all the pins of the tabernacle, and all the pins around the court.


When Moses distinguished the tabernacle into three parts, and allowed two of them to the priests, as a place accessible and common, he denoted the land and the sea, these being of general access to all; but he set apart the third division for God, because heaven is inaccessible to men. And when he ordered twelve loaves to be set on the table, he denoted the year, as distinguished into so many months. By branching out the candlestick into seventy parts, he secretly intimated the Decani, or seventy divisions of the planets; and as to the seven lamps upon the candlesticks, they referred to the course of the planets, of which that is the number. The veils, too, which were composed of four things, they declared the four elements; for the fine linen was proper to signify the earth, because the flax grows out of the earth; the purple signified the sea, because that color is dyed by the blood of a sea shell-fish; the blue is fit to signify the air; and the scarlet will naturally be an indication of fire. Now the vestment of the high priest being made of linen, signified the earth; the blue denoted the sky, being like lightning in its pomegranates, and in the noise of the bells resembling thunder. And for the ephod, it showed that God had made the universe of four elements; and as for the gold interwoven, I suppose it related to the splendor by which all things are enlightened. He also appointed the breastplate to be placed in the middle of the ephod, to resemble the earth, for that has the very middle place of the world. And the girdle which encompassed the high priest round, signified the ocean, for that goes round about and includes the universe. Each of the sardonyxes declares to us the sun and the moon; those, I mean, that were in the nature of buttons on the high priest's shoulders. And for the twelve stones, whether we understand by them the months, or whether we understand the like number of the signs of that circle which the Greeks call the Zodiac, we shall not be mistaken in their meaning. And for the mitre, which was of a blue color, it seems to me to mean heaven; for how otherwise could the name of God be inscribed upon it? (Josephus)

Musical Selection

Guide me, O my great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
where the healing waters flow.
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong Deliverer, strong Deliverer,
ever be my strength and shield,
ever be my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside.
Death of death, and hell's Destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side.
Songs of praises, songs of praises
I will ever sing to you,
I will ever sing to you.


Pardon, merciful Lord, the offences of your people,
and in your goodness
release us from the bonds of sin
which in our human weakness
we have fashioned for ourselves.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen.