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The bronze altar

The bronze altar was the largest item in the tabernacle courtyard, measuring more than seven feet square. Bronze was more resistant than other metals to the heat required for burnt offerings. The altar provided a contrast to the items inside the tabernacle tent, which were overlaid with gold.

The table for the bread of the Presence

The table for the bread of the Presence held the 12 loaves of sacred bread which were baked the day before the Sabbath. On the Sabbath, the priests would eat the bread from the week before and replace it with the newly baked bread. This bread symbolized Israel’s dependence on God.

What was the purpose of the Mosaic covenant?

What was the purpose of the Mosaic covenant? Israel was already God’s chosen people because of the promises God made to Abraham. The covenant with Moses established the nation as a holy kingdom of priests, dedicated to serving God and teaching the other nations of the world about him (19:5–6). Israel was a theocracy, a […]


Restitution. The Mosaic law decreed that those who caused others to lose property, through either theft or carelessness, had to make full restitution for the loss. By contrast, many other societies in both ancient and modern times have decreed prison time and even death for crimes against property.

How did people end up as slaves?

How did people end up as slaves? The word translated “slave” can refer to several types of persons. Debt was the most common reason that people became slaves. The security provided by a good employer led some slaves to choose to remain in that status permanently. In ancient times, people could generally not be bought […]

On eagles’ wings

On eagles’ wings. The kind of eagle that the author of Exodus probably had in mind had a wingspan of 8 to 10 feet (2–3 m), making it a fitting symbol of the Lord’s ability to rescue his people from their life of slavery in Egypt.

Who were the Amalekites?

Who were the Amalekites? The Amalekites were nomads living in the northern Sinai peninsula. They were the first to attack the Israelites after the exodus. They remained a threat to Israel for hundreds of years.


Chariots (14:23) were two-wheeled vehicles pulled by horses. They were made of wood and leather. Mainly intended for battle, chariots often had two riders: a driver and a warrior. Chariots were also used for hunting and for transportation. They were symbols of wealth and power. Egyptian pharaohs were sometimes buried with a chariot.


The word redeem (13:13) means to free someone or something from harm by paying a price. Jesus is the supreme example of redemption in the Bible. He paid the ultimate price—his very life—to bring freedom from sin and eternal life to all who would put their trust in him, irrespective of background.