Exodus 27

1 The structural component of this altar was wood instead of stone. It seems unlikely that the bronze overlay would protect the wood, so it is believed that this altar covered a mound of dirt and that the sacrifices were actually burned on earth, not in direct contact with the exterior cover (Wycliffe).
2 The horns of the altar could provide temporary sanctuary for the innocent man who feared punishment (Exo 21:13, 14).
3 While the gold items inside the tabernacle reflect God's holiness and purity, the bronze items outside connote man's impurity and sin.
4 Wycliffe comments that the priests probably stood on the grate while performing altar duties.
6 The altar was to be portable, as the other temple objects were. Even though it was God's plan to lead the Israelites directly to the Promised Land, He knew ahead of time that He would banish the current generation to the wilderness for 40 years. Even after the Israelites successfully overtook the Promised Land it would be many years before anyone built a permanent temple. Until that time it was necessary that the tabernacle and its components be portable.
9 To further symbolize man's separation from God, a court around the tabernacle was marked off with more curtains. Thus, to approach God's presence one needed to enter the outer court, pass through the goat hair tent that covered the tabernacle, and then pass through the veil that divided the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. But there was more that just the physical passage. Many rules were established to determine who could enter what area and at what time.
20 The lamps on the lamp stand burned oil, and God expected the Israelites to bring the best oil for this purpose. The lamps were never to go out.
21 Only the household of the High Priest (i.e., the clan of Aaron) was allowed inside the Holy Place.