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Exodus 38:8

    Exodus 38:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the mirrors of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And he made the laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, of the mirrors of the ministering women that ministered at the door of the tent of meeting.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And he made the washing-vessel of brass on a brass base, using the polished brass looking-glasses given by the women who did work at the doors of the Tent of meeting.

    Webster's Revision

    And he made the laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, of the mirrors of the ministering women that ministered at the door of the tent of meeting.

    World English Bible

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

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And he made the laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, of the mirrors of the serving women which served at the door of the tent of meeting.

    Definitions for Exodus 38:8

    Laver - Wash basin.
    Tabernacle - A tent, booth or dwelling.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 38:8

    He made the laver - See Clarke's note on Exodus 30:18, etc.

    The looking-glasses - The word מראת maroth, from ראה raah, he saw, signifies reflectors or mirrors of any kind. Here metal, highly polished, must certainly be meant, as glass was not yet in use; and had it even been in use, we are sure that looking - Glasses could not make a Brazen laver. The word therefore should be rendered mirrors, not looking-glasses, which in the above verse is perfectly absurd, because from those maroth the brazen laver was made. The first mirrors known among men were the clear, still, fountain, and unruffled lake; and probably the mineral called mica, which is a very general substance through all parts of the earth. Plates of it have been found of three feet square, and it is so extremely divisible into laminae, that it has been divided into plates so thin as to be only the three hundred thousandth part of an inch. A plate of this forms an excellent mirror when any thing black is attached to the opposite side. A plate of this mineral, nine inches by eight, now lies before me; a piece of black cloth, or any other black substance, at the back, converts it into a good mirror; or it would serve as it is for a square of glass, as every object is clearly perceivable through it. It is used in Russian ships of war, instead of glass, for windows. The first artificial mirrors were apparently made of brass, afterwards of polished steel, and when luxury increased they were made of silver; but they were made at a very early period of mixed metal, particularly of tin and copper, the best of which, as Pliny tells us, were formerly manufactured at Brundusium: Optima apud majores fuerant Brundisina, stanno et aere mixtis - Hist. Nat. lib. xxxiii., cap. 9. But, according to him, the most esteemed were those made of tin; and he says that silver mirrors became so common that even the servant girls used them: Specula (ex stanno) laudatissima Brundisii temperabantur; donec argenteis uti caepere et ancillae; lib. xxxiv., cap. 17. When the Egyptian women went to the temples, they always carried their mirrors with them. The Israelitish women probably did the same, and Dr. Shaw states that the Arabian women carry them constantly hung at their breasts. It is worthy of remark, that at first these women freely gave up their ornaments for this important service, and now give their very mirrors, probably as being of little farther service, seeing they had already given up the principal decorations of their persons. Woman has been invidiously defined by Aristotle, an animal fond of dress, (though this belongs to the whole human race, and not exclusively to woman). Had this been true of the Israelitish women, in the present case we must say they nobly sacrificed their incentives to pride to the service of their God. Woman, go thou and do likewise.

    Of the women - which assembled at the door - What the employment of these women was at the door of the tabernacle, is not easily known. Some think they assembled there for purposes of devotion. Others, that they kept watch there during the night; and this is the most probable opinion, for they appear to have been in the same employment as those who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in the days of Samuel, who were abused by the sons of the high priest Eli, 1 Samuel 2:22. Among the ancients women were generally employed in the office of porters or doorkeepers. Such were employed about the house of the high priest in our Lord's time; for a woman is actually represented as keeping the door of the palace of the high priest, John 18:17 : Then saith the Damsel that Kept The Door unto Peter; see also Matthew 26:69. In 2 Samuel 4:6, both the Septuagint and Vulgate make a woman porter or doorkeeper to Ishbosheth. Aristophanes mentions them in the same office, and calls them Σηκις, Sekis, which seems to signify a common maid-servant. Aristoph, in Vespis, ver. 768: -

    Ὁτι την θυραν ανεῳξεν ἡ Σηκις λαθρα.

    Homer, Odyss., ψ, ver. 225-229, mentions Actoris, Penelope's maid, whose office it was to keep the door of her chamber: -

    Ακτορις - - -

    Ἡ νωΐν ειρυτο θυρας πυκινου θαλαμοιο.

    And Euripides, in Troad., ver. 197, brings in Hecuba, complaining that she who was wont to sit upon a throne is now reduced to the miserable necessity of becoming a doorkeeper or a nurse, in order to get a morsel of bread.

    - - - η ταν

    Παρα προθυροις φυλακαν κατεχουσα,

    Η παιδων θρεπτειρα.

    Sir John Chardin observes, that women are employed to keep the gate of the palace of the Persian kings. Plautus, Curcul., Acts 1, scene 1, mentions an old woman, who was keeper of the gate.

    Anus hic solet cubitare, custos janitrix.

    Many other examples might be produced. It is therefore very likely that the persons mentioned here, and in 1 Samuel 2:22, were the women who guarded the tabernacle; and that they regularly relieved each other, a troop or company regularly keeping watch: and indeed this seems to be implied in the original, צבאו tsabeu, they came by troops; and these troops successively consecrated their mirrors to the service of the tabernacle. See Calmet on John 18:16.

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 38:8

    See the marginal reference. The women who assembled at the entrance of the tent of meeting were most probably devout women who loved the public service of religion. The giving up of their mirrors for the use of the sanctuary was a fit sacrifice for such women to make (compare Exodus 35:22 note).

    Wesley's Notes on Exodus 38:8

    38:8 This laver signified the provision that is made in the gospel for cleansing our souls from the pollution of sin by the merit of Christ, that we may be fit to serve the holy God in holy duties. This is here said to be made of the looking - glasses of the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle. It should seem these women were eminent for devotion, attending more constantly at the place of public worship than others, and notice is here taken of it to their honour. These looking - glasses were of the finest brass, burnished for that purpose. In the laver, either they were artfully joined together, or else molten down and cast anew; but it is probable the laver was so brightly burnished that the sides of it still served for looking - glasses, that the priests when they came to wash might there see their faces, and so discover the spots to wash them clean.