And you shall make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare…
This altar was the foundation of all the Tabernacle worship. The priests could not enter into the holy place except on the ground of sacrifice presented on the brazen altar. Nor could the high priest on the great atonement day enter the holy of holies without having first offered not only the ordinary sacrifice, but an additional sin-offering on the altar in the court. Not only was the Shekinah glory within the vail impossible. of access, but the bread of the presence, the light of the lamps, the privileges of the altar of incense, were all closed until a sacrifice had been offered upon the altar. Thus were the children of Israel taught, and thus,too are we taught, that the first thing for the sinner to do, before he can taste the heavenly bread, before he can see the heavenly light, before he can even pray with acceptance, is to avail himself of the atonement which God has provided. The altar was the people's place of meeting with God. It was free to all. The call was addressed to every child of Israel: "Come into His courts and bring an offering with you." The atonement which God provides is free to all without exception, and without distinction.
(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And thou shalt make an altar of shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits.