Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
exo 38:1The altar of burnt - offering - On this all their sacrifices were offered. Christ was himself the altar to his own sacrifice of atonement, and so he is to all our sacrifices of acknowledgment. We must have an eye to him in offering them, as God hath in accepting them.
exo 38:8This 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.
exo 38:9And he made the court - The walls of the court, were like the rest, curtains, or hangings. This represented the state of the Old Testament church, it was a garden enclosed; the worshippers were then confined to a little compass. But the inclosure being of curtains only, intimated that that confinement of the church to one particular nation was not to be perpetual. The dispensation itself was a tabernacle - dispensation, moveable and mutable, and in due time to be taken down and folded up, when the place of the tent should be enlarged, and its cords lengthened, to make room for the Gentile world.
exo 38:21By the hand of Ithamar - Here we have a breviate of the account which by Moses's appointment the Levites took and kept of the gold, silver, and brass, that was brought in for the tabernacle's use, and how it was employed. Ithamar the son of Aaron was appointed to draw up this account. All the gold amounted to twenty nine talents, and seven hundred and thirty shekels over; Which some compute to be about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds worth of gold, according to the present value of it. The silver amounted to about thirty - four thousand pounds of our money. The raising of the gold by voluntary contribution, and of the silver by way of tribute, shews that either way may be taken for the defraying of public expences, provided that nothing be done with partiality.