¶ And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood
shalt thou make it.
2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.
3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.
4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal.
5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.
6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.
- Incense Representing prayer. See ps14102,
Incense was used in ancient worship. Early Christians were put to death
for not burning incense to the emperor who claimed divinity.
2 - Foursquare Its top was square. Both it and the altar of burnt offering in the courtyard had projections at the top corners called "horns." Blood from certain sin offerings was placed on them by touching. le0407, le0418. The incense represents prayer and the horns, the power of prayer. ex2702, ge3224. For a cubit figure 17½ in. or 44½ cm.
2 - Of the same That is, In one piece.
3 - Crown An edge that would keep coals from dropping off.
4 - Rings ... two corners Rings near opposite corners were sufficient to carry the small altar.
5 - Staves Poles to pass through the rings for carrying the altar. ex2513, ex2528.
6 - Before the vail Although a curtain separated the area where the incense was from the most holy place where the ark and the special presence of God was, it was considered as before the ark he0903. Incense helps us understand that the aroma of our prayers, by the mediation of Christ, arises as sweetness before God.
And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth
the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it.
.8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
.10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD.
|8 - Lighteth the lamps at even By extinguishing one at a time for trimming, the light would always be burning le2404. We assume that the lamp didn't function while the people were traveling. The rest of the sanctuary would not have been in operation either.|
¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them.
.13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD.
14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD.
The half-shekel coin
13, 14 - Give ... offering ... Twenty A rule for temple tax.
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half
a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement
for your souls.
16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls.
|15 - Rich ... poor For the general support of the tabernacle, the rich should have given more de1514, de1610. But for the atonement offering, all souls are of equal offering. The gift of Christ is, of course, without measure.|
¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
.20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:
.21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.
|19 - Wash See on nu0517|
¶ Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,
24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:
25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.
And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and
the ark of the testimony,
27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,
28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
.29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.
|See the table showing the inauguration of Christ in Leviticus.|
And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they
may minister unto me in the priest's office.
31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.
|32 - Upon Man's flesh ... not Notice that the making of the special incense and its use were holy. Usually we think of objects as holy.|
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and
onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each
shall there be a like weight:
35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:
36 And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.
37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.
38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.
- Sweet spices To be burned on the golden altar v7. See v34-38
for preparation instructions.
35 - Tempered together Rather "seasoned with salt." (RSV). Bringing the coals from the altar of incense (golden altar) were brought from the (bronze) altar of burnt offering (with personal sacrifice) shows that the worshipper must be reconciled to God before his prayer and devotion are acceptable. job2708, ps06618, pr1529, pr2809, is0115, mi0304, jn0931.