The altar of Incense. The tabernacle tax. The bronze washbasin. Anointing oil. Incense.
VERSE 1. “You shall make an altar to burn incense on. You shall make it of acacia wood.
VERSE 2. Its length shall be a cubit, and its width a cubit. It shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits. Its horns shall be of one piece with it.
a cubit. A cubit is the length from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow on a man’s arm, or about 18 inches.
VERSE 3. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top, its sides around it, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding around it.
overlay it with pure gold. This altar represents substantial value.
VERSE 4. You shall make two golden rings for it under its molding; on its two ribs, on its two sides you shall make them; and they shall be for places for poles with which to bear it.
VERSE 5. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
VERSE 6. You shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the covenant, before the mercy seat that is over the covenant, where I will meet with you.
VERSE 7. Aaron shall burn incense of sweet spices on it every morning. When he tends the lamps, he shall burn it.
every morning. The altar of incense will be used every morning.
VERSE 8. When Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
at evening. The altar of incense will be used every evening.
VERSE 9. You shall offer no strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering; and you shall pour no drink offering on it.
offer no strange incense on it. That is, offer up no profane incense on it.
A differentiation is being made. As of this moment, some things are now sacred. And other things are now profane.
VERSE 10. Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once in the year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once in the year he shall make atonement for it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.”
VERSE 11. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 12. “When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are counted among them, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to the LORD when you count them, that there be no plague among them when you count them.
take a census. Apparently Moses will be taking a census.
In later centuries, David will take a census of Israel. This will greatly offend the LORD God.
1 Chronicles 21:1. Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to take a census of Israel.
2 Samuel 24:17. David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who struck the people, and said, “Behold, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father’s house.”
give a ransom for his soul. This introduces the notion that a “soul” must be “ransomed.”
The verse doesn’t tell us why a soul must be ransomed. Nor does it tell us from whom it must be ransomed.
VERSE 13. They shall give this, everyone who passes over to those who are counted, half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs); half a shekel for an offering to the LORD.
the shekel. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces.
the shekel of the sanctuary. Now there is a special type of money to be used for the sanctuary.
In fact, this verse imposes money upon the Hebrew people. As far as we can tell, they have not had their own money prior to this.
the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. The Bible is clear as to the root of evil. And yet Christians explain it away in order to justify their greed. Read more »
twenty gerahs. A gerah is about 0.5 grams or about 7.7 grains.
VERSE 14. Everyone who passes over to those who are counted, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the offering to the LORD.
from twenty years old and upward. When a person became twenty years old is when they had to start paying the tabernacle tax.
VERSE 15. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when they give the offering of the LORD, to make atonement for your souls.
the half shekel. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces..
VERSE 16. You shall take the atonement money from the children of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the Tent of Meeting; that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the LORD, to make atonement for your souls.”
VERSE 17. The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 18. “You shall also make a basin of bronze, and its base of bronze, in which to wash. You shall put it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it.
VERSE 19. Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in it.
VERSE 20. When they go into the Tent of Meeting, they shall wash with water, that they not die; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD.
that they not die. Aaron’s ministry is very dangerous. One misstep and the LORD God will killed him.
VERSE 21. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they not die. This shall be a statute forever to them, even to him and to his descendants throughout their generations.”
VERSE 22. Moreover the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
VERSE 23. “Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty;
five hundred shekels. A shekel is about 10 grams or about 0.35 ounces, so 500 shekels is about 5 kilograms or about 11 pounds.
VERSE 24. and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary; and a hin of olive oil.
a hin. A hin is about 6.5 liters or 1.7 gallons..
VERSE 25. You shall make it into a holy anointing oil, a perfume compounded after the art of the perfumer: it shall be a holy anointing oil.
VERSE 26. You shall use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the covenant,
VERSE 27. the table and all its articles, the lamp stand and its accessories, the altar of incense,
VERSE 28. the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its base.
Whatever touches them shall be holy. Holiness can now be transferred by physical contact.
Acts 19:12. so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out.
VERSE 30. You shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office.
VERSE 31. You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations.
VERSE 32. It shall not be poured on man’s flesh, and do not make any like it, according to its composition. It is holy. It shall be holy to you.
VERSE 33. Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on a stranger, he shall be cut off from his people.’ ”
VERSE 34. The LORD said to Moses, “Take to yourself sweet spices, gum resin, onycha, and galbanum: sweet spices with pure frankincense. There shall be an equal weight of each.
VERSE 35. You shall make incense of it, a perfume after the art of the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy.
VERSE 36. You shall beat some of it very small, and put some of it before the covenant in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be to you most holy.
VERSE 37. You shall not make this incense, according to its composition, for yourselves: it shall be to you holy for the LORD.
VERSE 38. Whoever shall make any like that, to smell of it, he shall be cut off from his people.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.