And thou shalt make
A primitive root; to do
, in the broadest sense and widest application.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Perfect (See H8816
Count - 12562
; something to fume
(incense) on, that is, a hearth
; a fumigation
Feminine of a derivative (the second form being only in the plural, meaning the sticks of wood
) from the same as H7850
; the acacia
(from its scourging
; a tree
(from its firmness
); hence wood
shalt thou make
A primitive root; to do
, in the broadest sense and widest application.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 19885
_ _ Exodus 30:1-38. The Altar of Incense.
_ _ thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon, etc. Its material was to be like that of the ark of the testimony, but its dimensions very small [Exodus 25:10].
_ _ I. The orders given concerning the altar of incense are, 1. That it was to be made of wood, and covered with gold, pure gold, about a yard high and half a yard square, with horns at the corners, a golden cornice round it, with rings and staves of gold, for the convenience of carrying it, Exodus 30:1-5. It does not appear that there was any grate to this altar for the ashes to fall into, that they might be taken away; but, when they burnt incense, a golden censer was brought with coals in it, and placed upon the altar, and in that censer the incense was burnt, and with it all the coals were taken away, so that no coals nor ashes fell upon the altar. The measure of the altar of incense in Ezekiel's temple is double to what it is here (Ezekiel 41:22), and it is there called an altar of wood, and there is no mention of gold, to signify that the incense, in gospel times, should be spiritual, the worship plain, and the service of God enlarged, for in every place incense should be offered, Malachi 1:11. 2. That it was to be placed before the veil, on the outside of that partition, but before the mercy-seat, which was within the veil, Exodus 30:6. For though he that ministered at the altar could not see the mercy-seat, the veil interposing, yet he must look towards it, and direct his incense that way, to teach us that though we cannot with our bodily eyes see the throne of grace, that blessed mercy-seat (for it is such a throne of glory that God, in compassion to us, holds back the face of it, and spreads a cloud upon it), yet we must in prayer by faith set ourselves before it, direct our prayer, and look up. 3. That Aaron was to burn sweet incense upon this altar, every morning and every evening, about half a pound at a time, which was intended, not only to take away the ill smell of the flesh that was burnt daily on the brazen altar, but for the honour of God, and to show the acceptableness of his people's services to him, and the pleasure which they should take in ministering to him, Exodus 30:7, Exodus 30:8. As by the offerings on the brazen altar satisfaction was made for what had been done displeasing to God, so, by the offering on this, what they did well was, as it were, recommended to the divine acceptance; for our two great concerns with God are to be acquitted from guilt and accepted as righteous in his sight. 4. That nothing was to be offered upon it but incense, nor any incense but that which was appointed, Exodus 30:9. God will have his own service done according to his own appointment, and not otherwise. 5. That this altar should be purified with the blood of the sin-offering put upon the horns of it, every year, upon the day of atonement, Exodus 30:10. See Leviticus 16:18, Leviticus 16:19. The high priest was to take this in his way, as he came out from the holy of holies. This was to intimate to them that the sins of the priests who ministered at this altar, and of the people for whom they ministered, put a ceremonial impurity upon it, from which it must be cleansed by the blood of atonement.
_ _ II. This incense-altar typified, 1. The mediation of Christ. The brazen altar in the court was a type of Christ dying on earth; the golden altar in the sanctuary was a type of Christ interceding in heaven, in virtue of his satisfaction. This altar was before the mercy-seat; for Christ always appears in the presence of God for us; he is our advocate with the father (1 John 2:1), and his intercession is unto God of a sweet-smelling savour. This altar had a crown fixed to it; for Christ intercedes as king. Father, I will, John 17:24. 2. The devotions of the saints, whose prayers are said to be set forth before God as incense, Psalms 141:2. As the smoke of the incense ascended, so much our desires towards God rise in prayer, being kindled with the fire of holy love and other pious affections. When the priest was burning incense the people were praying (Luke 1:10), to signify that prayer is the true incense. This incense was offered daily, it was a perpetual incense (Exodus 30:8); for we must pray always, that is, we must keep up stated times for prayer every day, morning and evening, at least, and never omit it, but thus pray without ceasing. The lamps were dressed or lighted at the same time that the incense was burnt, to teach us that the reading of the scriptures (which are our light and lamp) is a part of our daily work, and should ordinarily accompany our prayers and praises. When we speak to God we must hear what God says to us, and thus the communion is complete. The devotions of sanctified souls are well-pleasing to God, of a sweet-smelling savour; the prayers of saints are compared to sweet odours (Revelation 5:8), but it is the incense which Christ adds to them that makes them acceptable (Revelation 8:3), and his blood that atones for the guilt which cleaves to our best services. And, if the heart and life be not holy, even incense is an abomination (Isaiah 1:13), and he that offers it is as if he blessed an idol, Isaiah 66:3.
The altar of incense was to be about a yard high, and half a yard square, with horns at the corners, a golden cornish round it, with rings and staves of gold for the convenience of carrying it, Exodus 30:1-5. It doth not appear that there was any grate to this altar for the ashes to fall into, that they might be taken away; but when they burn incense, a golden censer was brought, with coals in it, and placed upon the altar, and in that censer the incense was burnt, and with it all the coals were taken away, so that no coals or ashes fell upon the altar. The altar of incense in Ezekiel's temple is double to what it is here, Ezekiel 41:22, and it is there called an altar of wood, and there is no mention of gold, to signify that the incense in gospel times should be spiritual, the worship plain, and the service of God enlarged. It was placed before the veil, on the outside of that partition, but before the mercy seat, which was within the veil. For though he that ministered at that altar could not see the mercy seat, the veil interposing, yet he must look towards it, and direct his incense that way, to teach us, that though we cannot with our bodily eyes see the throne of grace, that blessed mercy seat, yet we must in prayer by faith set ourselves before it, direct our prayer and look up.
And thou shalt make an altar (a) to burn incense upon: [of] shittim wood shalt thou make it.
(a) Upon which the sweet perfume was burnt, (Exodus 30:34).
The Samaritan inserts the first ten verses of this chapter after
And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of shittim
] overlaid with gold: their hooks [shall be of] gold
, upon the four sockets of silver.
- an altar:
Exodus 30:7-8 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. ... And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
Exodus 30:10 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.
Exodus 37:25-28 And he made the incense altar [of] shittim wood: the length of it [was] a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; [it was] foursquare; and two cubits [was] the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same. ... And he made the staves [of] shittim wood, and overlaid them with gold.
Exodus 40:5 And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle.
Leviticus 4:7 And the priest shall put [some] of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which [is] in the tabernacle of the congregation; and shall pour all the blood of the bullock at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which [is at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Leviticus 4:18 And he shall put [some] of the blood upon the horns of the altar which [is] before the LORD, that [is] in the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall pour out all the blood at the bottom of the altar of the burnt offering, which [is at] the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1 Kings 6:20 And the oracle in the forepart [was] twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and [so] covered the altar [which was of] cedar.
2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to [his] destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
- to burn incense:
- Where so many sacrifices were offered, it was essentially necessary to have some pleasing perfume to counteract the disagreeable smells that must have arisen from the slaughter of so many animals, the burning of so much flesh, the sprinkling of the blood. No blood was ever sprinkled on this altar, except once a year, on the grand day of expiation. It was called also the golden altar (
Numbers 4:11 And upon the golden altar they shall spread a cloth of blue, and cover it with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put to the staves thereof:
); and the incense was as constantly burnt on it every day, as the morning and evening sacrifice of a lamb was burnt on the brazen altar.
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