Exodus 30
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The Altar of Incense
(Exodus 37:25-29)

1You are also to make an altar of acacia wood for the burning of incense. 2It is to be square, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high.a Its horns must be of one piece. 3Overlay the top and all the sides and horns with pure gold, and make a molding of gold all around it. 4And make for it two gold rings below the molding on opposite sides to hold the poles used to carry it. 5Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

6Place the altar in front of the veil that is before the Ark of the Testimony—before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony—where I will meet with you. 7And Aaron is to burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he tends the lamps. 8When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he must burn the incense perpetually before the LORD for the generations to come. 9On this altar you must not offer unapproved incense or a burnt offering or grain offering, nor are you to pour a drink offering on it.

10Once a year Aaron shall make atonement on the horns of the altar. Throughout your generations he shall make atonement on it annually with the blood of the sin offeringb of atonement. The altar is most holy to the LORD.”

The Atonement Money

11Then the LORD said to Moses, 12“When you take a census of the Israelites to number them, each man must pay the LORD a ransom for his life when he is counted. Then no plague will come upon them when they are numbered. 13Everyone who crosses over to those counted must pay a half shekel,c according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs.d This half shekel is an offering to the LORD.

14Everyone twenty years of age or older who crosses over must give this offering to the LORD. 15In making the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives, the rich shall not give more than a half shekel, nor shall the poor give less. 16Take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will serve as a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD to make an atonement for your lives.”

The Bronze Basin

17Again, the LORD said to Moses, 18“You are to make a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. Set it between the Tent of Meeting and the altar, and put water into it, 19with which Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet. 20Whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting or approach the altar to minister by presenting an offering made by fire to the LORD, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21Thus they are to wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this shall be a permanent statute for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”

The Anointing Oil

22Once again, The LORD said to Moses, 23“Take the finest spices: 500 shekelse of liquid myrrh, half as much (250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekelsf of fragrant cane, 24500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hing of olive oil. 25Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be a holy anointing oil.

26Use this oil to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the Ark of the Testimony, 27the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, the altar of incense, 28the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29You are to consecrate them so that they will be most holy. Whatever touches them will be holy. 30Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve Me as priests.

31And you are to tell the Israelites, ‘This will be My sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32It must not be used to anoint an ordinary man, and you must not make anything like it with the same formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33Anyone who mixes perfume like it or puts it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.’”

The Incense

34Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense—in equal measures, 35and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36Grind some of it into fine powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37You are never to use this formula to make incense for yourselves; you shall regard it as sacred to the LORD. 38Anyone who makes something like it to enjoy its fragrance shall be cut off from his people.”

Footnotes:

2 a That is, about 1.5 feet in length and width, and 3 feet high (45 centimeters in length and width, and 90 centimeters high)
10 b Or purification offering
13 c That is, about 0.2 ounce or 5.7 grams; also in verse 15
13 d A gerah was about 0.02 ounce or 0.57 gram
23 e That is, about 12.5 pounds or 5.67 kilograms; also in verse 24
23 f That is, about 6.25 pounds or 2.84 kilograms
24 g A hin was a liquid measure of about 0.98 gallons or 3.7 liters

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Exodus 29
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