And you shall make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the are of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)After the art of the apothecary.—Skill was to be called in. The spices were not to be pounded and mixed with the oil in a rude and unscientific way, but the best art of the time was to be employed in effecting the composition. Jewish tradition says that its essence was first extracted from each of the spices, and then the oil mingled with the essences.
After the art of the apothecary - According to Jewish tradition, the essences of the spices were first extracted, and then mixed with the oil. The preparation of the anointing oil, as well as of the incense, was entrusted to Bezaleel Exodus 37:29, and the care of preserving it to Eleazar, the son of Aaron Numbers 4:16. In a later age, it was prepared by the sons of the priests 1 Chronicles 9:30.
hin—a word of Egyptian origin, equal to ten pints. Being mixed with the olive oil—no doubt of the purest kind—this composition probably remained always in a liquid state, and the strictest prohibition issued against using it for any other purpose than anointing the tabernacle and its furniture.
an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: or confectioner; the spices bruised, and pounded, and mixed together, and boiled or distilled, and so an oil or ointment extracted from them:
it shall be an holy anointing oil; for the uses next mentioned: it signified the Holy Spirit of God, and his graces, that oil of gladness with which Christ and his people are anointed; and is that anointing which teacheth all things, see Psalm 45:7 1 John 2:20 comparable to these several spices, and oil olive, for their sweet smell, cheering and reviving nature, and supplying quality, and for their valuableness and preciousness, and of which there was a certain weight and measure; for though Christ received this unction without measure, yet there is a certain measure of grace and gifts bestowed upon his people, and by which they are made holy and fit for their master's use.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. it] i.e. the olive oil of v. 24, by mixing it viz. with the other ingredients specified. ‘According to the Rabbis, the essences of the different spices were first extracted, and then mixed with the oil’ (Kn.).
a perfume, &c.] lit. a perfume of perfumery, the work of the perfumer (like the ‘work of the weaver,’ &c., see on Exodus 26:1 : so v. 35, Exodus 37:29). 1 Chronicles 9:30 (render ‘compounding the perfume of the spices’) shews that in the age of the Chronicler (c. 300 b.c.) the anointing oil was made by the ‘sons of the priests.’ For other allusions to perfumers or perfumery, see 1 Samuel 8:13 (RVm.), Isaiah 57:9, Nehemiah 3:8 (RVm.), Song of Solomon 5:13 (RVm.).
26–28 (cf. Leviticus 8:10 b–11). The Tent of meeting, the ark and other articles belonging to it, with their various vessels, to be all anointed with the aromatic oil thus produced. The command is repeated in Exodus 40:9-11 : cf. also Leviticus 8:10 b–11, Numbers 7:1, and (specially of the altar) Exodus 29:36, Numbers 7:10; Numbers 7:84; Numbers 7:88.Verse 25- An oil of holy ointment. Literally, "an oil of holy anointing," or "a holy anointing oil," as our translators render in ver. 31, and also in the last clause of the present verse. Exodus 38:8). The Brazen Laver, and its use. - The making of this vessel is not only mentioned in a supplementary manner, but no description is given of it because of the subordinate position which it occupied, and from the fact that it was not directly connected with the sanctuary, but was only used by the priests to cleanse themselves for the performance of their duties. כּיּור: a basin, a round, caldron-shaped vessel. כּגּו (its support): by this we are not to understand the pedestal of the caldron, but something separate from the basin, which was no doubt used for drawing off as much water as was required for washing the officiating priests. For although כּן belongs to כּיּור, the fact that it is always specially mentioned in connection with the basin necessarily leads to the conclusion, that it had a certain kind of independence (cf. Exodus 31:9; Exodus 35:16; Exodus 39:39; Exodus 40:11; Leviticus 8:11). These two vessels were to be made of brass or copper, like the other things in the court; and, according to Exodus 38:8, they were made of the brass of the mirrors of the women who served before the door of the tabernacle. הצּבאת בּמראת does not mean either "provided with mirrors of the women" (Bhr, i. pp. 485-6), or ornamented "with forms, figures of women, as they were accustomed to appear at the sanctuary" (Knobel). But these views are overthrown by the fact, that ב never signifies with in the sense of an outward addition, but always denotes the means, "not an independent object, but something accompanying and contributing to the action referred to" (Ewald, 217, f. 3). In this case ב can only apply to the material used, whether we connect it with ויּעשׂ as in Exodus 31:4, or, what seems decidedly more correct, with נחשׁת as a more precise definition; so that ב would denote that particular quality which distinguished the brass of which the basin was made (Ewald, 217f.), - apart altogether from the fact, that neither the mirrors of women, nor the figures of women, would form a fitting ornament for the basin, as the priests did not require to look at themselves when they washed their hands and feet; and there is still less ground for Knobel's fiction, that Levitical women went to the sanctuary at particular times, forming a certain procession, and taking things with them for the purpose of washing, cleaning, and polishing. The true meaning is given by the Septuagint, ἐκ τῶν κατόπτρων. According to 1 Samuel 2:22, the צבאת were women, though not washer-women, but women who dedicated their lives to the service of Jehovah, and spent them in religious exercises, in fasting and in prayer, like Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, mentioned in Luke 2:37.
(Note: Knobel's objection to this explanation, viz., that "at a time when the sanctuary was not yet erected, the author could not speak of women as coming to the door of the sanctuary, or performing religious service there," would contain its own refutation, if there were any ground for it at all. For before the sanctuary was erected, the author could not speak of Levitical women as coming at particular times to the sanctuary, and bringing things with them for the purpose of washing and cleaning. But the participle צבאת does not imply that they had served there before the erection of the sanctuary, but only that from that time forward, they did perform service there.)
צבא denotes spiritual warfare, and is accordingly rendered by the lxx νηστεύειν, by Onkelos, orare, with which the Rabbins agree. The mirrors of the women had been used for the purpose of earthly adorning. But now the pious Israelites renounced this earthly adorning, and offered it to the Lord as a heave-offering to make the purifying laver in front of the sanctuary, in order that "what had hitherto served as a means of procuring applause in the world might henceforth be the means of procuring the approbation of God" (Hengstenberg, Dissert. vol. ii.). - The laver was to be placed between the tabernacle, i.e., the dwelling, and the altar in the court (Exodus 30:18), probably not in a straight line with the door of the dwelling and the altar of burnt-offering, but more sideways, so as to be convenient for the use of the priests, whether they were going into the tabernacle, or going up to the altar for service, to kindle a firing for Jehovah, i.e., to offer sacrifice upon the altar. They were to wash their hands, with which they touched the holy things, and their feet, with which they trod the holy ground (see Exodus 3:5), "that they might not die," as is again emphatically stated in Exodus 30:20 and Exodus 30:21. For touching holy things with unclean hands, and treading upon the floor of the sanctuary with dirty feet, would have been a sin against Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, deserving of death. These directions do not imply "that, notwithstanding all their consecration, they were regarded as still defiled by natural uncleanness" (Baumgarten), but rather that consecration did not stamp them with a character indelebilis, or protect them from the impurities of the sinful nation in the midst of which they lived, or of their own nature, which was still affected with mortal corruption and sin.
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