And you shall beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with you: it shall be to you most holy.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou shalt . . . put it before the testimony.—Some pieces of the incense were to be continually before the ark of the covenant, either on the golden altar, or perhaps at its base ready for offering. This would symbolise the need of the perpetual offering of prayer.Exodus 30:6.
stacte—the finest myrrh;
onycha—supposed to be an odoriferous shell;
galbanum—a gum resin from an umbelliferous plant.
frankincense—a dry, resinous, aromatic gum, of a yellow color, which comes from a tree in Arabia, and is obtained by incision of the bark. This incense was placed within the sanctuary, to be at hand when the priest required to burn on the altar. The art of compounding unguents and perfumes was well known in Egypt, where sweet-scented spices were extensively used not only in common life, but in the ritual of the temples. Most of the ingredients here mentioned have been found on minute examination of mummies and other Egyptian relics; and the Israelites, therefore, would have the best opportunities of acquiring in that country the skill in pounding and mixing them which they were called to exercise in the service of the tabernacle. But the recipe for the incense as well as for the oil in the tabernacle, though it receives illustration from the customs of Egypt, was peculiar, and being prescribed by divine authority, was to be applied to no common or inferior purpose.Some of it; so much as is sufficient for the daily incense.
and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation; that is, upon the altar of incense, which was placed there, Exodus 30:6 and here it was to be put in order to be burnt, not to be kept, either to be looked at, or smelled to:
where I will meet with thee; See Gill on Exodus 30:6.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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)36. beat some of it very small] cf. Leviticus 16:12 ‘incense beaten small.’ The ingredients named in v. 34 were mixed together, and then apparently melted down into a solid mass: small portions of this were broken off, from time to time, and beaten into a powder, which was then placed ready for use, every morning and evening (v. 7), outside the veil, near the altar of incense. Or (Di.) ‘put’ may mean, put upon the altar and burn.
before the testimony] i.e. before the ark, as Exodus 16:34 : see on Exodus 25:16.
meet with thee] See on Exodus 25:22.
most holy] See on Exodus 29:37. The anointing oil, not being brought into such close proximity to Jehovah, was only ‘holy’ (v. 32).Verse 36. - Thou shalt beat some of it very small. This is against Knobel's rendering of malakh, which would imply that all was broken into small pieces. A certain portion only was to be thus prepared from time to time and placed ready for offering. It was to be put before the testimony - i.e., opposite the m-k, but outside the vail. This near vicinity to the Divine Presence rendered it most holy. Leviticus 8:10.). This anointing oil was holy, either because it was made from the four fragrant substances according to the proportions commanded by Jehovah, or because God declared this kind of mixture and preparation holy (cf. Exodus 30:32), and forbade for all time, on pain of death (Exodus 30:31), not only the use of ointment so prepared for any ordinary anointings, but even an imitation of it. "Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured," i.e., it is not to be used for the ordinary practice of anointing the human body (Exodus 30:32). "Man," i.e., the ordinary man in distinction from the priests. בּמתכּנתּו according to its measure, i.e., according to the proportions prescribed for its manufacture. זר (Exodus 30:33) a stranger, is not only the non-Israelite, but laymen or non-priests in general. On the expression, "cut off from his people," see at Genesis 17:14.
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