Revelation 8:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, so that he might add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might give efficacy to the prayers of all saints at the golden altar which was before the throne.

World English Bible
Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

Young's Literal Translation
and another messenger did come, and he stood at the altar, having a golden censer, and there was given to him much perfume, that he may give it to the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar that is before the throne,

Revelation 8:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And another angel came - Who this angel was is not mentioned, nor have we any means of determining. Of course a great variety of opinion has been entertained on the subject (see Poole's Synopsis) - some referring it to angels in general; others to the ministry of the church; others to Constantine; others to Michael; and many others to the Lord Jesus. All that we know is, that it was an angel who thus appeared, and there is nothing inconsistent in the supposition that anyone of the angels in heaven may have been appointed to perform what is here represented. The design seems to be, to represent the prayers of the saints as ascending in the anticipation of the approaching series of wonders in the world - and there would be a beautiful propriety in representing them as offered by an angel, feeling deep interest in the church, and ministering in behalf of the saints.

And stood at the altar - In heaven - represented as a temple with an altar, and with the usual array of things employed in the worship of God. The altar was the appropriate place for him to stand when about to offer the prayers of the saints for that is the place where the worshipper stood under the ancient dispensation. Compare the Matthew 5:23-24 notes; Luke 1:11 note. In the latter place an angel is represented as appearing to Zacharias "on the right side of the altar of incense."

Having a golden censer - The firepan, made for the purpose of carrying fire, on which to burn incense in time of worship. See it described and illustrated in the notes on Hebrews 9:4. There seems reason to suppose that the incense that was offered in the ancient worship was designed to be emblematic of the prayers of saints, for it was the custom for worshippers to be engaged in prayer at the time the incense was offered by the priest. See Luke 1:10.

And there was given unto him much incense - See the notes on Luke 1:9. A large quantity was here given to him, because the occasion was one on which many prayers might be expected to be offered.

That he should offer it with the prayers - Margin, "add it to." Greek, "that he should give it with" - δώση dōsē. The idea is plain, that, when the prayers of the saints ascended, he would also burn the incense, that it might go up at the same moment, and be emblematic of them. Compare the notes on Revelation 5:8.

Of all saints - Of all who are holy; of all who are the children of God. The idea seems to be, that, at this time, all the saints would unite in calling on God, and in deprecating his wrath. As the events which were about to occur were a matter of common interest to the people of God, it was to be supposed that they would unite in common supplication.

Upon the golden altar - The altar of incense. This in the tabernacle and in the temple was overlaid with gold.

Which was before the throne - This is represented as a temple-service, and the altar of incense is, with propriety, placed before his seat or throne, as it was in the tabernacle and temple. In the temple, God is represented as occupying the mercy-seat in the holy of holies, and the altar of incense is in the holy place before that. See the description of the temple in the notes on Matthew 21:12.

Revelation 8:3 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Justification by an Imputed Righteousness;
OR, NO WAY TO HEAVEN BUT BY JESUS CHRIST. ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. This is one of those ten excellent manuscripts which were found among Bunyan's papers after his decease in 1688. It had been prepared by him for publication, but still wanted a few touches of his masterly hand, and a preface in his characteristic style. He had, while a prisoner for nonconformity, in 1672, published a treatise upon this subject, in reply to Mr. Fowler, who was soon after created Bishop of Gloucester; but that was
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Annunciation to Zacharias of the Birth of John the Baptist.
(at Jerusalem. Probably b.c. 6.) ^C Luke I. 5-25. ^c 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa [a Jewish proselyte, an Idumæan or Edomite by birth, founder of the Herodian family, king of Judæa from b.c. 40 to a.d. 4, made such by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course [David divided the priests into twenty-four bodies or courses, each course serving in rotation one week in the temple
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Exodus 30:1
"Moreover, you shall make an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood.

Exodus 30:3
"You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and its sides all around, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding all around for it.

Numbers 4:11
"Over the golden altar they shall spread a blue cloth and cover it with a covering of porpoise skin, and shall insert its poles;

Numbers 7:62
one gold pan of ten shekels, full of incense;

Psalm 141:2
May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering.

Isaiah 6:6
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs.

Ezekiel 41:22
The altar was of wood, three cubits high and its length two cubits; its corners, its base and its sides were of wood. And he said to me, "This is the table that is before the LORD."

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