24 June 2014

EJ&T: Exodus 30 - An incense burning altar, a holy flat tax, a brass bowl, anointing oil, and God's perfume

In the Every Jot and Tittle project, I am listing all of the Bible's commandments from Genesis to Revelation, in accordance with Jesus's words in Matthew 5:18-19. I have no idea how many commandments I'll find, but Jewish tradition claims there are 613. See here for a list of those that I've found so far.

  1. Make an altar for burning incense.
  2. Make an altar to burn incense out of shittim wood. Make it square in shape, 45 cm on a side, and 90 cm tall, with horns at each of the corners. Cover the top, sides, and horns with gold. Put golden rings in the corners so you can carry it around with gold-covered shittim wood poles. Put this incense-burning altar in front of the curtain by the ark of the tabernacle, in front of the mercy seat that God sits on when he meets with you. Have Aaron (and the priests that succeed him) burn sweet-smelling incense every day on this altar. This incense-burning procedure must be done every day forever. Don't burn any strange incense on the incense-burning altar, and don't do any meat or drink offerings on it either. Once a year, smear some blood from a sin offering on the horns of the incense-burning altar. This procedure is most holy to God.

    And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 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. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 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 30:1-10

    Our fathers ... have not burned incense. ... Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes. 2 Chronicles 29:7-8

    My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to ... burn incense. 2 Chronicles 29:11

  3. Each adult male must pay God one half shekel. (Or God won't protect him from the plague.)
  4. Count the number of men who are at least 20 years old and make each man, rich or poor, pay God half a shekel to protect him from the plague. This money will be used to maintain the tabernacle.

    When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. Exodus 30:12-16

  5. Make a brass bowl for priests to wash their hands and feet. (If they don't wash up, God will kill them.)
  6. Make a brass bowl and put it on a brass stand. Put water in the bowl so that Aaron and his sons (and all future priests) can was their hands and feet before going into the tabernacle. If they don't wash up before entering, God will kill them. This wash-up-or-die law is a statute forever.

    Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations. Exodus 30:18-21

  7. Make some holy anointing oil.
  8. Make some holy anointing oil by mixing 6 kg of myrrh, 3 kg of cinnamon, 3 kg of sweet calamus, 6 kg of cassia with 4 liters of olive oil. Anoint the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the table, all of the bowls and candlesticks, the incense-burning altar, the brass bowl, along with Aaron and his sons (and all future priests) with the holy anointing oil. Whatever is anointed with this oil will become holy. Follow this anointing procedure in all future generations. Don't put this oil on anyone else, though-- especially not on any "strangers." And don't make any oil like it for any other purpose. Whoever does these things shall be exiled.

    Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 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. And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people. Exodus 30:23-33

  9. Make some holy perfume for God.
  10. Make some holy perfume for God by mixing sweet spices, using equal amounts of stacte, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense. Put it in the tabernacle where God meets with you. It is God's holy perfume. Whoever makes any holy perfume for anyone but God's use shall be exiled.

    And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: 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. And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people. Exodus 30:34-38

1 comment:

The Veritopian said...

Hi, just found your blog. Thank goodness. I'd previously thought that if I acted out of love for all things, then that would be ok.

Now, thanks to your help, I've realised the error of my ways.

Any ideas where I might get some shittim wood?

Really appreciate you taking the time to write it in plain English.

For the holy perfume, not sure I can get onycha in Tesco. Do you think Lynx deodorant would do instead?

Thanks again for your help ;)