In the King James Version censer is used as a translation of two Hebrew words, namely, machtah, and miqTereth. The former word is generally rendered "censer," sometimes "firepan," and in three cases (Exodus 25:38; 37:23; Numbers 4:9) "snuffdish" It denoted a bowl-shaped vessel used for different purposes, namely,
(1) a censer, in which incense was burnt (Leviticus 10:1);
(2) a firepan, made of bronze, used in connection with the altar of burnt offering (Exodus 27:3);
(3) a snuffdish, i.e. a receptacle to hold pieces of burnt lamp-wick removed by the tongs or snuffers (Exodus 25:38).
Probably in all these cases the same kind of vessel was meant, namely, a bowl-shaped utensil with a handle, not unlike a saucepan. The other Hebrew word (derived from the same root as the word for "incense") denoted a vessel for conveying incense (Ezekiel 8:11; 2 Chronicles 26:19). The Greek word thumiaterion, by which the Septuagint rendered miqTereth, is used also in Hebrews 9:4, where the King James Version gives "censer," but the American Standard Revised Version is probably more correct, namely, "altar of incense" (see Commentaries under the word). Compare also Revelation 8:3,1, where libanotos, properly the adjective of "frankincense," is translated "censer."
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