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Firepan

FIREPAN

fir'-pan (machtah, "firepan," "censer," "snuffdish," from chathah, "to snatch up"):

A vessel for carrying coals. Brazen firepans were part of the furnishings of the altar of burnt offerings (Exodus 27:3; 38:3, and in Numbers 4:14, where the King James Version wrongly reads "censers," the context indicating a vessel belonging to the brazen altar).

The same word is translated "snuffdishes" in Exodus 25:38; 37:23; Numbers 4:9, where it refers to golden firepans which belonged to the golden candlestick or lamp stand, and were used to receive the burnt ends of the wicks. In 1 Kings 7:50 and 2 Chronicles 4:22, although the King James Version reads "censers," the context points to the firepans belonging to the candlestick; as also in 2 Kings 25:15 and Jeremiah 52:19, translated "firepans" in the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American). A similar firepan designated by the same Hebrew word but translated "censer" was used to carry the burning coals upon which the incense was thrown and burned (Leviticus 10:1; 16:12; Numbers 16:6,17).

See CENSER.

The firepan or censer of the Hebrews was doubtless similar to the censer of the Egyptians, pictures of which have been found. It consisted of a pan or pot for the coals, which was held by a straight or slightly curved long handle. The style of censer used in recent centuries, swung by three chains, came into use about the 12th century AD.

George Rice Hovey


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'FIREPAN'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.