Exodus 30

1 In the same manner thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon; of cedar wood shalt thou make it.
2 Its length shall be a cubit and its width a cubit; it shall be square and its height two cubits; its horns shall be of the same.
3 And thou shalt cover it with pure gold, its top and its sides round about, and its horns; and thou shalt make unto it a moulding of gold round about.
4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under its moulding by its two corners on both sides for places for the staves to bear it with.
5 And thou shalt make the staves of cedar wood and cover them with gold.
6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the seat of reconciliation that is over the testimony, where I will testify unto thee of myself.
7 And Aaron shall burn sweet incense thereon every morning; when he dresses the lamps, he shall burn it.
8 And when Aaron lights the lamps at evening, he shall burn incense upon it continually before the LORD throughout your ages.
9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon nor burnt sacrifice nor present; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon.
10 And Aaron shall make reconciliation upon the horns of it once a year with the blood of the reconciliation for sin; once a year shall he make reconciliation upon it throughout your ages; it shall be most holy unto the LORD.
11 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying,
12 When thou takest the number of the sons of Israel after the sum of them, each one shall give a ransom for his soul unto the LORD, when thou dost number them, that there be no mortality in them because of numbering them.
13 This shall be given by every one that passes among those that are numbered: half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary (a shekel is twenty gerahs); a half shekel shall be the offering to the LORD.
14 Anyone that passes among those that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give the offering unto the LORD.
15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give the offering unto the LORD to make reconciliation for your souls.
16 And thou shalt take the reconciliation money of the sons of Israel and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the testimony, and it shall be a memorial unto the sons of Israel before the LORD to reconcile your souls.
17 And the LORD spoke further unto Moses, saying,
18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and its base also of brass, to wash with; and thou shalt place it between the tabernacle of the testimony and the altar, and thou shalt put water in it.
19 And from it Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet.
20 When they go into the tabernacle of the testimony, they shall wash with water that they not die, or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn the offering unto the LORD that must be consumed by fire,
21 they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they not die. And he and his seed shall have it as a perpetual statute throughout their generations.
22 The LORD spoke further unto Moses, saying,
23 Thou must take unto thee of the principal spices: of excellent myrrh five hundred shekels and of aromatic cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of aromatic calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,
24 and of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive one hin;
25 and thou shalt make of it the oil of the holy anointing, a superior ointment, after the art of the apothecary, which shall be the oil of the holy anointing.
26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the testimony with it and the ark of the testimony
27 and the table and all its vessels and the lampstand and its vessels and the altar of incense
28 and the altar of burnt offering with all its vessels and the laver and its base.
29 Thus thou shalt consecrate them, and they shall be most holy; whatever touches them shall be sanctified.
30 And thou shalt also anoint Aaron and his sons and sanctify them that they may be my priests.
31 And thou shalt speak unto the sons of Israel, saying, This shall be my oil of the holy anointing throughout your ages.
32 It shall not be poured upon man’s flesh; neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it; it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whoever compounds any like it and puts any of it upon a stranger shall be cut off from his people.
34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee aromas, stacte and onycha and aromatic galbanum and pure frankincense, of each in equal weight.
35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy;
36 and thou shalt beat some of it very small and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the testimony, where I will testify unto thee of myself. It shall be most holy unto you.
37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves another according to the composition thereof: it shall be holiness unto thee for the LORD.
38 Whoever shall make another like unto that to smell it shall be cut off from his people.

Exodus 30 Commentary

Chapter 30

The altar of incense. (1-10) The ransom of souls. (11-16) The brazen laver. (17-21) The holy anointing oil, The perfume. (22-38)

Verses 1-10 The altar of incense represented the Son of God in his human nature, and the incense burned thereon typified his pleading for his people. The continual intercession of Christ was represented by the daily burning of incense thereon, morning and evening. Once every year the blood of the atonement was to be applied to it, denoting that the intercession of Christ has all its virtue from his sufferings on earth, and that we need no other sacrifice or intercessor but Christ alone.

Verses 11-16 The tribute was half a shekel, about fifteen pence of our money. The rich were not to give more, nor the poor less; the souls of the rich and poor are alike precious, and God is no respecter of persons, ( Acts 10:34 , Job 34:19 ) . In other offerings men were to give according to their wordly ability; but this, which was the ransom of the soul, must be alike for all. The souls of all are of equal value, equally in danger, and all equally need a ransom. The money raised was to be used in the service of the tabernacle. Those who have the benefit, must not grudge the necessary charges of God's public worship. Money cannot make atonement for the soul, but it may be used for the honour of Him who has made the atonement, and for the maintenance of the gospel by which the atonement is applied.

Verses 17-21 A large vessel of brass, holding water, was to be set near the door of the tabernacle. Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet at this laver, every time they went in to minister. This was to teach them purity in all their services, and to dread the pollution of sin. They must not only wash and be made clean, when first made priests, but must wash and be kept clean, whenever they went to minister. It teaches us daily to attend upon God, daily to renew our repentance for sin, and our looking to the blood of Christ for remission; for in many things we daily offend.

Verses 22-38 Directions are here given for making the holy anointing oil, and the incense to be used in the service of the tabernacle. To show the excellency of holiness, there was this spiced oil in the tabernacle, which was grateful to the sight and to the smell. Christ's name is as ointment poured forth, So. 1:3 , and the good name of Christians is like precious ointment, ( Ecclesiastes 7:1 ) . The incense burned upon the golden altar was prepared of sweet spices. When it was used, it was to be beaten very small; thus it pleased the Lord to bruise the Redeemer, when he offered himself for a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour. The like should not be made for any common use. Thus God would keep in the people's minds reverence for his own services, and teach us not to profane or abuse any thing whereby God makes himself known. It is a great affront to God to jest with sacred things, and to make sport with his word and ordinances. It is most dangerous and fatal to use professions of the gospel of Christ to forward wordly interests.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO EXODUS 30

This chapter treats of the altar of incense, its form and use, Ex 30:1-10 of the ransom of the Israelites, with the half shekel when numbered, Ex 30:11-16 of the laver for the priests to wash their hands and feet at before service, Ex 30:17-21 of the anointing oil, the ingredients of it, and what was to be done with it, Ex 30:22-33, and of the perfume, the composition and use of it, Ex 30:34-38.

Exodus 30 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010