This chapter is about things that are going into the tabernacle. Such as the altar of incense, atonement money, basin for washing, & anointing oil. You also need to check out Exodus 37:25-29 & Exodus 38:8. This one is going to be going quickly. But it’s still got the same boring-ness factor to it. I hope that y’all enjoy the read!
Here the skinny on the altar of incense:
The altar of incense was made of acacia wood & was square. It was 18″ long & a 18″ wide, & 36″ high. It has horns made of 1 piece with it. The top, sides, & horns were overlaid with gold. There was a gold molding on it also. There wer 2 gold rings on the altar below the molding, 2 on opposite sides. There were poles that carried it, which were made of acacia wood & overlaid with gold. This altar was in front of the curtain that housed the Ark of the Covenant.
Aaron was the one who burnt the fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tended the lamps. He had to burn incense a 2nd time when he lit the lamps at twilight so that the incense burnt regularly before God. (This was to suppose to be forever. Like this was suppose to be done perpetually, for generations.)
There was no other incense, burnt offerings, grain offerings, or drink offering that were to be offered on this altar. Once a year though, Aaron made atonement on this altar’s horns. This particular annual atonement were made with the blood of the atoning sin offering. This was most holy to God.
Now on to the atonement money:
There was a census that took place for the Israelites & when they were counted, every one must pay God a ransom for their life. (Yes, God is a kidnapper & he wants the Israelites to pay their own ransoms.) No plagues came on them when they were numbered. (Here’s the thing about this that gets me. Yes, in Number chapter 1, the Israelites do indeed have a census. But didn’t God promise Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob that their descendants would “as numerous as the stars” & “as countless as grains of sand.” So a census would be redundant because there are so many of them that there would be no point in a census. And the census usually were all about the men, sorry ladies.)
When the Israelites became an adult (or at least old enough to be counted in the census), they had to give a 1/2 shekel (the text says that this was based on the sanctuary shekel) & it weighed 20 gerahs. (Not quite sure what a gerah is.) This 1/2 shekel was an offering to God. All who are 20 or older, are to give this offering. The rich didn’t give more than this 1/2 shekel. The poor didn’t give less. Everyone paid the same amount to atone for their lives. The money that was gathered from this was used for the “Tent of Meeting.”
Let’s get into the Basin for Washing:
There was a bronze basin & stand for washing, & there was water in it. It was placed between the tent & the altar. Aaron & his sons were to wash their feet & hands from the water in it. Whenever the priests enter the tent, they HAD to wash themselves or they would die! (Yep. Die.) And also when the priests went up to the altar to minister by presenting their offerings made to God by fire, they had to wash up. Again, so they wouldn’t die.
Now for the anointing oil:
The following spices & measurements were used for the anointing oil: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, 250 shekels of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane (not quite sure what this is), 500 shekels of cassia & a hin of olive oil. All of these measurements were done by the sanctuary shekel. All of these were made into a sacred anointing oil, made by a perfumer. This was used to anoint the Ark of the Covenant & the entire structure it was housed, the table & its accessories, the lamp stand & its accessories, the altar of incense & burnt offering & all of accessories, & the basin with its stand. They consecrated them, they were most holy then. And whatever touched it was considered holy too.
This anointing oil wasn’t used for us mere mortals! Nor could the same formula be used in any other application. Whoever made this for perfume or puts it on anyone other than a priest was excommunicated.
Now we’re gonna get into incense:
This incense was to placed in front of the Ark of the Covenant. This incense was made of gum resin, onycha, galbanum (these were all in equal parts), & salt. This was the work of a perfumer. It was ground up. It was considered MOST holy. They couldn’t make any incense with this formula. If anybody made this incense to enjoy its scent was excommunicated.