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Exodus 30Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Incense Altar

30 “You are to make an altar for the burning of incense; make it of acacia wood. It must be square, 18 inches long and 18 inches wide;[a] it must be 36 inches high.[b] Its horns must be of one piece.[c] Overlay its top, all around its sides, and its horns with pure gold; make a gold molding all around it. Make two gold rings for it under the molding on two of its sides; put these on opposite sides of it to be holders for the poles to carry it with. Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.

“You are to place the altar in front of the veil by the ark of the testimony—in front of the mercy seat that is over the testimony—where I will meet with you. Aaron must burn fragrant incense on it; he must burn it every morning when he tends the lamps. When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he must burn incense. There is to be an incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. You must not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt or grain offering; you are not to pour a drink offering on it.

10 “Once a year Aaron is to perform the purification rite[d] on the horns of the altar. Throughout your generations he is to perform the purification rite[e] for[f] it once a year, with the blood of the sin offering for atonement. The altar is especially holy to the Lord.”

The Atonement Money

11 The Lord spoke to Moses: 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, each of the men must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord as they are registered. Then no plague will come on them as they are registered. 13 Everyone who is registered must pay half a shekel[g] according to the sanctuary shekel (20 gerahs to the shekel). This half shekel is a contribution to the Lord. 14 Each man who is registered, 20 years old or more, must give this contribution to the Lord. 15 The wealthy may not give more and the poor may not give less than half a shekel when giving the contribution to the Lord to atone for[h] your lives. 16 Take the atonement money[i] from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will serve as a reminder for the Israelites before the Lord to atone for[j] your lives.”

The Bronze Basin

17 The Lord spoke to Moses: 18 “Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it. Set it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin. 20 Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning up an offering to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21 They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”

The Anointing Oil

22 The Lord spoke to Moses: 23 “Take for yourself the finest spices: 12½ pounds[k] of liquid myrrh, half as much (6¼ pounds[l]) of fragrant cinnamon, 6¼ pounds[m] of fragrant cane, 24 12½ pounds[n] of cassia (by the sanctuary shekel), and one gallon[o] of olive oil. 25 Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a scented blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be holy anointing oil.

26 “With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 27 the table with all its utensils, the lampstand with its utensils, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 Consecrate them and they will be especially holy. Whatever touches them will be consecrated. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve Me as priests.

31 “Tell the Israelites: This will be My holy anointing oil throughout your generations. 32 It must not be used for ordinary anointing on a person’s body, and you must not make anything like it using its formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33 Anyone who blends something like it or puts some of it on an unauthorized person must be cut off from his people.”

The Sacred Incense

34 The Lord said to Moses: “Take fragrant spices: stacte, onycha, and galbanum; the spices and pure frankincense are to be in equal measures. 35 Prepare expertly blended incense from these; it is to be seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Grind some of it into a fine powder and put some in front of the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It must be especially holy to you. 37 As for the incense you are making, you must not make any for yourselves using its formula. It is to be regarded by you as sacred to the Lord. 38 Anyone who makes something like it to smell its fragrance must be cut off from his people.”


  1. Exodus 30:2 Lit one cubit its length and one cubit its width
  2. Exodus 30:2 Lit wide; and two cubits its height
  3. Exodus 30:2 Lit piece with it
  4. Exodus 30:10 Or to make atonement
  5. Exodus 30:10 Or to make atonement
  6. Exodus 30:10 Or on
  7. Exodus 30:13 About 2⁄5 of an ounce of silver
  8. Exodus 30:15 Or to ransom
  9. Exodus 30:16 Lit the silver of the atonement
  10. Exodus 30:16 Or to ransom
  11. Exodus 30:23 Lit 500 (shekels)
  12. Exodus 30:23 Lit 250 (shekels)
  13. Exodus 30:23 Lit 250 (shekels)
  14. Exodus 30:24 Lit 500 (shekels)
  15. Exodus 30:24 Lit a hin

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