The Altar of Incense(A)

30 “You shall make (B)an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width—it shall be square—and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a [a]molding of gold all around. Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put it before the (C)veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the (D)mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.

“Aaron shall burn on it (E)sweet incense every morning; when (F)he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps [b]at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer (G)strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. 10 And (H)Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

The Ransom Money

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 (I)“When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give (J)a[c] ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no (K)plague among them when you number them. 13 (L)This is what everyone among those who are numbered shall give: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (M)(a shekel is twenty gerahs). (N)The half-shekel shall be an offering to the Lord. 14 Everyone included among those who are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an [d]offering to the Lord. 15 The (O)rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves. 16 And you shall take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and (P)shall [e]appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of meeting, that it may be (Q)a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves.”

The Bronze Laver

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 18 (R)“You shall also make a [f]laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall (S)put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, 19 for Aaron and his sons (T)shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. 20 When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the Lord, they shall wash with water, lest they die. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And (U)it shall be a [g]statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

The Holy Anointing Oil(V)

22 Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Also take for yourself (W)quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid (X)myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling (Y)cane, 24 five hundred shekels of (Z)cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a (AA)hin of olive oil. 25 And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be (AB)a holy anointing oil. 26 (AC)With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of meeting and the ark of the Testimony; 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense; 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 29 You shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; (AD)whatever touches them must be holy. 30 (AE)And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.

31 “And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its composition. (AF)It is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 (AG)Whoever [h]compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it on an outsider, (AH)shall be [i]cut off from his people.’ ”

The Incense(AI)

34 And the Lord said to Moses: (AJ)“Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each. 35 You shall make of these an incense, a compound (AK)according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. 36 And you shall beat some of it very fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting (AL)where I will meet with you. (AM)It shall be most holy to you. 37 But as for the incense which you shall make, (AN)you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its [j]composition. It shall be to you holy for the Lord. 38 (AO)Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people.”


  1. Exodus 30:3 border
  2. Exodus 30:8 Lit. between the two evenings
  3. Exodus 30:12 the price of a life
  4. Exodus 30:14 contribution
  5. Exodus 30:16 give
  6. Exodus 30:18 basin
  7. Exodus 30:21 requirement
  8. Exodus 30:33 mixes
  9. Exodus 30:33 Put to death
  10. Exodus 30:37 Lit. proportion

The Altar of Incense(A)

30 “Make an altar(B) of acacia wood for burning incense.(C) It is to be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high[a]—its horns(D) of one piece with it. Overlay the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it.(E) Make two gold rings(F) for the altar below the molding—two on each of the opposite sides—to hold the poles used to carry it. Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.(G) Put the altar in front of the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law—before the atonement cover(H) that is over the tablets of the covenant law—where I will meet with you.

“Aaron must burn fragrant incense(I) on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps. He must burn incense again when he lights the lamps at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the Lord for the generations to come.(J) Do not offer on this altar any other incense(K) or any burnt offering or grain offering, and do not pour a drink offering on it. 10 Once a year(L) Aaron shall make atonement(M) on its horns. This annual atonement must be made with the blood of the atoning sin offering[b](N) for the generations to come.(O) It is most holy to the Lord.”

Atonement Money

11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census(P) of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom(Q) for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague(R) will come on them when you number them. 13 Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel,[c] according to the sanctuary shekel,(S) which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the Lord. 14 All who cross over, those twenty years old or more,(T) are to give an offering to the Lord. 15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less(U) when you make the offering to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16 Receive the atonement(V) money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting.(W) It will be a memorial(X) for the Israelites before the Lord, making atonement for your lives.”

Basin for Washing

17 Then the Lord said to Moses, 18 “Make a bronze basin,(Y) with its bronze stand, for washing. Place it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons are to wash their hands and feet(Z) with water(AA) from it. 20 Whenever they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water so that they will not die.(AB) Also, when they approach the altar to minister by presenting a food offering to the Lord, 21 they shall wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This is to be a lasting ordinance(AC) for Aaron and his descendants for the generations to come.”(AD)

Anointing Oil

22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices:(AE) 500 shekels[d] of liquid myrrh,(AF) half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon,(AG) 250 shekels[e] of fragrant calamus,(AH) 24 500 shekels(AI) of cassia(AJ)—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin[f] of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer.(AK) It will be the sacred anointing oil.(AL) 26 Then use it to anoint(AM) the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them(AN) so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.(AO)

30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate(AP) them so they may serve me as priests.(AQ) 31 Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil(AR) for the generations to come.(AS) 32 Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred.(AT) 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off(AU) from their people.’”


34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices(AV)—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense,(AW) the work of a perfumer.(AX) It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36 Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet(AY) with you. It shall be most holy(AZ) to you. 37 Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy(BA) to the Lord. 38 Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off(BB) from their people.”


  1. Exodus 30:2 That is, about 1 1/2 feet long and wide and 3 feet high or about 45 centimeters long and wide and 90 centimeters high
  2. Exodus 30:10 Or purification offering
  3. Exodus 30:13 That is, about 1/5 ounce or about 5.8 grams; also in verse 15
  4. Exodus 30:23 That is, about 12 1/2 pounds or about 5.8 kilograms; also in verse 24
  5. Exodus 30:23 That is, about 6 1/4 pounds or about 2.9 kilograms
  6. Exodus 30:24 That is, probably about 1 gallon or about 3.8 liters