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Exodus 30-31 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Incense Altar

30 “You are to make an altar for the burning of incense; make it of acacia wood. It must be square, eighteen inches long and eighteen inches wide;[a] it must be thirty-six inches high.[b] Its horns must be of one piece with it. 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 curtain 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 atonement ceremony for the altar. Throughout your generations he is to perform the atonement ceremony for[c] it once a year, with the blood of the sin offering for atonement on the horns. 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 his life 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[d] according to the sanctuary shekel (twenty gerahs to the shekel). This half shekel is a contribution to the Lord. 14 Each man who is registered, twenty 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[e] your lives. 16 Take the atonement price[f] 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 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 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[g] of liquid myrrh, half as much (6¼ pounds[h]) of fragrant cinnamon, 6¼ pounds of fragrant cane, 24 12½ pounds of cassia (by the sanctuary shekel), and a gallon[i] 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 holy—belonging to the Lord. 38 Anyone who makes something like it to smell its fragrance must be cut off from his people.”

God’s Provision of the Skilled Workers

31 The Lord also spoke to Moses: “Look, I have appointed by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with God’s Spirit, with wisdom, understanding, and ability in every craft to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut gemstones for mounting, and to carve wood for work in every craft. I have also selected Oholiab[j] son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be with him. I have put wisdom in the heart of every skilled artisan[k] in order to make all that I have commanded you: the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, the mercy seat that is on top of it, and all the other furnishings of the tent the table with its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, the basin with its stand— 10 the specially woven[l] garments, both the holy garments for the priest Aaron and the garments for his sons to serve as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and the fragrant incense for the sanctuary. They must make them according to all that I have commanded you.”

Observing the Sabbath

12 The Lord said to Moses: 13 “Tell the Israelites: You must observe my Sabbaths, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, so that you will know that I am the Lord who consecrates you. 14 Observe the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. Whoever profanes it must be put to death. If anyone does work on it, that person must be cut off from his people. 15 Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there must be a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord. Anyone who does work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 The Israelites must observe the Sabbath, celebrating it throughout their generations as a permanent covenant. 17 It is a sign forever between me and the Israelites, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”

The Two Stone Tablets

18 When he finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.

Footnotes:

  1. 30:2 Lit one cubit its length and one cubit its width
  2. 30:2 Lit wide; and two cubits its height
  3. 30:10 Or on
  4. 30:13 A shekel is about two-fifths of an ounce of silver
  5. 30:15 Or to ransom, also in v. 16
  6. 30:16 Lit the silver of the atonement
  7. 30:23 Lit 500 (shekels), also in v. 24
  8. 30:23 Lit 250 (shekels)
  9. 30:24 Lit a hin
  10. 31:6 LXX, Syr read Eliab
  11. 31:6 Lit everyone wise of heart
  12. 31:10 Hb obscure
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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