The Altar of Incense

30 “Now you shall make (A)an altar as a place for burning incense; you shall make it of acacia wood. Its length shall be [a]a cubit, and its width a cubit; it shall be square, and its height shall be two cubits; its horns shall be [b]of one piece with it. You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and its [c]sides all around, and its horns; and you shall make a gold molding all around for it. You shall also make two gold rings for it under its molding; you shall make them on its two sides—on [d]opposite sides—and [e]they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it. And you shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. You shall put [f]this altar in front of the veil that is [g]near the ark of the testimony, in front of the [h](B)atoning cover that is over the ark of the testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; he shall burn it every morning when he trims the lamps. And when Aaron sets up the lamps at [i]twilight, he shall burn incense. There shall be perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer any [j]strange incense on [k]this altar, or burnt offering, or meal offering; and you shall not pour out a drink offering on it. 10 However, Aaron shall (C)make atonement on its horns once a year; he shall make atonement on it with the blood of the sin offering of atonement once a year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”

11 The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, 12 “When you take (D)a [l]census of the sons of Israel [m]to count them, then each one of them shall give (E)a ransom for [n]himself to the Lord, when you [o]count them, so that there will be no plague among them when you [p]count them. 13 This is what everyone who [q]is counted shall give: half a [r]shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary ((F)the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as a [s]contribution to the Lord. 14 Everyone who [t]is counted, from twenty years old and over, shall give the [u]contribution to the Lord. 15 The rich shall not pay more, and the poor shall not pay less, than the half shekel, when you give the [v]contribution to the Lord to make atonement for [w]yourselves. 16 And you shall take the atonement money from the sons of Israel and give it for the service of the tent of meeting, so that it may be a memorial for the sons of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for [x]yourselves.”

17 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “You shall also make (G)a basin of [y]bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing; and you shall (H)put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it. 19 Aaron and his sons shall (I)wash their hands and their feet from it; 20 when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they do not die; or when they approach the altar to minister, by offering up in smoke a fire sacrifice to the Lord. 21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, so that they do not die; and (J)it shall be a permanent statute for them, for [z]Aaron and his [aa]descendants throughout their generations.”

The Anointing Oil

22 Moreover, the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of liquid myrrh [ab]five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, 250, and of fragrant cane 250, 24 and of cassia 500, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a [ac]hin. 25 You shall make [ad]from these a holy anointing oil, a fragrant mixture of ointments, the work of a perfumer; it shall be (K)a holy anointing oil. 26 And (L)you shall anoint the tent of meeting with it, and the ark of the testimony, 27 and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense, 28 and the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin and its stand. 29 You shall also consecrate them, so that they may be most holy; whatever touches them shall be holy. 30 And (M)you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, so that they may serve as priests to Me. 31 Furthermore, you shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on [ae]anyone’s body, nor shall you make any like it in [af]the same proportions; (N)it is holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 (O)Whoever mixes any like it or whoever puts any of it on a [ag]layman [ah](P)shall be cut off from his people.’”

The Incense

34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices—stacte, onycha, and galbanum, spices and pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. 35 You shall make incense from it all, a skillful mixture, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. 36 And you shall crush some of it very fine, and put part of it in front of the testimony in the tent of meeting (Q)where I will meet with you; it shall be most holy to you. 37 And the incense which you shall make, (R)you shall not make in [ai]the same proportions for yourselves; it shall be holy to you for the Lord. 38 (S)Whoever makes any like it, to [aj]use as perfume, [ak]shall be cut off from his people.”

The Skilled Craftsmen

31 (T)Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “See, I have called by name Bezalel, the (U)son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have (V)filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of [al]craftsmanship, to create [am]artistic designs for work in gold, in silver, and in [an]bronze, and in the cutting of stones [ao]for settings, and in the carving of wood, so that he may work in all kinds of [ap]craftsmanship. And behold, I Myself have [aq]appointed with him (W)Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and in the hearts of all who are [ar]skillful I have put [as]skill, so that they may make everything that I have commanded you: (X)the tent of meeting, (Y)the ark of testimony, (Z)the [at]atoning cover that is on it, and all the furniture of the tent, (AA)the table and its [au]utensils, the (AB)pure gold lampstand with all its [av]utensils, and (AC)the altar of incense, (AD)the altar of burnt offering with all its [aw]utensils, and (AE)the basin and its stand, 10 the [ax](AF)woven garments as well: the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, with which to [ay]carry out their priesthood; 11 (AG)the anointing oil also, and the (AH)fragrant incense for the Holy Place, they are to make them according to everything that I have commanded you.”

The Sign of the Sabbath

12 Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “Now as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘(AI)You must keep My Sabbaths; for this is (AJ)a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, so that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you are to keep the Sabbath, for it is holy to you. (AK)Everyone who profanes it must be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 (AL)For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a (AM)Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; (AN)whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death. 16 So the sons of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to [az]celebrate the Sabbath throughout their generations as a permanent covenant.’ 17 (AO)It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; (AP)for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.”

18 When He had finished speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses (AQ)the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, (AR)written by the finger of God.

The Golden Calf

32 Now when the people saw that Moses (AS)delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled around Aaron and said to him, “Come, (AT)make us [ba]a god who will go before us; for (AU)this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.” Aaron said to them, “(AV)Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then he took the gold from their [bb]hands, and fashioned it with an engraving tool and made it into a (AW)cast metal calf; and they said, “[bc]This is your god, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” Now when Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of it; and Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” So the next day they got up early and (AX)offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and (AY)the people sat down to eat and to drink, and got up (AZ)to engage in lewd behavior.

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go [bd]down at once, for your people, whom (BA)you brought up from the land of Egypt, have (BB)behaved corruptly. They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. (BC)They have made for themselves a cast metal calf, and have worshiped it and (BD)have sacrificed to it and said, ‘[be](BE)This is your god, Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” (BF)Then the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are [bf](BG)an obstinate people. 10 So now (BH)leave Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and (BI)I will make of you a great nation.”

Moses’ Plea

11 Then (BJ)Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should (BK)the Egyptians talk, saying, ‘With evil motives He brought them out, to kill them on the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and relent of doing harm to Your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You (BL)swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will (BM)multiply your [bg]descendants as the stars of the heavens, and (BN)all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your [bh]descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” 14 (BO)So the Lord relented of the harm which He said He would do to His people.

15 (BP)Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, (BQ)tablets which were written on both [bi]sides; they were written on one side and the other. 16 The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets. 17 Now when Joshua heard the sound of the people [bj]as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a sound of war in the camp.” 18 But he said,

“It is not the sound of the cry of victory,
Nor is it the sound of the cry of defeat;
But I hear the sound of singing.”

Moses’ Anger

19 And it came about, as soon as [bk]Moses approached the camp, that (BR)he saw the calf and the people dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and (BS)he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them to pieces [bl]at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then (BT)he took the calf which they had made and completely burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it.

21 Then Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you, that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22 And Aaron said, “Do not let the anger of my lord burn; you know the people yourself, (BU)that they are [bm]prone to evil. 23 For (BV)they said to me, ‘Make [bn]a god for us who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has any gold, let them tear it off.’ Then they gave it to me, and (BW)I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

25 Now when Moses saw that the people were [bo]out of control—for Aaron had (BX)let them [bp]get out of control to the point of being an object of ridicule among [bq]their enemies— 26 Moses then stood at the gate of the camp, and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me!” And all the sons of Levi gathered together to him. 27 And he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Every man of you put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his [br]neighbor.’” 28 So (BY)the sons of Levi did [bs]as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 29 Then Moses said, “[bt]Dedicate yourselves today to the Lord—for every man has been against his son and against his brother—in order that He may bestow a blessing upon you today.”

30 And on the next day Moses said to the people, “(BZ)You yourselves have [bu]committed a great sin; and now I am going up to the Lord; perhaps I can (CA)make atonement for your sin.” 31 Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, this people has [bv]committed a great sin, and they have made a (CB)god of gold for themselves! 32 But now, if You will forgive their sin, very well; but if not, please wipe me out from Your (CC)book which You have written!” 33 However, the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, (CD)I will wipe him out of My book. 34 But go now, lead the people (CE)where I told you. Behold, (CF)My angel shall go before you; nevertheless (CG)on the day when I [bw]punish, (CH)I will [bx]punish them for their sin.” 35 (CI)Then the Lord struck the people with a plague, because of (CJ)what they did with the calf which Aaron had made.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 30:2 About 1.5 ft. long and wide and 3 ft. high or 45 cm and 90 cm
  2. Exodus 30:2 Lit from itself
  3. Exodus 30:3 Lit walls
  4. Exodus 30:4 Lit its two
  5. Exodus 30:4 Lit it
  6. Exodus 30:6 Lit it
  7. Exodus 30:6 Lit upon; or over
  8. Exodus 30:6 Also called mercy seat; i.e., where blood was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement
  9. Exodus 30:8 Lit between the two evenings
  10. Exodus 30:9 I.e., prohibited
  11. Exodus 30:9 Lit it
  12. Exodus 30:12 Lit sum
  13. Exodus 30:12 Lit for their being mustered
  14. Exodus 30:12 Lit his soul
  15. Exodus 30:12 Lit muster
  16. Exodus 30:12 Lit muster
  17. Exodus 30:13 Lit passes over to those who are mustered
  18. Exodus 30:13 A shekel was about 0.5 oz. or 14 gm
  19. Exodus 30:13 Or uplifted offering
  20. Exodus 30:14 See note 1 v 13
  21. Exodus 30:14 Or uplifted offering of the Lord
  22. Exodus 30:15 Or uplifted offering of the Lord
  23. Exodus 30:15 Lit your souls
  24. Exodus 30:16 Lit your souls
  25. Exodus 30:18 Or copper
  26. Exodus 30:21 Lit him
  27. Exodus 30:21 Lit seed
  28. Exodus 30:23 About 15.5 and 7.75 lb. or 7 and 3.5 kg
  29. Exodus 30:24 About 1 gallon or 3.8 liters
  30. Exodus 30:25 Lit it
  31. Exodus 30:32 Lit the flesh of mankind
  32. Exodus 30:32 Lit its proportion
  33. Exodus 30:33 Lit stranger
  34. Exodus 30:33 Lit even he shall
  35. Exodus 30:37 Lit its proportion
  36. Exodus 30:38 Lit smell of it
  37. Exodus 30:38 Lit even he shall
  38. Exodus 31:3 Or workmanship
  39. Exodus 31:4 Lit devices
  40. Exodus 31:4 Or copper
  41. Exodus 31:5 Lit to fill in (for a setting)
  42. Exodus 31:5 Or workmanship
  43. Exodus 31:6 Lit given
  44. Exodus 31:6 Lit wise of heart
  45. Exodus 31:6 Lit wisdom
  46. Exodus 31:7 Also called mercy seat; i.e., where blood was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement
  47. Exodus 31:8 Or vessels
  48. Exodus 31:8 Or vessels
  49. Exodus 31:9 Or vessels
  50. Exodus 31:10 Or service garments
  51. Exodus 31:10 Lit minister as priests
  52. Exodus 31:16 Lit perform
  53. Exodus 32:1 Or gods
  54. Exodus 32:4 Lit hand
  55. Exodus 32:4 Or These are your gods
  56. Exodus 32:7 Lit go down
  57. Exodus 32:8 Or These are your gods
  58. Exodus 32:9 Or a stiff-necked
  59. Exodus 32:13 Lit seed
  60. Exodus 32:13 Lit seed
  61. Exodus 32:15 Lit their sides
  62. Exodus 32:17 Lit in its shouting
  63. Exodus 32:19 Lit he
  64. Exodus 32:19 Lit beneath
  65. Exodus 32:22 Lit in evil
  66. Exodus 32:23 Or gods
  67. Exodus 32:25 Lit let loose
  68. Exodus 32:25 Lit go loose
  69. Exodus 32:25 Lit those who rise against them
  70. Exodus 32:27 Or kin
  71. Exodus 32:28 Lit according to Moses’ word
  72. Exodus 32:29 Lit Fill your hand
  73. Exodus 32:30 Lit sinned
  74. Exodus 32:31 Lit sinned
  75. Exodus 32:34 Lit visit
  76. Exodus 32:34 Lit visit their sin upon them