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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 30

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Text Commentary

Altar of Incense. 1“For burning incense you shall make an altar of acacia wood, c 1–5; Ex 37, 25–28 . 2with a square surface, a cubit long, a cubit wide, and two cubits high, with horns that spring directly from it. 3Its grate on top, its walls on all four sides, and its horns you shall plate with pure gold. Put a gold molding around it. 4Underneath the molding you shall put gold rings, two on one side and two on the opposite side, as holders for the poles used in carrying it. 5Make the poles, too, of acacia wood and plate them with gold. 6This altar you are to place in front of the veil that hangs before the ark of the commandments where I will meet you. d Ex 40, 26 .

7“On it Aaron shall burn fragrant incense. Morning after morning, when he prepares the lamps, 8and again in the evening twilight, when he lights the lamps, he shall burn incense. Throughout your generations this shall be the established incense offering before the LORD. 9On this altar you shall not offer up any profane incense, or any holocaust or cereal offering; nor shall you pour out a libation upon it. 10Once a year Aaron shall perform the atonement rite on its horns. e Lv 16, 18 . Throughout your generations this atonement is to be made once a year with the blood of the atoning sin offering. This altar is most sacred to the LORD.”

Census Tax. 11The LORD also said to Moses, 12“When you take a census f Nm 1, 2f; 26, 2 . of the Israelites who are to be registered, each one, as he is enrolled, shall give the LORD a forfeit for his life, so that no plague may come upon them for being registered. 13Everyone who enters the registered group must pay a half‐shekel, according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel. This payment of a half‐shekel is a contribution to the LORD. g Mt 17, 24–27 . 14Everyone of twenty years or more who enters the registered group must give this contribution to the LORD. 15The rich need not give more, nor shall the poor give less, than a half‐shekel in this contribution to the LORD to pay the forfeit for their lives. 16 h Ex 38, 25 . When you receive this forfeit money from the Israelites, you shall donate it to the service of the meeting tent, that there it may be the Israelites' reminder, before the LORD, of the forfeit paid for their lives.”

The Laver. 17The LORD said to Moses, 18“For ablutions you shall make a bronze laver with a bronze base. Place it between the meeting tent and the altar, and put water in it. i Ex 38, 8; 40, 7. 30. 19Aaron and his sons shall use it in washing their hands and feet. j 19ff: Ex 40, 31f . 20When they are about to enter the meeting tent, they must wash with water, lest they die. Likewise when they approach the altar in their ministry, to offer an oblation to the LORD, 21they must wash their hands and feet, lest they die. This shall be a perpetual ordinance for him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

The Anointing Oil. 22The LORD said to Moses, 23“Take the finest spices: five hundred shekels of free‐flowing myrrh; half that amount, that is, two hundred and fifty shekels, of fragrant cinnamon; two hundred and fifty shekels of fragrant cane; 24five hundred shekels of cassia—all according to the standard of the sanctuary shekel; together with a hin of olive oil; 25and blend them into sacred anointing oil, k Ex 37, 29 . perfumed ointment expertly prepared. 26 l 26–29: Ex 40, 9ff; Lv 8, 10; Nm 7, 1 . With this sacred anointing oil you shall anoint the meeting tent and the ark of the commandments, 27the table and all its appurtenances, the lampstand and its appurtenances, the altar of incense 28and the altar of holocausts with all its appurtenances, and the laver with its base. 29When you have consecrated them, they shall be most sacred; whatever touches them shall be sacred. 30Aaron and his sons you shall also anoint and consecrate as my priests. m Ex 29, 7; Lv 8, 12 . 31To the Israelites you shall say: As sacred anointing oil this shall belong to me throughout your generations. 32It may not be used in any ordinary anointing of the body, nor may you make any other oil of a like mixture. It is sacred, and shall be treated assacred by you. 33Whoever prepares a perfume like this, or whoever puts any of this on a layman, shall be cut off from his kinsmen.”

The Incense. 34 n 34ff: Ex 25, 6; 37, 29 . The LORD told Moses, “Take these aromatic substances: storax and onycha and galbanum, these and pure frankincense in equal parts; 35and blend them into incense. This fragrant powder, expertly prepared, is to be salted and so kept pure and sacred. 36Grind some of it into fine dust and put this before the commandments in the meeting tent where I will meet you. This incense shall be treated as most sacred by you. 37You may not make incense of a like mixture for yourselves; you must treat it as sacred to the LORD. 38Whoever makes an incense like this for his own enjoyment of its fragrance, shall be cut off from his kinsmen.”

Notes:

c: 1–5; Ex 37, 25–28 .

d: Ex 40, 26 .

e: Lv 16, 18 .

f: Nm 1, 2f; 26, 2 .

g: Mt 17, 24–27 .

h: Ex 38, 25 .

i: Ex 38, 8; 40, 7. 30.

j: 19ff: Ex 40, 31f .

k: Ex 37, 29 .

l: 26–29: Ex 40, 9ff; Lv 8, 10; Nm 7, 1 .

m: Ex 29, 7; Lv 8, 12 .

n: 34ff: Ex 25, 6; 37, 29 .

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