The Altar for Incense
1 ⌊The Lord continued,⌋ “Build an altar out of acacia wood for burning incense. 2 Make it 18 inches square and 36 inches high. The horns and altar must be made out of one piece ⌊of wood⌋. 3 Cover all of it with pure gold—the top, the sides, and the horns. Put a gold molding around it. 4 Make two gold rings, and put them below the molding on opposite sides to hold the poles for carrying it. 5 Make the poles out of acacia wood, and cover them with gold. 6 Put the altar in front of the canopy which ⌊hangs⌋ over the ark containing the words of my promise. I will meet with you there in front of the throne of mercy that is on the ark.
7 “Aaron must burn sweet-smelling incense on this altar every morning when he takes care of the lamps. 8 Also, when Aaron lights the lamps at dusk, he must burn incense. For generations to come an incense offering must burn constantly in the Lord’s presence.
9 “Never burn any unauthorized incense on this altar or any burnt offerings or grain offerings. Never pour a wine offering on it. 10 Once a year Aaron must make peace with the Lord by putting blood on its horns. Once a year—for generations to come—blood from the offering must be placed on the altar to make peace with the Lord. It is most holy to the Lord.”
Counting the Israelites
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites, each person must pay the Lord a ransom for his life when he is counted. Then no plague will happen to them when they are counted. 13 As each person is counted, he must give one-fifth of an ounce of silver using the standard weight of the holy place.#Hebrew adds, “There are 20 gerahs to the standard shekel.” This one-fifth of an ounce of silver is a contribution to the Lord. 14 Everyone counted who is at least 20 years old must give this contribution to the Lord. 15 The rich must not give more than one-fifth of an ounce of silver, and the poor must not give less. This contribution is given to make peace with the Lord and make your lives acceptable to the Lord. 16 Take the money the Israelites give to make peace with the Lord, and use it to pay the expenses of the tent of meeting. It will be a reminder for the Israelites in the Lord’s presence that the sins in their lives are removed.”
The Bronze Basin
17 The Lord said to Moses, 18 “Make a bronze basin with a bronze stand for washing. Put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and fill it with water. 19 Aaron and his sons will use it for washing their hands and feet. 20 Before they go into the tent of meeting, they must wash so that they will not die. Before they come near the altar to serve as priests and burn an offering by fire to the Lord, 21 they will wash their hands and feet so that they will not die. This will be a permanent law for him and his descendants for generations to come.”
The Oil for Anointing
22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the finest spices: 12½ pounds of powdered #Or “liquid.” myrrh; half as much, that is, 6¼ pounds of fragrant cinnamon; 6¼ pounds of fragrant cane; 24 12½ pounds of cassia—all weighed using the standard weight of the holy place—and 4 quarts of olive oil. 25 Have a perfumer make these into a holy oil, a fragrant mixture, used only for anointing. This will be the holy oil used for anointing.
26 “Use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark containing the words of my promise, 27 the table and all the dishes, the lamp stand and all the utensils, the altar for incense, 28 the altar for burnt offerings and all its accessories, and the basin with its stand. 29 In this way you will dedicate them for their holy purpose. Then they will be most holy, and anything that touches them will become holy. 30 Anoint Aaron and his sons as well. In this way you will set them apart for their holy duties of serving me as priests.
31 “Say to the Israelites, ‘For generations to come, this will be my holy oil used only for anointing. 32 It must never be poured on the bodies of other people. Never make any perfumed oil using this formula. It is holy, and you must treat it as holy. 33 Whoever prepares a perfume like this or puts it on anyone who is not a priest must be excluded from the people.’ ”
The Incense for Use in the Tent
34 The Lord said to Moses, “Take one part fragrant spices (two kinds of gum resin and aromatic mollusk shells), and mix them with one part pure frankincense. 35 Have a perfumer make it into fragrant incense, seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36 Grind some of it into a fine powder, and put it in front of ⌊the ark containing⌋ the words of my promise in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. You must treat it as most holy. 37 Never make any incense for yourselves using this formula. Treat it as holy to the Lord. 38 Whoever prepares anything like it for his own enjoyment must be excluded from his people.”