Exodus 30

1˻God said to Moses,˼ “Make an altar from acacia wood. You will use this altar for burning incense. 2You must make the altar square—1 cubit long and 1 cubit wide. It must be 2 cubits high. There will be horns at the four corners. These horns must be made as one piece with the altar. 3Cover the top and all the sides of the altar with pure gold. And put gold trim all around the altar. 4Below this trim there should be two gold rings. There should be two gold rings on opposite sides of the altar. These gold rings will be used with poles to carry the altar. 5Make the poles from acacia wood also. Cover the poles with gold. 6Put the altar in front of the special curtain. The Box of the Agreement is behind that curtain. The altar will be in front of the cover that is above the Agreement. This is the place where I will meet with you. 7“Aaron must burn sweet smelling incense on the altar every morning. He will do this when he comes to care for the lamps. 8He must burn incense again in the evening. This is the time when he checks the lamps in the evenings. So that incense will be burned before the Lord every day forever. 9Don’t use this altar for offering any other kind of incense or burnt offering. Don’t use this altar to offer any kind of grain offering or drink offering. 10“Once a year Aaron must make a special sacrifice to the Lord. Aaron will use the blood of the sin offering to erase the sins of the people. Aaron will do this at the horns of this altar. This day will be called the Day of Atonement. This will be a very special day for the Lord.” 11The Lord said to Moses, 12“Count the people of Israel so that you will know how many people there are. Every time this is done, every person must make a payment for himself to the Lord. If each person does this, then no terrible thing will happen to the people. 13Every person who is counted must pay 1Ú2 shekel. (That is 1Ú2 shekel by the official measure. This shekel weighs 20 gerahs.) This half shekel is an offering to the Lord. 14Every person who is at least 20 years old will be counted. And every person counted must give the Lord this offering. 15Rich people must not give more than 1Ú2 shekel. And poor people must not give less than 1Ú2 shekel. All people will make the same offering to the Lord. This will be a payment for your life. 16Gather this money from the people of Israel. Use the money for the service in the Meeting Tent. This payment will be a way for the Lord to remember his people. They will be paying for their own lives.” 17The Lord said to Moses, 18“Make a bronze bowl and put it on a bronze base. You will use this for washing. Put the bowl between the Meeting Tent and the altar. Fill the bowl with water. 19Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet with the water from this bowl. 20Every time they enter the Meeting Tent or come near the altar they must wash with water. This way they will not die. 21And they must wash their hands and their feet so they won’t die. This will be a law that continues forever for Aaron and his people. This law will continue for all Aaron’s people who will live in the future.” 22Then the Lord said to Moses, 23“Find the finest spices. Get 12 pounds of liquid myrrh, half that amount (that is, 6 pounds) of sweet smelling cinnamon, and 12 pounds of sweet smelling cane, 24and 12 pounds of cassia. Use the official measure to measure all these things. Also get 1 gallon of olive oil. 25“Mix all these things to make a special sweet-smelling anointing oil. 26Pour this oil on the Meeting Tent and on the Box of the Agreement. This will show that these things have a special purpose. 27Pour the oil on the table and on all the dishes on the table. And pour this oil on the lamp and on all its tools. Pour the oil on the incense altar. 28Also, pour the oil on the altar for burning offerings to God. Pour this oil on everything on that altar. Pour this oil on the bowl and on the base under the bowl. 29You will make all these things holy. They will be very special to the Lord. Anything that touches these things will also become holy. 30“Pour the oil on Aaron and his sons. This will show that they serve me in a special way. Then they can serve me as priests. 31Tell the people of Israel that the anointing oil is holy—it must always be used only for me. 32No one should use this oil like an ordinary perfume. Don’t make perfume the same way you make this special oil. This oil is holy, and it should be very special to you. 33If anyone makes a perfume like this holy oil, and if he gives it to a foreigner, then that person must be separated from his people.” 34Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get these sweet-smelling spices: resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense. Be sure that you have equal amounts of these spices. 35Mix the spices together to make a sweet-smelling incense. Do this the same as a perfume maker would do it. Also mix salt with this incense. This will make it pure and special. 36Grind some of the incense until it becomes a fine powder. Put the powder in front of the Agreement in the Meeting Tent. This is the place where I meet with you. You must use this incense powder only for its very special purpose. 37You must use this incense only in this special way for the Lord. You will make this incense in a special way. Don’t make any other incense in this special way. 38A person might want to make some of this incense for himself, so he can enjoy the smell. But if he does this, then he must be separated from his people.

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