Home / Commentary / Exodus / Exodus Chapter 30
The LORD describes how the altar of incense was to be built. The rings and the poles, used to carry the altar of incense, are also described here.
The LORD describes where the altar of incense was to be placed.
The high priest was to burn incense every morning and evening, resulting in incense being before the LORD all day, every day. Only certain incense could be burned, and atonement needed to be made for the altar every year.
The LORD describes what can be labeled as a “tabernacle tax.” Moses was to take a census and receive a “ransom” (a half a shekel) from everyone twenty years or older. The money was to be used to maintain the tabernacle.
The LORD then describes how to make a laver (or basin). It was to be made of bronze and used by the priests to wash their hands and feet before they entered the tabernacle to serve the LORD.
This passage concerns the oil used for anointing. Following the introduction, the LORD specifies how to make the anointing oil. Then the LORD states the purpose of the anointing oil, followed by the command to make it a permanent part of worship at the tabernacle.
The LORD describes how to make the incense, its use, and the demand for complete obedience.
The book of Exodus is the second book of the Torah (“law”). It continues the story of Genesis concerning the migration of the family of Jacob (the Israelites) to Egypt (Genesis 50). It describes the commissioning of Moses and Aaron as God’s representatives on earth to accomplish God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and lead them to the Promised Land (the land of Canaan). It also relates the miraculous deliverance from Egypt beginning with the plagues on Egypt and the crossing of the Red Sea. It then describes the journey to Mount Sinai and the establishment of the Mosaic covenant with the Israelites. The last part of the book involves the specifications and building of the tabernacle – the place where the Lord Himself dwelt amongst His people.
In the book of Exodus, the focus shifts to the deliverance of God’s people.
In Exodus 30, the LORD gave Moses instructions on other items to be constructed. They were to be placed in the tabernacle and used in the worship of the LORD. Specifically, instructions on how to build the altar of incense, the laver, the anointing oil, and the incense.
Exodus 30 can be outlined as follows:
• The Altar of Incense (30:1 – 10)
◦ Its Construction (30:1 – 5)
◦ Its Placement (30:6)
◦ Its Use (30:7 – 10)
• The Census Offering (30:11 – 16)
• The Laver (30:17 – 21)
• The Oil and the Incense (30:22 – 38)
◦ The Oil (30:22 – 33)
◦ The Incense (30:34 – 38)