The Altar of Incense

In The Holy Place

The altar of incense was placed in front of the veil that separated the Holy from the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies .

It was used during the daily services of the Sanctuary -

Exodus 40:26-27 (King James Version)

26. And he put the golden altar in the tent of the congregation before the vail:

The altar of incense was made of wood overlaid with pure gold -

Exodus 30:1-6
(King James Version)

1. And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it.

2. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same.

3. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about.

4. And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal.

5. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold.

A specially made incense was burned on the Altar of Incense -

Exodus 40:27
(King James Version)

27. And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Exodus 30:34-36 (King James Version)

34. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

35. And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy:

36. And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.

The incense used for the Altar of Incense could not be made for personal use -

Exodus 30:37-38
(King James Version)

37. And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.

38. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people.

The Altar of Incense

Daily God met with the Priest from the Ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy place from behind the veil , while the Priests stood in the Holy place on the other side of the veil, in front of the Altar of Incense -

Exodus 30:6 (King James Version)

6. And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee.

It was at the Altar of Incense that the priest interceded or prayed twice a day for the people during the morning and evening prayers -

2 Chronicles 13:11
(King James Version)

11. And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense:

Luke 1:10-12 (King James Version)

10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

Revelation 8:4 (King James Version)

4. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God....

Now Christ our High Priest intercedes in heaven for us -

Romans 8:34
(King James Version)

34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Hebrews 7:25 (King James Version)

25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

26. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 9:24 (King James Version)

24. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Blood from the sin offering that was sprinkled on the veil was also sprinkled on the horns of the altar of incense -

Leviticus 4:4-7 (King James Version)

4. And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD; and shall lay his hand upon the bullock's head, and kill the bullock before the LORD.

5. And the priest that is anointed shall take of the bullock's blood, and bring it to the tabernacle of the congregation:

6. And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.

7. And the priest shall put some of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the LORD, which is in the tabernacle of the congregation;

The altar of incense (golden altar) was patterned after the one in the heavenly sanctuary -

Revelation 8:3
(King James Version)

3. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

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