The Incense Altar
1“You are to make an altar for the burning of incense; make it of acacia wood. 2It must be square, eighteen inches long and eighteen inches wide; it must be thirty-six inches high. Its horns must be of one piece with it. 3Overlay its top, all around its sides, and its horns with pure gold; make a gold molding all around it. 4Make two gold rings for it under the molding on two of its sides; put these on opposite sides of it to be holders for the poles to carry it with. 5Make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.
6“You are to place the altar in front of the curtain by the ark of the testimony — in front of the mercy seat that is over the testimony — where I will meet with you. 7Aaron must burn fragrant incense on it; he must burn it every morning when he tends the lamps. 8When Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he must burn incense. There is to be an incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 9You must not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt or grain offering; you are not to pour a drink offering on it.
10“Once a year Aaron is to perform the atonement ceremony for the altar. Throughout your generations he is to perform the atonement ceremony for it once a year, with the blood of the sin offering for atonement on the horns. The altar is especially holy to the Lord.”
The Atonement Money
11The Lord spoke to Moses: 12“When you take a census of the Israelites to register them, each of the men must pay a ransom for his life to the Lord as they are registered. Then no plague will come on them as they are registered. 13Everyone who is registered must pay half a shekel according to the sanctuary shekel (twenty gerahs to the shekel). This half shekel is a contribution to the Lord. 14Each man who is registered, twenty years old or more, must give this contribution to the Lord. 15The wealthy may not give more and the poor may not give less than half a shekel when giving the contribution to the Lord to atone for your lives. 16Take the atonement price from the Israelites and use it for the service of the tent of meeting. It will serve as a reminder for the Israelites before the Lord to atone for your lives.”
The Bronze Basin
17The Lord spoke to Moses: 18“Make a bronze basin for washing and a bronze stand for it. Set it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and put water in it. 19Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin. 20Whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister by burning a food offering to the Lord, they must wash with water so that they will not die. 21They must wash their hands and feet so that they will not die; this is to be a permanent statute for them, for Aaron and his descendants throughout their generations.”
The Anointing Oil
22The Lord spoke to Moses: 23“Take for yourself the finest spices: 12½ pounds of liquid myrrh, half as much (6¼ pounds) of fragrant cinnamon, 6¼ pounds of fragrant cane, 2412½ pounds of cassia (by the sanctuary shekel), and a gallon of olive oil. 25Prepare from these a holy anointing oil, a scented blend, the work of a perfumer; it will be holy anointing oil.
26“With it you are to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the testimony, 27the table with all its utensils, the lampstand with its utensils, the altar of incense, 28the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29Consecrate them and they will be especially holy. Whatever touches them will be consecrated. 30Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them to serve me as priests.
31“Tell the Israelites: This will be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations. 32It must not be used for ordinary anointing on a person’s body, and you must not make anything like it using its formula. It is holy, and it must be holy to you. 33Anyone who blends something like it or puts some of it on an unauthorized person must be cut off from his people.”
The Sacred Incense
34The Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices: stacte, onycha, and galbanum; the spices and pure frankincense are to be in equal measures. 35Prepare expertly blended incense from these; it is to be seasoned with salt, pure and holy. 36Grind some of it into a fine powder and put some in front of the testimony in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It must be especially holy to you. 37As for the incense you are making, you must not make any for yourselves using its formula. It is to be regarded by you as holy — belonging to the Lord. 38Anyone who makes something like it to smell its fragrance must be cut off from his people.”