30:23 “Take 1 choice spices: 2 twelve and a half pounds 3 of free-flowing myrrh, 4 half that – about six and a quarter pounds – of sweet-smelling cinnamon, six and a quarter pounds of sweet-smelling cane,
1 tn The construction uses the imperative “take,” but before it is the independent pronoun to add emphasis to it. After the imperative is the ethical dative (lit. “to you”) to stress the task to Moses as a personal responsibility: “and you, take to yourself.”
3 tn Or “500 shekels.” Verse 24 specifies that the sanctuary shekel was the unit for weighing the spices. The total of 1500 shekels for the four spices is estimated at between 77 and 100 pounds, or 17 to 22 kilograms, depending on how much a shekel weighed (C. Houtman, Exodus, 3:576).
4 sn Myrrh is an aromatic substance that flows from the bark of certain trees in Arabia and Africa and then hardens. “The hardened globules of the gum appear also to have been ground into a powder that would have been easy to store and would have been poured from a container” (J. Durham, Exodus [WBC], 3:406).
5 tn The construction is “take to you,” which could be left in that literal sense, but more likely the suffix is an ethical dative, stressing the subject of the imperative.
6 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.
7 sn This may be a plant, or it may be from a species of mollusks; it is mentioned in Ugaritic and Akkadian; it gives a pungent odor when burnt.
8 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.
9 tn The word “spice is repeated here, suggesting that the first three formed half of the ingredient and this spice the other half – but this is conjecture (U. Cassuto, Exodus, 400).
10 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”