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Exodus 30:34-38

Context

30:34 The Lord said to Moses: “Take 1  spices, gum resin, 2  onycha, 3  galbanum, 4  and pure frankincense 5  of equal amounts 6  30:35 and make it into an incense, 7  a perfume, 8  the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground, 9  and pure and sacred. 30:36 You are to beat some of it very fine and put some of it before the ark of the testimony in the tent of meeting where I will meet with you; it is to be most holy to you. 30:37 And the incense that you are to make, you must not make for yourselves using the same recipe; it is to be most holy to you, belonging to the Lord. 30:38 Whoever makes anything like it, to use as perfume, 10  will be cut off from his people.”

1 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.

2 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.

3 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.

4 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.

5 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).

6 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”

7 tn This is an accusative of result or product.

8 tn The word is in apposition to “incense,” further defining the kind of incense that is to be made.

9 tn The word מְמֻלָּח (mÿmullakh), a passive participle, is usually taken to mean “salted.” Since there is no meaning like that for the Pual form, the word probably should be taken as “mixed,” as in Rashi and Tg. Onq. Seasoning with salt would work if it were food, but since it is not food, if it means “salted” it would be a symbol of what was sound and whole for the covenant. Some have thought that it would have helped the incense burn quickly with more smoke.

10 tn Or to smell it, to use for the maker’s own pleasure.



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