30:7 Aaron is to burn sweet incense 1 on it morning by morning; when he attends 2 to the lamps he is to burn incense. 3 30:8 When Aaron sets up the lamps around sundown he is to burn incense on it; it is to be a regular incense offering before the Lord throughout your generations. 30:9 You must not offer strange incense on it, nor burnt offering, nor meal offering, and you must not pour out a drink offering on it.
30:34 The Lord said to Moses: “Take 4 spices, gum resin, 5 onycha, 6 galbanum, 7 and pure frankincense 8 of equal amounts 9 30:35 and make it into an incense, 10 a perfume, 11 the work of a perfumer. It is to be finely ground, 12 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, 13 will be cut off from his people.”
1 tn The text uses a cognate accusative (“incense”) with the verb “to burn” or “to make into incense/sweet smoke.” Then, the noun “sweet spices” is added in apposition to clarify the incense as sweet.
2 tn The Hebrew is בְּהֵיטִיבוֹ (bÿhetivo), a Hiphil infinitive construct serving in a temporal clause. The Hebrew verb means “to make good” and so in this context “to fix” or “to dress.” This refers to cleansing and trimming the lamps.
3 sn The point of the little golden altar of incense is normally for intercessory prayer, and then at the Day of Atonement for blood applied atonement. The instructions for making it show that God wanted his people to make a place for prayer. The instructions for its use show that God expects that the requests of his people will be pleasing to him.
4 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.
5 sn This is from a word that means “to drip”; the spice is a balsam that drips from a resinous tree.
6 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.
7 sn This is a gum from plants of the genus Ferula; it has an unpleasant odor, but when mixed with others is pleasant.
8 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).
9 tn Heb “of each part there will be an equal part.”
10 tn This is an accusative of result or product.
11 tn The word is in apposition to “incense,” further defining the kind of incense that is to be made.
12 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.
13 tn Or to smell it, to use for the maker’s own pleasure.