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THE HIGH-PRIEST AARON OFFERING INCENSE ON THE
(Exod. xxx. 1-10.) As the children of Israel were journeying through the wilderness, in their route from Egypt to Canaan, their leader, Moses, was called
up into the Mount Sinai, to receive the law by which they were to be governed, from the lips of the Almighty. He ascended it in the midst of thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud, which veiled the Holy One of Israel and his prophet from the gaze of the assembled and awe-stricken multitude.
Among the ceremonial statutes ordained on this occasion, none were more important than that connected with the altar of incense, and which reads thus:-" And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon : of shittim-wood shalt thou make it. A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; four-square shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. 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. 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. And thou shalt make the staves of shittim-wood, and overlay them with gold. 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. And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meatoffering; neither shall ye pour drink-offering thereon. And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin-offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the Lord.”
The high-priest was an important personage among the Hebrews.