Devotional Readings

Exodus 37:29 – Pure Incense

Exo 37:29  And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary.

After reading this verse i looked up the word as used in the New Teestament.

Luk 1:9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

Luk 1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.

Below is Old John Gill’s commentary.

Revelation 8:3 Gill

and there was given unto him much incense; the intercession of Christ is meant by “the incense”, which, like that, is sweet and fragrant, very grateful and acceptable to God and also pure and holy; for though it is made for transgressors, yet in a way of righteousness, and consistent with the holiness and justice of God; nor is there any like it, nor should there be any besides it; the intercession of angels, and saints departed, ought to be rejected: and it is perpetual, or will be for ever; see Exo 30:7; and whereas it is said to be “much”, this is an allusion either to the many spices used in the composition of the incense, see Exo 30:34; the Jews say (w), that eleven sorts of spices were ordered to Moses, and the wise men have added three more, in all fourteen; or to the priest’s handfuls of incense, which he took and brought within the vail on the day of atonement, Lev 16:12; and which were added to, and were over and above the quantity used every day (x); and even in the daily service the pot of incense was not only filled, but גדוש, “heaped up” (y); now this may denote the fulness of Christ’s intercession, which is for all his elect, called and uncalled, greater or lesser believers, and for all things for them, as their cases be; for conversion, discoveries of pardon, preservation, perseverance, and glorification; and to support this, he has a fulness of merit, which makes his intercession efficacious; for incense was put upon the burning coals in the censer, or upon the fire before the Lord, Lev 16:13, signifying that Christ’s intercession proceeds upon his sufferings and death: his blood and sacrifice, from whence all his pleas and arguments are taken in favour of his people, and which always prevail: and this is said to be given him, as his whole work and office as Mediator, and every branch of it is; he is appointed to this work, is allowed to do it, and is accepted in it, by him that sits upon the throne: in the daily offering of the incense, one took the incense and gave it into the hand of his friend, or the priest that was next him; and if he wanted instruction how to offer it, he taught him, nor might anyone offer incense until the president bid him (z); to which there seems to be an allusion here: now the end of this was,

that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne; the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions add, “of God”; the prayers of the saints, rightly performed, are themselves compared to incense, being very grateful and acceptable to God, Psa 141:2; and the Arabic version here renders it in connection with the preceding clause, and explanative of that, “and there was given unto him much incense and much spice, which are the prayers of the saints”, as in Rev 5:8; and at the time of incense the people prayed; see Luk 1:10; and these are spiritual sacrifices, which Christ the high priest presents for the saints, perfumes with the incense of his mediation, and makes acceptable to God, being offered upon, and coming up from that altar which is before him, and which gives value to everything that is put upon it: and they are the prayers of saints, who are set apart by God the Father, whose sins are expiated by the blood of Christ, and who are sanctified by the Spirit of God; who draw nigh to God with a true heart, and call upon him out of a pure heart, and in sincerity and truth; the prayers of such righteous ones, through faith in Christ, avail much with God; and the prayers of all saints are regarded by Christ, and presented by him, whether they be rich or poor, high or low, greater or lesser believers. The Jews often speak of an angel, whose name is Sandalphon, who is appointed over the prayers of the righteous, and takes them and presents them to God (a): so Raphael in the Apocrypha:

“I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One.” (Tobit 12:15)

says he was one of the seven holy angels that carry up the prayers of the saints; and the heretic Elxai, who was originally a Jew, talked of the holy angels of prayer (b): so the Jews say, that God “by”, or “through his Word”, receives the prayers of Israel, and has mercy on them (c). In the Greek text it is, “that he should give”, &c. that is, the “incense”, agreeably to the Hebrew phrase in Num 16:47, and elsewhere.

(r) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 5. (s) Maimon. Biath. Hamikdash, c. 5. sect. 17. (t) Yoma, c. 4. sect. 4. (u) Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 4. (w) Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 2. sect. 1, 2. (x) Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1. & T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 47. 1. (y) Misn. Tamid. c. 5. sect. 4. (z) Misn. Tamid. c. 6. sect. 3. Maimon. Tamidin, c. 3. sect. 8, 9. (a) Zohar in Gen. fol. 97. 2. & in Exod. fol. 99. 1. Shemot Rabba, sect. 21. fol. 106. 2. (b) Epiphan. Contr. Haeres. l. 1. Haeres. 19. (c) Targum in Hos. xiv. 8.

Revelation 8:4

And the smoke of the incense,…. For the incense being put, as it was used to be, upon burning coals of fire, caused a smoke to arise like a cloud, Lev 16:13; so that the whole house, or temple, was filled with it (d):

which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God out of the angel’s hand; alluding to the incense the priest took in his hand, and cast upon the burning coals; and shows how that by the smoke of the incense, or the virtue of Christ’s mediation, the imperfections of the prayers of the saints are covered; and how they are it perfumed and made acceptable to God; and so are said to ascend up before him, and to be regarded by him, as the prayers of Cornelius were, Act 10:4; now all this is expressive of the wonderful affection of Christ for his church and people, and care of them; that before the angels sound their trumpets, and bring on wars and desolations into the empire, Christ is represented as interceding for them, and presenting their prayers both for deliverance for themselves, and vengeance on their enemies.

(d) Misn. Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1.

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