Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Exodus
Book: Exodus
Chapter: 30

The Altar of Incense. (1-10) The Ransom of souls. (11-16) The
brazen Laver. (17-21) The holy anointing Oil, The perfume.

1-10 The Altar of Incense represented the Son of God in his
human nature, and the Incense burned thereon typified his
pleading for his people. The continual Intercession of Christ
was represented By the daily burning of Incense thereon, morning
and Evening. Once every Year the Blood of the Atonement was to
be applied to it, denoting that the Intercession of Christ has
all its virtue from his sufferings On Earth, and that we need No
other Sacrifice or intercessor but Christ alone.

11-16 The Tribute was half a Shekel, about fifteen pence of our
Money. The rich were not to give more, nor the Poor less; the
souls of the rich and Poor are alike precious, and God is No
respecter of persons, Ac 10:34; Job 34:19. In other offerings
men were to give according to their worldly ability; but this,
which was the Ransom of the soul, must be alike for all. The
souls of all are of equal value, equally in danger, and all
equally need a Ransom. The Money raised was to be used in the
service of the Tabernacle. Those who have the benefit, must not
grudge the necessary charges of God's public Worship. Money
cannot make Atonement for the soul, but it may be used for the
honour of Him who has made the Atonement, and for the
maintenance of the Gospel By which the Atonement is applied.

17-21 A large vessel of Brass, holding water, was to be set
near the door of the Tabernacle. Aaron and his sons must wash
their hands and feet at this Laver, every time they went in to
Minister. This was to teach them purity in all their services,
and to dread the pollution of Sin. They must not only wash and
be made Clean, when first made priests, but must wash and be
kept Clean, whenever they went to Minister. It teaches us daily
to attend upon God, daily to renew our Repentance for Sin, and
our looking to the Blood of Christ for remission; for in many
things we daily offend.

22-38 Directions are here given for making the holy anointing
Oil, and the Incense to be used in the service of the
Tabernacle. To show the excellency of Holiness, there was this
spiced Oil in the Tabernacle, which was grateful to the sight
and to the smell. Christ's name is as Ointment poured forth, So
1:3, and the good name of Christians is like precious Ointment,

Ec 7:1. The Incense burned upon the golden Altar was prepared
of sweet Spices. When it was used, it was to be beaten very
small; thus it pleased the Lord to bruise the Redeemer, when he
offered himself for a Sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour. The
like should not be made for any common use. Thus God would keep
in the people's minds reverence for his own services, and teach
us not to profane or abuse any thing whereby God makes himself
known. It is a great affront to God to jest with sacred things,
and to make sport with his Word and ordinances. It is most
dangerous and fatal to use professions of the Gospel of Christ
to forward worldly interests.