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The Altar of Incense

(Exodus 30:1-10; Psalm 141:2; Revelation 8:3-4)

You will see from the scripture reading in Psalms and the Revelations how this altar typifies prayer and worship. This altar was a small piece of furniture, but sufficiently large to serve its purpose. It is not the large or long prayer that avails much, but the prayer of faith. We are not heard for our vain repetitions, but the "fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). The golden altar of incense is a type of Christ in respect to the efficacy of his mediatorial work for us. (Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 8:1).

The Golden Altar could only be reached after one had gone to the Brazen Altar. The horns of the altar speak of the power of prayer. The fire on this altar came from the Brazen Altar. The fire of sacrifice now becomes the fire of blessing.

The Incense is composed of eleven different ingredients.

The Incense Chalice

The special incense as described in Tractate "Tamid" of the Talmud. The vessel holds "half a portion" (approx. 200 grams) of the ingredients for the incense offering. This vessel has an ornate cover topped by a small ring-shaped bell which the priest would sound upon entering the Sanctuary. Inside, the priest poured out two handfuls of incense, pouring over the tray so as not to lose even a single grain. He then sprinkled the incense over the Golden Altar.

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