February 6-16, 1993

Women's place in war

Titus 2:5

Exodus 30

Vs. 1-10, is the obvious first division here (see Keil). This section presents the altar of incense, and brings the discussion of the sanctuary to a close. This altar is patterned after the altar of burnt offering: it is made "of acacia-wood, one cubit long and one broad, four-cornered, two cubits high, furnished with horns like the altar of burnt-offering," and plated with pure gold all the way to the ground. Therefore, it is often called the golden altar. It was given a golden wreath for ornamentation, and furnished with golden rings at the corners for the gold-covered carrying-poles, as was the ark and table of shew-bread. This altar was to be placed in front of the curtain, which concealed the ark of the covenant. Though it occupied the came room as did the candlestick and table of shew-bread, it stood in closest relation to the ark of the testimony, 40:5; therefore, it is reckoned as part of the furniture of the most holy place, 1 Kg 6:22; Heb 9:4.

Aaron was to light the lamp every evening and dress them every morning after he put the lamp out; thus, the lamp burned all night and was dark during the day. (Jehovah never sleeps, but watches over His people at all times, even while they sleep.) Every time Aaron attended the lamp, every morning and evening, twice a day, he was to burn incense upon this altar before the Lord.

When we compare 29:38-42 with 30:7, 8, we find some important similarities:

1) the minute description of this altar and the sacrifice which was to be offered upon it, shows us that its importance is par with the altar of sacrifice. Thus, the incense offered upon this altar were considered by the Lord as a sacrifice and even though bloodless, not to be taken lightly.
2) both the burnt offering and the incense were to be offered at the same time, morning and evening.

3) both altars, the altar of burnt sacrifice and the altar of incense, had horns upon the four corners, cf. 27:2, 30:2.

4) there were three areas that were to receive a portion of the blood of atonement once a year: the horns of the altar of incense, the horns of the altar of burnt sacrifice and sprinkled upon the mercy seat over the ark (cf. Lev 16:18).

5) the term "most holy" is applied to both altars, the altar of burnt-offering and the altar of incense, Exo 29:37; 30:10. All of the tabernacle and its furnishings are also considered most holy, 30:29.

All of the parts of the tabernacle were very closely intertwined, and blood was required for everything (everything in and having to do with the tabernacle was sprinkled with blood). The three pieces of furniture which required an annual atonement was the altar of burnt sacrifice, the altar of incense and the mercy seat; thus, these three pieces were the closest connected.

Observe these points about the altar of incense:

1) the blood and bloodless sacrifice was consumed upon altar of burnt-sacrifice; this spoke of the total consecration and sanctification of the physical life or the "physical man" to the Lord of His people. On the other hand, only incense was consumed upon the altar of incense; this spoke of the "spiritual life" or the "spiritual man" of the people of God totally given to Him.

2) this altar and the sacrifice of the incense upon it is clearly referred to in both the Old and New Testament as the prayers of the saints; thus their prayers are considered sacrifices to their God, Ps 141:2, Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4.

3) the necessity of the atoning blood applied to altar shows us that there is absolutely no approach the Father without the applied blood of Christ's atoning sacrifice.

4) there was a very strict, both in content and enforcement, requirement as to what could be offered to the Lord upon this altar. Strange incense was forbidden to be burned upon the altar, ie. incense which did not contain the ingredients which Jehovah had appointed or ordained (Lev 10:1). The only prayer which is acceptable before the Lord is prayer which reflects His will (see both Lord's prayers: the one in the garden and the one He taught the disciples), prayer which is empowered by the Spirit, Rom 8:26, and prayer through the Lord Jesus Christ, Jn 14:14.

5) no other offering could be placed upon this altar: neither drink, meat nor burnt. In other words, nothing can take the place of prayer. Prayer places one in the position of total dependance upon the Lord.

6) twice a day, morning and evening, three things had to be done: A) the offering of the burnt offering, B) the lamp attended to (either lit or trimmed), C) the incense offered. Thus we are shown the absolute necessity of prayer in our service to and for God. A child of God will not survive without prayer.

7) I believe that the blood of the atonement shows us something else: that even in prayer, the most "spiritual" of man's duties, there is sin which must be covered by the atoning blood of Christ. There is nothing that man does that is not tainted, if not down right controlled, by sin.

My, how thankful we should be for the work of Christ in our place.

Vs. 11-16 The Atonement-money

At the command of the Lord, when the men of Israel were numbered, each one was to give half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary. The 1915 ISBE lists the shekel as worth about 66 cents (1/2 shekel = 122 grains of wheat). Thus in 1915 terms, this half shekel of silver was worth about 33 cents. The purpose of giving the money was to prevent a plague from among the men at their numbering, and the funds were for use in the sanctuary. The money was required of the men who were numbered or there would be a plague among them, but it is called an offering. Moreover, even though the money went to the service of the sanctuary, it was considered the Lord's money.

The first time this "tax" was paid, it was paid by every male who was twenty and over. Evidently, it was paid from this point on by every male upon reaching the age of twenty, and paid again every time the army was mustered for warfare. Every man, rich or poor, gave the same amount.

The purpose of the money was to make an atonement for their souls; it was a covering which protected them from the Lord's wrath. When the money was used for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, it was a memorial, or reminder, before the Lord.

It should be noted that this numbering and paying the "numbering tax" "has the first place among the supplementary instructions concerning the erection and furnishing of the sanctuary, and serves to complete the demand for freewill-offerings for the sanctuary (chap xxv. 1-9)." Keil. By being listed first among the supplemental instructions concerning the sanctuary, it is considered first in importance by the Lord.

This numbering as commanded by the Lord for tax purposes appears a little confused. MH gives this account:

Moses is here ordered to levy money upon the people by way of poll, so much a head, for the service of the tabernacle. This he must do when he numbered the people. Some think that it refers only to the first numbering of them, now when the tabernacle was set up; and that this tax was to make up what was deficient in the voluntary contributions for the finishing of the work, or rather for the beginning of the service in the tabernacle. Others think that it was afterwards repeated upon any emergency and always when the people were numbered, and David offended in not demanding it when he numbered the people. But many of the Jewish writers, and others from them, are of opinion that it was to be an annual tribute, only it was begun when Moses first numbered the people. This was that tribute-money which Christ paid, for fear of offending his adversaries (Matt xvii 27), when yet he showed good reason why he should have been excused.

Concerning MH's statement:

1) the free-will offering was taken in Exo 25, and there is no indication there at all that the offering was deficient in any way. I think we can safely assume that the people were made willing in that offering by the Lord, and they gave all that was required and needed for the stated purpose in the first offering mentioned. Furthermore, there is no indication that the numbering tax was a stop-gap measure of any kind; it was taken for a specific purpose which was not at all like the purpose of the offering in Exodus 25.

2) "an annual tribute," or annual "poll tax." RJR emphatically refers to this "numbering tax" as a yearly poll tax, but I can find no reference to it being paid yearly.

Was this a poll tax? 2 Chron 24:6, King Joash speaks of Moses commanding a gathering of money from all of Israel for the tabernacle of witness, but he does not say that the gathering is from numbering the men over twenty in Israel. Furthermore, King Joash did not send anyone to number the people as Moses commanded in this numbering tax; rather, he set a chest without the gate of the house of the Lord, and commanded the people to give according as Moses commanded in the wilderness. Then the people rejoiced and gave as they came to the temple; the king did not go get the tax. Joash's purpose for this offering (because it was not really an enforced tax, or he would have sent officers to number the men of Israel and collect the tax) appears to be the same as the purpose of the numbering tax: upkeep on the house of the Lord, vs. 9, 10 (note v. 10, all the people, ie. not the men only as in the numbering tax). For this reason I am more inclined to think that Joash is referring to the free-will offering of Exodus 25; was it not also commanded by Moses?

So how do we explain Christ's reluctant payment of the tax in Matt 17:27? He might have failed to pay it upon reaching the age of 20, but I don't think that would fit with His perfect obedience. More than likely, Christ paid Moses' military tax upon reaching the age of twenty, but rather than the tax in Mat 17 being instituted by Moses, it had become a yearly traditional tax in Israel to be paid every year by every male twenty and over, and it was traced to the time of Moses. This is why Christ said that He was not bound to pay the tax, ie. it was a traditional tax, not a tax required by Moses. But it is also important to observe that Christ did not say that it should not be paid, for He paid it.

I am inclined to disagree that this "numbering tax" was an annual "poll tax" because the Scriptures do not clearly (although they might imply) say that it was such a tax.

3) I believe the Scriptures lean toward: 1) a one time tax upon all males twenty and over as recorded in Numbers 1; 2) a continuing tax upon all males when they reached the age of 20, and 3) an emergency tax upon all the males when they were mustered to battle.

4) (before I read MH's statement, I concluded that) the Lord used satan to move David to take it upon himself to number the people; there was no military campaign "in the works," so evidently David did not collect the money. The result was that the Lord moved against the people in plague, 2 Sam 24 (cf. Ex 30:12 & 1 Chron 21). Evidently this numbering properly took place when the men were gathered together as an army ready to fight, and not at random; it took over 9 months for David to get the count of the men (of course, Joab "drug his feet" in the count), 2 Sam 24:8. The numbering did not include the tribe of Levi, Num 26:63.

Furthermore, the situation with David (2 Sam 24 & 1 Chron 21) leads me to think that the numbering could only be done at the command of the Lord when the men were preparing to fight the Lord's battles, and the payment was based upon the military number of males twenty and over. It was the Lord's purpose to move against Israel, so He moved David. I have a study somewhere that the Lord did moved David to punish Israel for siding with Absalom against David, the Lord's anointed.

Atonement... means covering, and

is to be traced to the idea that the object for which expiration was made was thereby withdrawn from the view of the person to be won or reconciled. It is applied in two ways: (1) on the supposition that the face of the person to be won was covered by the gift (Gen xxxii. 21; 1 Sam xii. 3); and (2) on the supposition that the guilt itself was covered up (Ps xxxii. 1), or wiped away (Jer xvii 23), so far as the eye of God was concerned, as though it had no longer any existence, and that the sinful man was protected from the punishment of the judge in consequence of this covering. Keil, 210, 211.


1) while Moses is on the mount in Exodus 30, he is commanded to number the people. Then the first numbering seems to have taken place on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, Num 1:2. Numbers 1:3, makes it clear that it was a military numbering, ie. they counted the army. Thus the book of Numbers is a military book: it is preparing the people of God for the warfare which is about to come to pass as they take Canaan. The preparation is not only in the actual numbering of the army, but also in its instructions of what to do after they take the land. The book of Numbers records the numbering for military service, and must not be dismissed lightly.

2) it is a military tax; the Lord's command to number the people was to number the men only for military service. It was done in preparation for warfare.

The first numbering of the men for tax purposes was for the specific reasons mentioned, ie. the silver for the foundations and for the hooks which held the sanctuary together, Ex 38:25-28. But the tax from then on would be for upkeep because the tabernacle would have been built.

Keep in mind that the tabernacle and latter the temple, was the throne of their God-King. Israel's law emanated from this location through the priest. Therefore, this tabernacle (latter the temple) was both their religious and political center even though they latter had judges and kings. The kings could not issue laws; they could only enforce the laws given from their God-King, and the kings had to answer to the God-King. Nathan called David into account, and pronounced judgment against him and his house for his sin.

This tax was appointed for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. Because of the type of government which Israel had, a theocracy centered from the sanctuary of God, the maintenance of the tabernacle would mean the maintenance of all the functions of the sanctuary (all the legitimate functions of government): teaching, justice, welfare and all the things which would emanate from a center of government. Thus, the implication that this mustering tax did indeed support the legitimate functions of government. But I do not think the scriptures will bear out that this tax was collected yearly. If it was not collected yearly, then how were the functions of godly government financed?

Note these implications:

A) every male is drafted into the army of the King for the furtherance of the Kingdom. There are no exceptions and the men had to pay for the privilege of fighting in His army. In other words, every man was drafted into the King of kings' army and had to pay for the privilege.

B) there was no draft exemption or deferments; not even the "handicapped" were exempt from this draft and payment. Although everyone had to show up for battle, there was an opportunity for them to go home, Deut 20:1-9. Every male was required to be numbered and taxed. There is a place for everyone, there is a job for every one in the Lord's army.

When we compare Deut 20:1-9 with Lk 14:15-24, we see an unusual fact: in the Lord's parable of the great supper, those bidden offered the excuses listed in Deut 20:1-9. Thus the implication is that those bidden in Christ's parable realized that there was far more involved in the certain man's call than just going to a great supper, a fine meal; it was a call to warfare and the supper was a preparation for that warfare. They were not willing to commit themselves to that war, so they used the law of Moses to excuse themselves. The certain man then opened the invitation to the great supper to anyone who was willing to come. I am afraid that many misunderstand the call of the Lord; they view it as merely an invitation to a good fine meal, a great supper, in the kingdom of God rather than for what it really is: a call to warfare for the King here and now.

D) there was no upper age limit. A man could be to young to fight the Lord's battles, but he could not be to old. Thus, there is no retirement from this King's army. Every man was in it until he dies.

E) there were no women included in this numbering of the Lord's army. Warfare in this King's cause is man's work; it is hard, hot, dirty and bloody. It involves long hours, disappointments, discouragements and confrontations with evil and wicked persons who are determined to destroy all that our King stands for.

The woman's place in the war:

God made the woman to be a helpmate for her husband as he waged the King's war. He made her to help him and encourage him as he fights; He did not make her and equip her to fight the warfare. (The Lord may well raise up women to do the work for the King when the men fail, but it is a mark that the men are now failures and worthless for the cause of the King.)

Paul gave the place of the women in this warfare: Titus 2:5 [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Her place is not a lower place, rather, it is an equal place with her husband: they are heirs together, 1Pe 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. The women have at least an equal place, if not superior place, in this warfare as they train the next generation of soldiers.

Paul gives further instructions concerning widows in 1 Tim 5:1-16.

Observation: I personally believe that one of the major reasons why the fundamental Baptist movement has failed is because they used women as their front line troops in their bus ministries. The women were not numbered in this numbering for warfare. Obviously, even in the book of Judges and with women such as Deborah, the women did not pay this military tax. This shows us that there is indeed a place for women in the Lord's army, but it is not in the place of men.

F) the tax was used for the initial building and then the continued upkeep of the sanctuary where God met with His people, Ex 30:16. Thus it reminded both the Lord and His people that they were fighting the Lord's battles and not their own. It spoke of God's protection of His people in their warfare, service, and that protection was given only as they moved in faithful obedience to their Commander and Chief, the Lord.

In other words, man cannot go off and fight his own battles and expect the Lord to protect him. Yes, the battle is the Lord's, but God's protection is only for the faithful and obedient who are serving in His army. 1Sa 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle [is] the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. 2Ch 20:15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle [is] not yours, but God's.

3) the half shekel was to be paid to the Lord. Its purpose was to buy atonement, or protective covering, for the ones who were going to war. Thus it spoke of covering their sin from the face of the holy, righteous God so He could provide protection and victory for them in their battles. It reminded the people before they went into battle that their safety and victory was totally dependant upon the Lord of Hosts, Pr 21:31 The horse [is] prepared against the day of battle: but safety [is] of the LORD.

4) This payment shows us that God's protective grace is not free, but it is within reach of every man. It was half shekel for every person; it was low enough that the poor could pay it, and it was low enough not to be oppressive to the rich. It was not a progressive tax.

Grace is freely available to sinful man, but it had to be purchased. Someone had to pay the price. Of course, we know that Christ paid that price. (Cf. Mat 18:25ff.)

5) this payment spoke of dependance upon the Lord as men fight the Lord's battles, and assured victory to His faithful obedient people through and by the grace of God. Sinful man can only be victorious in this sinful world by the grace of God which covers his sin; that victorious and covering grace was purchased by money in Ex 30.

The men of Israel clearly understood the implication of this tax. In Num 31:50, the men of the army gave over and above the required amount which they gave before the battle in thankfulness for the Lord's protection in battle. Thus, they recognized the Lord's providential protection of them in battle. (We have therefore brought an oblation for the LORD, what every man hath gotten, of jewels of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, earrings, and tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before the LORD.)

6) this payment clearly assumes there is a warfare, and that there will continue to a warfare, and it spoke of the Lord's protection in warfare and men fought in His warfare against evil. Christ is our protection; He paid our ransom Mt 10:45; 1 Ti 26; 1 Pe 1:18, 19. Moreover, He said that He would be with His faithful obedient people as they would fight His battles, in Matt 28:19, 20.

8) the payment of the tax was according to weight, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, Ex 28:24. Thus proper weights and measures are a religious function; they are a theological issue and fact. False weights and measures are war against the God Who changes not. As a side note: the metric system is man-centered, thus antigod because the scriptures measure according to cubits and inches and miles.

9) this tax pointed to the holiness of God, and that all men are equally sinners before the Lord: all men are on equal footing before the cross of Christ. God is no respecter of persons, and one law covers all people of all times.

10) the money represents the individual; the individual was set aside to wage war for the kingdom of God, and thus the sanctuary of the Kingdom is built upon the money given by these men. Many times much of the spoil was dedicated to the sanctuary, but here the very basis of the sanctuary is the "mustering" tax.

Exodus 38:25-28, records the amount of funds which came in from the numbering tax and what they were used for: to make specific parts of the tabernacle. The hundred talents, and a thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels were used thusly: 100 talents to make the sockets upon which the tabernacle rested, and the remainder was used to "make the hooks for the pillars which sustained the curtains, for silvering their capitals [the uppermost part of a column, pillar or pilaster, serving as the head or crowning, the placed immediately over the shaft, and under the entablature], and 'for binding the pillars,' i.e. for making the silver connecting rods for the pillars of the court." Keil, pg. 250. Thus the silver which came in at the first numbering was used to build the foundation of the tabernacle ("for casting the 96 sockets for the 48 boards, and 4 sockets for the 4 pillars of the inner court, - one talent therefore for each socket...").

The first numbering was not really for warfare, but for building the tabernacle. Every numbering after this first one was for warfare. Did they make this payment because of the covering protection provided for them when they came out of Egypt?

Exo 30:17-21.

V. 17, And the Lord spake... unto Moses and instructed him concerning the brass laver. The brazen laver was a basin, a round, caldron-shaped vessel, which was filled with water. His foot does not refer to the base upon which the basin sat, "but something separate from the basin, which was no doubt used for drawing off as much water as was required for washing the officiating priests," Keil, p 213. According to Exo 38:8, the laver and its accompanying vessel were made of the brass or copper mirrors of the women who served before the door of the tabernacle. The laver's purpose was to provide water for the priests to wash their hands and feet. The washing commanded here by the Lord was necessary so that the priests would not die as they went about their ministering responsibilities before the Lord. The NT resounds with applications of what took place here with the laver:


1) each section opens with the Lord speaking to Moses. Evidently the Lord would speak and then give Moses time to either meditate upon, or write down, what the Lord had just said. And each section seems to be restricted to only one thought or idea. The Lord did not load down His servant Moses, but gave him a little at a time. This section only has four verses to it, not counting v. 17, And the Lord spoke unto Moses... And these four verses cover a general thought.

The Lord taught Moses here on the mount; Moses was no doubt the most intelligent man of his day, but the Lord only gave him one general thought at a time. Therefore, how much smaller section must we try to cover at a time?

I think it is important for me to see that many times I try to give folks too much at a time. There are a couple of problems when I do that: 1) it is too much for the people to follow and 2) I get confused also. I must hold down my teaching to a small section of Scripture, maybe to only one thought and then expand upon that thought. Note that if I do not restrict my teaching to only one thought, I am assuming that my folks are more intelligent than was Moses himself, and that I am more qualified to teach or am a better teacher than was the Lord Himself. Jesus taught basically the same way: He took a general thought, spoke about it, then acted it out, or placed it into action.

Prayer! Lord enable me to take a thought, see the point and develop that point and its implications in a manner which my folks can grasp. If this is what the Lord had to do with Moses, how much more must today's teachers do the same?

2) of the women assembling..., Ex 38:8.

This statement confirms our above conclusion that the mustering tax did not supplement a shortfall in the previous free-will offering because we see here that everything that was given had a purpose. Every item, whether it was gold, silver, jewel, skin, mirrors in this case, had a specific place in the building of the sanctuary of the Lord God where He would meet His people.

The Lord knows exactly what is needed for His work in His service, and "His work done in His way will not lack His means" to accomplish that work. He will provide everything that is needed to complete the assigned task. Furthermore, He uses people to accomplish that supply. Lu 6:38, Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

3) the women assembled...

Even in the OT, there was a place for women in the service of the sanctuary. Although the OT Scriptures are not really clear as to what service they did, we have maybe a hint of their OT service in the NT:

Mt 26:69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
Lu 2:37 And she [was] a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served [God] with fastings and prayers night and day.
Joh 18:16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
1Ti 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

4) to me, probably the most interesting thing about the laver and its accompanying vessel is what it was made of:

"The mirrors of the women had been used for the purpose of earthly adorning. But now the pious Israelites renounced this earthly adorning, and offered it to the Lord as a heave-offering to make the purifying laver in front of the sanctuary, in order that 'what had hitherto served as a means of procuring applause in the world might hence forth be the means of procuring the approbation of God." Keil. Thus the very thing which was used to build "self-esteem" for the women was given to the Lord for His word.

The NT cross reference for this fact is one of the more obvious cross references of the laver:

A) Women especially are to put off the things of this world which they depend upon to make them appealing in the eyes of the world, 1 Pet 3:3; 1 Tim 2:9; Ro 12:2. But, of course, this applies equally to males as it does to females.

B) Either we will lay aside the ornaments of the world, or the Lord will remove them forcibly, Isa 3:18ff; Ez 16.

C) This laver and its vessel was made of the mirrors which the Egyptians provided for the women of Israel, Ex 3:22. As we have mentioned before, there is nothing wrong with the things of Egypt themselves; there is nothing inherently wrong about anything. The problem comes in over the use of those things. Are they used for the glory of God or to promote self?

5) The priests did not take a bath in it, nor was it to wash of the dirt, as we would think of washing. This washing was a ceremonial washing for Aaron and his sons for the purpose of symbolically cleansing away their sins, that they die not. As we have already pointed out, the Aaronic priesthood spoke primarily of the priesthood of the believer. By the work of Christ, the Great High Priest, all believers have the same access to the Father which Aaron had only once a year.

A) This washing had degenerated to no more than a tradition by the time of Christ, Matthew 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Mark 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash [their] hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And [when they come] from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, [as] the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as] the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

B) The term "wash my hands; therefore, I am innocent," comes from this washing. When the priests washed their hands and feet, they were symbolic free from sin, Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye [to it].

C) Christ instructed the lame man to go wash, John 9:7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

John 9:11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight. 15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

D) The most famous washing would be Christ washing His disciples feet, John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash [his] feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 14 If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

E) Aaron's washing spoke of the washing of regeneration by the Spirit. Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed [their] stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Hebrews 9:10 [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Thus, washing spoke of the work which was going to be done through Jesus Christ; it spoke of the washing of the Holy Spirit.

6) Vs. 19, 21, hands and feet, not the whole body.

They were to wash their hands, which they touched the holy things, and their feet, with which they trod the holy ground, "that they might not die... For touching holy things with unclean hands, and trading upon the floor of the sanctuary with dirty feet, would have been a sin against Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, deserving death." Keil.

Thus, this washing spoke of dedicated, sanctified, pure service to the King.

(I do not know that it goes here or not, but I am reminded of Heb 10:29, Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?)

7) I think the location of the laver is significant: it was between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar... Thus, even though the blood had been offered upon the altar, there still had to be a washing of the hands and feet. This is precisely what Christ told His disciples as we mentioned above in John 13.

8) Then last of all and as hinted to by Keil above, I feel that we fail miserably to understand, or comprehend, the holiness of God. Because of our freedom in Christ to approach the Father, we have almost become sacrilegious in our approach to Him. We need a vision of the holiness of God like we have never had before.

Vs. 22-33. (Although the two sections could be taken together: the Holy Oil and the Holy Incense.)

The Lord spoke to Moses again, and this time the Lord gives Moses the instructions concerning the Holy Anointing Oil. Moses is instructed to make an oil from specific, costly ingredients.

V. 25, compounded after the art of the apothecary... There was 14 1/2 lbs of liquid myrrh, a total of 21 lbs of dry spices (cinnamon=1/2 of myrrh, or 7 lbs/sweet calamus [a cane fragrance], 7 lbs cassia, 14 1/2 lbs), all to be mixed with about 5 quarts of olive oil.

According to the Rabbins (the teachers in Israel), the dry spices were softened in water and boiled to extract their essence. The water was then mixed with oil and myrrh, and boiled again until all the watery part had evaporated.

The oil was then used to anoint the tabernacle, the ark, the altars and all the furnishings of the tabernacle. Furthermore, all who serve in the priesthood are to be anointed, and thus consecrated to the service of the Lord. There are two prohibitions placed upon this special oil: it cannot be used in a common manner, and it cannot be duplicated. The penalty for using it in a common manner or duplicating it was to be cut off from the people, ie. cast out of the nation (or some take cut off from his people as meaning put to death).


1) The Lord give specific instruction concerning both the oil and the incense. He told Moses that both were holy and could only be used in the manner prescribed by Him. With both the oil and incense the Lord was to be honoured, but God could only be honoured if the oil and incense was made and used according to His word. God tells man how to please Himself, and then God gives man the grace to please Him. "Nothing comes to God but what comes from him." MH In other words, God can only be pleased as man obeys His word in the power that He, the Lord, provides. Human nature would sure say otherwise.

2) This oil spoke specifically of consecration of the individual for a particular service. Here in this context, the oil could only be used on the priests. (Ecc 7:1, A good name [is] better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.)

But latter, the oil was used to anoint a king over Israel, Psalms 89:20 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him:

And the final anointing was of Christ as King over not only His people, but over the whole world, Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Cant 1:3, Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name [is as] ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.)

3) We are told elsewhere that this oil spoke of unity among the people of God, Psalms 133. In this context, I believe we see that unity outside of Christian unity in Christ is impossible. Exo 30:33 implies that any effort to unity apart from the Christian concept of unity will result in being cut off. I believe that we are seeing just such a cutting off as people seek to build unity apart from Christ. Really, any attempt to duplicate the unity of Christ and His body (the Church) is doomed to failure. There are a great many groups that seek to build unity without the Lord, e.g., the Masons.

Vs. 34-38.

This section gives the formula for The Holy Incense, which was also to be made of four ingredients and combined after the art of the apothecary.

nataph, a kind of gum resembling myrrh, which was baked, and then used, like incense, for fumigating. shecheleth, the shell of a shell-fish resembling the purpura, of an agreeable odour. chelbenah, a resin of a pungent, bitter flavour, obtained, by means of an incision in the bark, from a shrub which grows in Syria, Arabia, and Abyssinia, and then mixed with fragrant substances to give greater pungency to their odour. lebonah, frankincense, a resin of a pleasant smell, obtained from a tree in Arabia Felix or India. Equal parts of all the different substances were prepared separately, then they were mixed together. Some of this confection was to be placed where the altar of incense stood, and the remainder was to be kept elsewhere. Keil

And the confection was not to be duplicated for common use.


1) there is an ingredient in the previous holy oil which is familiar: myrrh. There is an ingredient in this incense which is also familiar: frankincense. Both of these spices were presented to Christ at His birth, Mat 2:11. Obviously then, both the anointing oil and the incense here in Exo 30 spoke of Him and His life before the Holy Father.

2) neither the oil nor the incense could be duplicated and used in a common manner: they were both holy. They could only be made and used according to the command of the Lord. Again, the obvious reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. He must not be "used" in a common manner, but only to please the Father.

3) both the oil and the incense were prepared after the art of the apothecary, which would include a great amount of "physical violence" against the ingredients. Isa 53:5, But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Thus in both the anointing oil and incense, we see that fallen man can only "smell" sweet, or please the Father through the Son. The oil and incense of the Son must be applied by faith in His finished work. It is the work of Christ that pleases the Father, not the work of man.