0 Taxes, feet washing, and perfume (Ex 30:11 - 31)

Episode 38: Taxes, feet washing, and perfume

(Exodus 30:11 - 31)

God's survey and tax plan

11 God said to Moses,

12 When you take a census, collect a half shekel from each person as a ransom so there will be no plague among them.

14 Every person twenty years or older must give me a half shekel.

15 Everyone will pay me the same half shekel ransom.

The rich will not pay more and the poor will not pay less.

Priests must wash their hands and feet (Or they will die)

17 God said to Moses,

18 Make a brass basin for priest to wash their hands and feet.

19-21 Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet in the laver -- or die.

This is a statute forever.


God's holy oil and perfume

22 God said to Moses,

23-24 Make a holy ointment from these ingredients: 500 shekels of myrrh, 250 shekels of cinnamon, 250 shekels of calamus, 500 shekels of cassia, and a hin of olive oil.

26 Anoint the tabernacle, ark, table, vessels, candlestick, incense and burnt offering altars, and laver with the holy anointing oil.

29 Whatever is anointed with the holy anointing oil becomes most holy, and whoever touches them becomes holy.

31 This is my holy anointing oil.

32 Don't pour it on man's flesh and don't make any with the same recipe.

33 Don't put holy oil on a stranger. Whoever does so will be cut off from his people.

34-35 God said to Moses,

Make perfume from equal weights of these spices: stacte, onycha, galbanum, frankincense. It is most holy.

36 Put in in front of the testimony in the tabernacle where I meet with you.

37 Don't make my special perfume for your own use.

38 Whoever makes any of my special perfume to use or smell shall be cut off from my people.

Bezaleel and Aholiab

31 1 God said to Moses,

2 I have filled Bezaleel with my spirit, in wisdom, understanding, knowledge and all manner of workmanship skills.

3 He will devise cunning works for me out of gold, silver, brass, stones, and wood.

6 And I have given Aholiab to Bezaleel to help him make all that I have commanded, including: the tabernacle, the ark of the testimony, mercy seat, tabernacle furniture, table, candlestick, incense altar, burnt offering altar, laver and his foot, service cloths, holy garments, anointing oil, and incense.

The Sabbath

12 God said to Moses,

14 You will keep the sabbath because it is holy to you. Everyone who defiles it will be killed.

15 Whoever does any work on the sabbath day will be killed.

16 The sabbath must be observed forever as a perpetual covenant.

18 When God finished his instructions to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him two stone tablets written with his finger.

A few more words about this episode

A half shekel (29:12)
If the ransom payment was half a shekel of gold, this would have been about 5 grams, which would be worth about $300 USD today.
A quarter hin of wine for a drink offering (29:40)
A hin is about 5 liters. So a drink offering should be about 1.25 liters.
Make a holy ointment (30:23)

Here are the ingredients in modern units: 5 kg myrrh, 2.5 kg cinnamon, 2.5 kg calamus, 5 kg cassia, and 5 liters of olive oil.

Calamus (30:23)
Calamus is the mystery ingredient in God's ointment.
Stacte, onycha, galbanum (30:34)
No one seems to know what these spices might be, but here's a wikipedia article that tries to sort it all out.
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