Exodus 30: Holy Aromas

Confession: I am fighting through something I am sure many who have attempted to read through the Bible have encountered: Law Fatigue.

Yep. It’s a real thing.

And that is kind of a bummer because I have hardly even begun the law. Blurgh.

So Exodus 30? Great! Here we get instructions for the big altar’s baby brother, and recipes for the incense and anointing oil, making this chapter the best smelling chapter so far! AAA!

Oh, and there is a totally random section about registering for a census but I will get to that in a bit.

Are you ready for the most exciting title for a list ever? I thought so! Here are 3 Things I Noticed About Exodus 30.

1) Everything is Mobile

The little incense altar has a place where you can put two poles of acacia wood in to act as handles. The point being that the altar is supposed to be able to move. And looking back, the same is true for the Ark, and the big altar. These artifacts are also housed in a tent made of poles and linens.

These people are supposed to be mobile.

The Israelites can pick up their entire Tabernacle and move it around wherever they go. They are not bound by geography. They are not stuck somewhere dependent on proximity to some giant pyramid or temple.

This fits in nicely with the theme that ran through Genesis about the dangers of settling.

2) What’s Up With The Census?

Hang on a minute! I thought we were talking about how to build and run the Tabernacle! But in chapter 30 there is this weird parenthetical section about a census.

When Moses has the people register for a census they are to pay a 1/2 Shekel ransom for their lives. Rich and poor alike pay the same thing. It’s a flat tax.

The money goes to tabernacle upkeep. I wonder if in in the middle of all this talk of overlaying stuff with gold and weaving fine linens God got a vibe from Moses. Like, a “how on earth are we going to pay for all this?” vibe.

So thoughtful of you God!

3) Holy Holy Holy

The word “holy” showed up ten times in this chapter. It was in reference to the thing God commanded the people to build. Specifically the incense altar, the incense, and the anointing oil.

In his instructions God made it very clear that these things had a special use and using them for anything other than that was strictly forbidden.

Even good things.

  • You are not to make burnt or grain offerings on the incense altar.
  • You are not to use the anointing oil for normal body use.
  • You are not to use the incense as perfume.

Failure to adhere to these rules will get you cut off from the people. That’s not good. So even though you may wish to perform these acts, which are good, just not good enough, you might want to do them somewhere else or with a different kind of oil.

Have you ever had “Law Fatigue?”

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6 responses

  1. I’m pretty sure Law Fatigue is what keeps most people from reading through the Bible. They start at the front, work their way through, and give up by the time they have to read everything that’s been repeated in Chronicles. I mostly speaking from experience, so yes, I definitely know what you mean by that.

  2. hubby and I are venturing through start to finish the last while… we both had it, the temptation to skip forward is immense. The law part doesnt bother me as much as the head counts – I see Jesus in the law and I find something special in reading it this time but the census and the chronicles and so on have me almost asleep…
    enjoying your blog 🙂

  3. I read two chapters a day, mostly 5 days a week (yes, there are days when I’m not “in the Word”), but that’s usually the weekend (we have church on Saturday evenings).

    Anyway, this law fatigue, does it usually settle in somewhere between the prohibitions against eating shellfish and a woman’s ritual uncleanness?

    (Am I pitching a potential guest post with the above? Yes, yes I am). 😉

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