Summary: Unlike the Brazen Altar used for sacrifice this Altar represents the prayers of the sainst of God. Rev 5:8;Psalm141:2
THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
• THE Altar of Incense was four square.
• It was two cubits high and a cubit long and broad (3' High Apr.)
• It was made of incorruptible wood and overlaid with gold.
• There were four horns upon the four corners.
• It had a crown of gold.
• It had a ring of gold on each side under the crown for the two staves by which it was to be carried. (never
• It occupied a position in the Holy Place directly in front of the Vail.
• It was the tallest piece of furniture in the Holy Place and stood level to the wings of the cherubim on the Mercy
Seat in the Most Holy Place.
• It had burning coals placed upon it.
• Sweet incense was put upon the coals morning and evening.
• Morning and evening a column of fragrant white smoke ascended there from.
• This altar must not be confused with the brazen altar.
• Note the difference between these two altars
1. The Brazen Altar stood by the gate --- The Altar of Incense stood before the veil in the holy place.
2. The Brazen Altar was for sacrifice----The Altar of Incense was for incense.
3. Before the priests could minister at the Altar of Incense they had to make the proper sacrifices at the Brazen
Altar and wash at the laver of cleansing.
4. The Brazen Altar took precedence over the altar of incense
The sufferings of Christ had to precede the glory (Lk. 24:26).
1. It was an altar from which the smoke of incense was to ascend.
• The composition of the incense is particularly and definitely described:
" And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, Stack-TEE- (gum-like from an uncertain
plant) and onycha, on-ah-kah (shells of several kinds of mussels which when burnt gave a strong oder and
galbanum; (Gal-Bah-Numb) (comes from India, a reinious yellow brown substance that has a disagreeable
smell.) these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:
And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and
holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the
congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy." (Exodus 30:34-36.)
2.Incense is a symbol of prayer. And praise
"Let my prayer be set before thee as incense." " Odours (literally, incense)
which are the prayers of saints."…How do we know this?
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb,
having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
• The altar of Incense gives much light to this passage
• The time of prayer and sacrifice was the 9th hour
• The lifting up of HOLY HANDS was a sign that the believer identified himself with the sacrificial lamb being
offered on the altar
• At the same time the odour of the burnt offering was rising to heaven….
• The odour of the sweet incense was rising towards heaven
• Now read Ephesians 5:2 and see the meaning understanding the altar of incense..It takes on a whole new
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God
for a sweet-smelling savoir.
• Of all the sounds that rise Heavenward, nothing is more acceptable to the living God than the voice and breath
of sincere prayer.
• Praise glorifies God.
3. Incense on the Altar was offered by Aaron the High Priest.
" Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning . . . And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall
burn incense upon it. (Vs. 7, S.)
4. Aaron is a figure of our Lord Jesus Christ in Heaven offering up prayer in behalf of those who are His.
" For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into
heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." " Now of the things we have spoken this is the
Hebrews 8: 1
We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.".
• As Aaron offered up this incense exclusively for the Children of Israel, so our Lord Jesus Christ prays for those