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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Censer

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An instrument to seize or hold burning coals. Latterly the portable metal vessel for receiving from the altar burning coals, on which the priest sprinkled the incense for burning (2 Chronicles 26:16; 2 Chronicles 26:18-19; Luke 1:9). Korah and his company were told to take censers, with which they had furnished themselves as aspiring to share in Aaron's priesthood. So Uzziah. So Ezekiel 8:11. But Aaron was told to take "the censer" (Hebrew), namely, that of the sanctuary or of the high priest, and make atonement to stay the plague (Numbers 16:46). On the day of atonement the high priest was to carry the censer of the golden altar within the most holy place, and put the incense on the fire in the censer "before the Lord" (Leviticus 16:12-13).

Solomon made censers of pure gold, probably to take fire from the brazen altar, and to convey incense to the golden altar on which it was to be offered morning and evening (Exodus 30:7-8; 1 Kings 7:50). In Revelation 8:3-4 the "angel" is not Christ, who always has His own title in Revelation, but a ministering spirit. The incense, i.e. Christ's meritorious obedience and death, is given to the angel that he may give it to (so the Greek) the prayers of all saints, to render them a sweet smelling savor to God. "The golden altar," moreover, is Christ Himself (Hebrews 13:10), resting on whom alone prayer is accepted before God. How the angels' ministry exactly is exercised we know not, but we do know they are not to be prayed to (Revelation 19:10).

If we send an offering to the King, the King's messenger is not to appropriate what is due to the King alone. In Hebrews 9:4 "the holiest ... had the golden censer "does not mean it was deposited there, for then the high priest would have had to go in and bring it out before burning incense in it, but that the golden censer was one of the articles belonging to the yearly service in the holiest place; it was taken into the holiest on that anniversary by the high priest. Its shape was probably that of a pan with a handle.

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Censer'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/c/censer.html. 1949.

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