Passage: Exodus 30, 31, 32 (RSV)

Exodus 30

1"You shall make an altar to burn incense upon; of acacia wood shall you make it.
2A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth; it shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height; its horns shall be of one piece with it.
3And you shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and its sides round about and its horns; and you shall make for it a molding of gold round about.
4And two golden rings shall you make for it; under its molding on two opposite sides of it shall you make them, and they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it.
5You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold.
6And you shall put it before the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with you.
7And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it; every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it,
8and when Aaron sets up the lamps in the evening, he shall burn it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.
9You shall offer no unholy incense thereon, nor burnt offering, nor cereal offering; and you shall pour no libation thereon.
10Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year; with the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations; it is most holy to the LORD."
11The LORD said to Moses,
12"When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.
13Each who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel according to the shekel of the sanctuary (the shekel is twenty gerahs), half a shekel as an offering to the LORD.
14Every one who is numbered in the census, from twenty years old and upward, shall give the LORD's offering.
15The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the half shekel, when you give the LORD's offering to make atonement for yourselves.
16And you shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel, and shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting; that it may bring the people of Israel to remembrance before the LORD, so as to make atonement for yourselves."
17The LORD said to Moses,
18"You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base of bronze, for washing. And you shall put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and you shall put water in it,
19with which Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet.
20When they go into the tent of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die.
21They shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die: it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his descendants throughout their generations."
22Moreover, the LORD said to Moses,
23"Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, two hundred and fifty, and of aromatic cane two hundred and fifty,
24and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin;
25and you shall make of these a sacred anointing oil blended as by the perfumer; a holy anointing oil it shall be.
26And you shall anoint with it the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony,
27and the table and all its utensils, and the lampstand and its utensils, and the altar of incense,
28and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils and the laver and its base;
29you shall consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them will become holy.
30And you shall anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.
31And you shall say to the people of Israel, `This shall be my holy anointing oil throughout your generations.
32It shall not be poured upon the bodies of ordinary men, and you shall make no other like it in composition; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.
33Whoever compounds any like it or whoever puts any of it on an outsider shall be cut off from his people.'"
34And the LORD said to Moses, "Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part),
35and make an incense blended as by the perfumer, seasoned with salt, pure and holy;
36and you shall beat some of it very small, and put part of it before the testimony in the tent of meeting where I shall meet with you; it shall be for you most holy.
37And the incense which you shall make according to its composition, you shall not make for yourselves; it shall be for you holy to the LORD.
38Whoever makes any like it to use as perfume shall be cut off from his people."

Exodus 31

1The LORD said to Moses,
2"See, I have called by name Bez'alel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
3and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,
4to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze,
5in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every craft.
6And behold, I have appointed with him Oho'liab, the son of Ahis'amach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you:
7the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereon, and all the furnishings of the tent,
8the table and its utensils, and the pure lampstand with all its utensils, and the altar of incense,
9and the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base,
10and the finely worked garments, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, for their service as priests,
11and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense for the holy place. According to all that I have commanded you they shall do."
12And the LORD said to Moses,
13"Say to the people of Israel, `You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you.
14You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; every one who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death.
16Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant.
17It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.'"
18And he gave to Moses, when he had made an end of speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, the two tables of the testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exodus 32

1When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron, and said to him, "Up, make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him."
2And Aaron said to them, "Take off the rings of gold which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me."
3So all the people took off the rings of gold which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
4And he received the gold at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made a molten calf; and they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!"
5When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, "Tomorrow shall be a feast to the LORD."
6And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
7And the LORD said to Moses, "Go down; for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves;
8they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them; they have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, `These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!'"
9And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people;
10now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; but of you I will make a great nation."
11But Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does thy wrath burn hot against thy people, whom thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12Why should the Egyptians say, `With evil intent did he bring them forth, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth'? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.
13Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou didst swear by thine own self, and didst say to them, `I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it for ever.'"
14And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do to his people.
15And Moses turned, and went down from the mountain with the two tables of the testimony in his hands, tables that were written on both sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
17When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, "There is a noise of war in the camp."
18But he said, "It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear."
19And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses' anger burned hot, and he threw the tables out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.
20And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it upon the water, and made the people of Israel drink it.
21And Moses said to Aaron, "What did this people do to you that you have brought a great sin upon them?"
22And Aaron said, "Let not the anger of my lord burn hot; you know the people, that they are set on evil.
23For they said to me, `Make us gods, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'
24And I said to them, `Let any who have gold take it off'; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and there came out this calf."
25And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to their shame among their enemies),
26then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, "Who is on the LORD's side? Come to me." And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him.
27And he said to them, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, `Put every man his sword on his side, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.'"
28And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
29And Moses said, "Today you have ordained yourselves for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, that he may bestow a blessing upon you this day."
30On the morrow Moses said to the people, "You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin."
31So Moses returned to the LORD and said, "Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold.
32But now, if thou wilt forgive their sin -- and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written."
33But the LORD said to Moses, "Whoever has sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.
34But now go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them."
35And the LORD sent a plague upon the people, because they made the calf which Aaron made.

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