Easton's Bible Dictionary
The vessel in which incense was presented on "the golden
altar" before the Lord in the temple ( Exodus 30:1-9 ). The priest filled the
censer with live coal from the sacred fire on the altar of burnt-offering, and
having carried it into the sanctuary, there threw upon the burning coals the sweet
incense ( Leviticus 16:12 , 16:13 ), which sent up a cloud of smoke, filling the
apartment with fragrance. The censers in daily use were of brass ( Numbers 16:39
), and were designated by a different Hebrew name, miktereth ( 2 Chronicles 26:19
; Ezekiel 8:11 ): while those used on the day of Atonement were of gold, and were
denoted by a word (mahtah) meaning "something to take fire with;" LXX. pureion
= a fire-pan. Solomon prepared for the temple censers of pure gold ( 1 Kings 7:50
; 2 Chronicles 4:22 ). The angel in the Apocalypse is represented with a golden
censer ( Revelation 8:3 , 8:5 ). Paul speaks of the golden censer as belonging
to the tabernacle ( Hebrews 9:4 ). The Greek word thumiaterion, here rendered
"censer," may more appropriately denote, as in the margin of Revised Version,
"the altar of incense." Paul does not here say that the thumiaterion was in the
holiest, for it was in the holy place, but that the holiest had it, i.e., that
it belonged to the holiest ( 1 Kings 6:22 ). It was intimately connected with
the high priest's service in the holiest.
The manner in which the censer is to be used is described in Numbers 4:14 ; Leviticus
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
A small portable vessel of metal fitted to receive burning
coals from the altar, and on which the incense for burning was sprinkled. ( 2
Chronicles 26:19 ; Luke 1:9 ) The only distinct precepts regarding the use of
the censer are found in ( Leviticus 16:12 ) and in ( Numbers 4:14 ) Solomon prepared
"censers of pure gold" as part of the temple furniture. ( 1 Kings 7:50 ; 2 Chronicles
4:22 ) The word rendered "censer" in ( Hebrews 9:4 ) probably means the "altar
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
In the King James Version censer is used as a translation of two Hebrew words,
namely, machtah, and miqTereth. The former word is generally rendered "censer,"
sometimes "firepan," and in three cases (Exodus 25:38 ; 37:23 ; Numbers 4:9) "snuffdish"
It denoted a bowl-shaped vessel used for different purposes, namely,
(1) a censer, in which incense was burnt (Leviticus 10:1);
(2) a firepan, made of bronze, used in connection with the altar of burnt offering
(3) a snuffdish, i.e. a receptacle to hold pieces of burnt lamp-wick removed by
the tongs or snuffers (Exodus 25:38).
Probably in all these cases the same kind of vessel was meant, namely, a bowl-shaped
utensil with a handle, not unlike a saucepan. The other Hebrew word (derived from
the same root as the word for "incense") denoted a vessel for conveying incense
(Ezekiel 8:11; 2 Chronicles 26:19). The Greek word thumiaterion, by which the
Septuagint rendered miqTereth, is used also in Hebrews 9:4, where the King James
Version gives "censer," but the American Standard Revised Version is probably
more correct, namely, "altar of incense" (see Commentaries under the word). Compare
also Revelation 8:3,1, where libanotos, properly the adjective of "frankincense,"
is translated "censer."
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