the vessel in which incense was presented on "the golden altar" before the Lord in the temple (Ex. 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 (Lev. 16:12, 13), which sent up a cloud of smoke, filling the apartment with fragrance. The censers in daily use were of brass (Num. 16:39), and were designated by a different Hebrew name, _miktereth_ (2 Chr. 26:19; Ezek. 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 Chr. 4:22). The angel in the Apocalypse is represented with a golden censer (Rev. 8:3, 5). Paul speaks of the golden censer as belonging to the tabernacle (Heb. 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 Num. 4:14; Lev. 16:12.
vessel used in the Christian liturgy for the burning of aromatic incense strewn on lighted coals. Censers of terra-cotta or metal were widely used in Egypt, in the ancient Middle Eastern civilizations, including the Jewish, and in the classical world. Because they were destined chiefly for religious worship, above all in funeral rites, they were often the object of artistic effort. The shapes varied. Both an open bowl with a handle or with chains for carrying and a closed receptacle with openings for smoke to escape were known.
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