Golden Censer in the Most Holy Place vs. The Censer that the Priests carried when they entered...

Hebrews 9:4 - Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Paul places the golden censer in the most holy place, whereas the old testament places the altar of incense in the holy place before the veil. Is there an apparent inconsistency here or is there a logical answer to why he apparently places the golden censer (which I assume is the altar of incense)in the Most Holy Place, when we know that Moses, instructed through God, places it in the Holy Place; or the first apartment. Interesting. The only thing I can think of is the censer that the high priest was required to carry on the Day of Atonement in Lev. 16, might be what Paul had in mind. But that censer was not part of the furnishings of either apartment.


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The tabernacle is a very interesting topic of study. Hebrews 9:24 states that the holy places made by man in the Old Testament are "figures of the true" meaning that when God is giving Moses the blueprint of the Tabernacle in Exodus, he is describing the throne room of heaven (Notice the angel burning incense on a different golden altar before the throne of God in heaven - Revelation 8:3).

First of all, when talking about the altar of incense and the golden censer it is important to understand that they are two separate items:

"And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the vail: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony, that he die not" - Leviticus 16:12-13

Here, the priest is said to take coals from off of the altar of incense and place them into a censer and then carry the censor into the most holy place. After he was within the vail he would take the incense that was in his hand and put it inside the censer. This would create a cloud of incense that would cover the mercy seat. Once this was accomplished, the priest would take the blood and sprinkle it on the mercy seat:

"And he shall take of the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it with his finger upon the mercy seat eastward; and before the mercy seat shall he sprinkle of the blood with his finger seven times." - Leviticus 16:14

In closing, notice the context of Hebrews chapter 9, the author is comparing the priest’s duties on the Day of Atonement with the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made:

”But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people…But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. ” - Hebrews 9:7, 11-12

Since the author is comparing the sacrifice of Jesus Christ with the Day of Atonement it is only proper to place the location of the golden censer within the most holy place since that is where it would be located on that day.

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