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Incense

The preparation of incense is described in Ex. 30:34–36; the duty of offering it twice daily fell upon the high priest (Ex. 30:7–8), but in the second temple the privilege was extended to all the priests, and the lot was cast each day to decide who should offer it (Luke 1:9). Live coals were brought from the brazen altar of burnt offering and placed on the golden altar of incense; then the priest to whom the lot had fallen entered alone into the Holy Place, carrying in a censer the incense, which he cast on the fire. Then, bowing reverently toward the Holy of Holies, he returned to the congregation, who were praying outside, and pronounced the blessing in Num. 6:24–26. The choir of Levites at once started to sing the daily psalms. On the Day of Atonement there was a special offering of incense. See Ps. 141:2; Mal. 1:11; Rev. 5:8; 8:3–4. See also Fasts.