« PreviousContinue »
means, in other places, the flat roof of a house, so by “the top' is meant merely the upper surface of the altar itself. This reading, in truth, agrees best with the context, the intention of which is to describe the whole altar as overlaid with gold. As stated in the text, the altar was placed before " the vail;” that is, the vail separating the most holy from the holy place. Every morning and evening the high-priest filled his censer with fire from the brazen altar, and, introducing the incense, went into the holy place, and set the censer upon the altar.
This narrative is well calculated to point the Christian reader to the great High-Priest of his profession, Jesus Christ, of whom the Jewish high-priest was a type. He is the Mediator of a better covenant, established upon better promises. The Christian looks upon him as such, and the language of his heart to his fellow pilgrims on earth is that of the apostle: “Having, therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having an High Priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.” Heb. x. 19_23.
The following is a copy from the sculptures at Karnac of an Egyptian king, as high-priest, offering incense in a censer.