Luke 1:9 . His lot was to burn incense “Because some parts of the sacred service were more honourable than others, both the priests and Levites divided the whole among them by lot. The Jews tell us, that there were three priests employed about the service of the incense; one who carried away the ashes left on the altar at the preceding service; another who brought a pan of burning coals from the altar of sacrifice, and, having placed it on the golden altar, departed; a third, who went in with the incense, sprinkled it on the burning coals, and, while the smoke ascended, made intercession for the people. This was the part that fell to Zacharias, and the most honourable in the whole service.” Macknight. When he went into the temple of the Lord As the original word here is not το ιερον , but τον ναον , it ought to have been rendered, the house, or sanctuary. The former word, properly signifying the temple, comprehended the whole edifice, with all its enclosures, piazzas, and other buildings; the latter included only what is termed, by way of eminence, the house, consisting of the vestibule, the holy place or sanctuary, and the most holy. The altar of incense, on which the perfumes were burned, was in the sanctuary; the people who were praying without, were in the temple, εν το ιερω , in the court of Israel, though not in what was strictly called the house of God. See note on Matthew 21:12.
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