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KJV 2 Chronicles 4

22 And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.

Context clearly points to these as firepans/trays for collecting burnt wicks/ashes from the candlestick not censers which were used for carrying burning coals as alluded to by the KJV

Why the KJV refers to them as censers is a little baffling

How can this be understood?

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  • Context clearly points... - And what context would that be, exactly ? The one you failed to provide ? This is a recurrent problem, present within many of your posts. – Lucian Jun 24 '20 at 19:48
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In II Chronicles 4:22 the KJV translates censors from the MT הַמַּחְתּוֹת.

Compare this with Numbers 16:6-7 (NIV) and corresponding MT:

You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: Take censers and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!”

זֹאת עֲשׂוּ קְחוּ לָכֶם מַחְתּוֹת קֹרַח וְכָל עֲדָתוֹ.וּתְנוּ בָהֵן אֵשׁ וְשִׂימוּ עֲלֵיהֶן קְטֹרֶת לִפְנֵי יְהוָה מָחָר וְהָיָה הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה הוּא הַקָּדוֹשׁ רַב לָכֶם בְּנֵי לֵוִי.

and with Numbers 16:17-18 (NIV) and corresponding MT:

Each man is to take his censer and put incense in it—250 censers in all—and present it before the Lord.

וּקְחוּ אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ וּנְתַתֶּם עֲלֵיהֶם קְטֹרֶת וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ חֲמִשִּׁים וּמָאתַיִם מַחְתֹּת וְאַתָּה וְאַהֲרֹן אִישׁ מַחְתָּתוֹ.

Also in Leviticus 16:12 (NIV) and its MT:

He is to take a censer full of burning coals from the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground fragrant incense and take them behind the curtain.

וְלָקַח מְלֹא הַמַּחְתָּה גַּחֲלֵי אֵשׁ מֵעַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ מִלִּפְנֵי יְהוָה וּמְלֹא חָפְנָיו קְטֹרֶת סַמִּים דַּקָּה וְהֵבִיא מִבֵּית לַפָּרֹכֶת

That makes it clear that the primary purpose of these "firepans" was to offer incense, therefore the translation "censers" in II Chronicles 4:22 makes sense.

Only the first utensil mentioned in this verse, הַמְזַמְּרוֹת , is used (apparently for trimming the wicks) with the lights. The other two utensils besides the censers are for other purposes, bowls for throwing the blood of sacrifices on the altar, and spoons for the mincha (frankincense) offerings.

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