|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
The vessel in which incense was presented on "the golden altar" before the Lord in the temple (Exodus 30:1-9). The priest filled the censer with live coal from the sacred fire on the altar of burnt-offering, and having carried it into the sanctuary, there threw upon the burning coals the sweet incense (Leviticus 16:12, 13), which sent up a cloud of smoke, filling the apartment with fragrance. The censers in daily use were of brass (Numbers 16:39), and were designated by a different Hebrew name, miktereth (2 Chronicles 26:19; Ezek. 8:11): while those used on the day of Atonement were of gold, and were denoted by a word (mahtah) meaning "something to take fire with;" LXX. pureion = a fire-pan. Solomon prepared for the temple censers of pure gold (1 Kings 7:50; 2 Chronicles 4:22). The angel in the Apocalypse is represented with a golden censer (Revelation 8:3, 5). Paul speaks of the golden censer as belonging to the tabernacle (Hebrews 9:4). The Greek word thumiaterion, here rendered "censer," may more appropriately denote, as in the margin of Revised Version, "the altar of incense." Paul does not here say that the thumiaterion was in the holiest, for it was in the holy place, but that the holiest had it, i.e., that it belonged to the holiest (1 Kings 6:22). It was intimately connected with the high priest's service in the holiest.
The manner in which the censer is to be used is described in Numbers 4:14; Leviticus 16:12.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) A vessel for perfumes; esp. one in which incense is burned.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
sen'-ser: In the King James Version censer is used as a translation of two Hebrew words, namely, machtah, and miqTereth. The former word is generally rendered "censer," sometimes "firepan," and in three cases (Exodus 25:38; Exodus 37:23 Numbers 4:9) "snuffdish" It denoted a bowl-shaped vessel used for different purposes, namely,
(1) a censer, in which incense was burnt (Leviticus 10:1);
(2) a firepan, made of bronze, used in connection with the altar of burnt offering (Exodus 27:3);
(3) a snuffdish, i.e. a receptacle to hold pieces of burnt lamp-wick removed by the tongs or snuffers (Exodus 25:38).
Probably in all these cases the same kind of vessel was meant, namely, a bowl-shaped utensil with a handle, not unlike a saucepan. The other Hebrew word (derived from the same root as the word for "incense") denoted a vessel for conveying incense (Ezekiel 8:11 2 Chronicles 26:19). The Greek word thumiaterion, by which the Septuagint rendered miqTereth, is used also in Hebrews 9:4, where the King James Version gives "censer," but the American Standard Revised Version is probably more correct, namely, "altar of incense" (see Commentaries under the word). Compare also Revelation 8:3, 1, where libanotos, properly the adjective of "frankincense," is translated "censer."
Censer (10 Occurrences)
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; (KJV WEY DBY WBS YLT)
Revelation 8:3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Revelation 8:5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 10:1 Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which he had not commanded them. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Leviticus 16:12 He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from off the altar before Yahweh, and two handfuls of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Numbers 16:17 and each man take his censer, and put incense on them, and each man bring before Yahweh his censer, two hundred fifty censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer." (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 16:18 They each took his censer, and put fire in them, and laid incense thereon, and stood at the door of the Tent of Meeting with Moses and Aaron. (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Numbers 16:46 Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer, and put fire from off the altar in it, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from Yahweh! The plague has begun." (WEB KJV ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
2 Chronicles 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Ezekiel 8:11 There stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel; and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, every man with his censer in his hand; and the odor of the cloud of incense went up. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)