FIREPAN (Heb. mahtâh). A vessel used for carrying live coals, as in
FIREPAN (מַחְתָּה, H4746). A pan for carrying live or dead coals. It was used for three different functions in the sacrifice and worship of the OT.
1. It was used to carry coals to and from the altar of burnt offering (
2. It was used in combination with the snuffers of the golden lampstand, prob. as a tray to catch the pieces of burned wick (
In some passages it is difficult to determine which of these specific usages is meant (
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
(machtah, "firepan," "censer," "snuffdish," from chathah, "to snatch up"):
A vessel for carrying coals. Brazen firepans were part of the furnishings of the altar of burnt offerings (
The firepan or censer of the Hebrews was doubtless similar to the censer of the Egyptians, pictures of which have been found. It consisted of a pan or pot for the coals, which was held by a straight or slightly curved long handle. The style of censer used in recent centuries, swung by three chains, came into use about the 12th century AD.