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Cinnamon is a tree native to the region from India to China. Although not found growing in or around the land of Israel, early traders made it available there very early in Bible History since it was easily harvested and transported as dried rolls cut from the inner layer of bark of young branches. Although in modern times cinnamon is best-known as a food or baking ingredient (cinnamon buns, toast with cinnamon, apple pie with cinnamon etc.) in ancient times it was used either as a perfume or in oils. Cinnamon was one of the God-commanded ingredients of the holy anointing oil.

Sweet Cinnamon

The Lord instructed Moses to use cinnamon as one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil.


"Moreover The Lord [see YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] spake unto Moses [see also The Education Of Moses], saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels [see Biblical Weights and Measures], and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus [i.e. Sweet Cane; see also Calamus or Cannabis?] two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil."

"And thou shalt anoint The Tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the Ark of the testimony [see The Ark Of The Covenant; see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark], And the table [see Bread of the Presence] and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and The Laver and his foot." (Exodus 30:22-28 KJV)

Cinnamon was one of the substances used to make perfume.

"I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon." (Proverbs 7:17 KJV)

Cinnamon was regarded as among the "chief spices."

"Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphire, with Spikenard, Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of Frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices" (Song of Solomon 4:13-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: What are some of the other plants that were used as herbs and spices in the Bible?
See Herbs Of The Bible

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