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Saturday, October 12 2013

Exodus 30: Frankincense, Incense and The Anointing Oil

"The LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight ... it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people"

Frankincense, from the Hebrew word pronounced lev-ow-nah, is an odoriferous resin that is obtained from incisions made in the bark of certain types of balsam trees. Numerous references are made to the actual or symbolic usage of it throughout the Holy Scriptures, both the Old Testament and New Testament. The difference between frankincense and incense is that frankincense is a specific substance, while incense (which means to burn) may be composed of a variety of substances, or blends of substances, including frankincense. It's the reason that frankincense and incense are both stated in the verses quoted below.

Frankincense

  • Frankincense was generally imported from Arabia (Isaiah 60:6, Jeremiah 6:20), although it may have also been grown on a smaller scale in Israel (i.e. Song of Solomon 4:6,14).

  • Frankincense was an ingredient in the holy incense (Exodus 30:34-38)

  • The altar of incense was made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. It was situated in the Holy Place near the curtain before the Most Holy Place (see Layout Of Solomon's Temple). The high priest burned incense when he tended the lamps (Exodus 30:1-9).

  • Once per year, on The Day Of Atonement, the High the priest entered The Most Holy Place (see Why Do Christians Observe The Messiah's Day Of Atonement?) and burned incense there before The Ark Of The Covenant which contained The Ten Commandments (Leviticus 16:12-13).

  • Frankincense was used in the grain offering (Leviticus 2:1, 2:16, 6:15, 24:7), but was strictly excluded from the sin offering (Leviticus 5:11)

  • Incense was used to symbolize or accompany prayer (Psalm 141:2, Luke 1:10, Revelation 5:8, 8:3).

  • Frankincense was one of the gifts presented to the newborn Messiah by the Magi (Matthew 2:11-15; see also Why Did The Magi Come?)

The Tabernacle (see Exodus 26: The First Christian Tabernacle) had a specific "altar to burn incense upon."

"30:1 And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: of shittim wood shalt thou make it. 30:2 A cubit shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits shall be the height thereof: the horns thereof shall be of the same. 30:3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 30:4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make it; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 30:5 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 30:6 And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 30:7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 30:8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. 30:9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 30:10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it is most holy unto the LORD." (Exodus 30:1-10 KJV)

The LORD did not favour rich or poor. "The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel" was the law for the "atonement money of the children of Israel" which was used "for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation." It should be kept in mind that the Fourth Commandment was actually a double Commandment: "20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work" (Exodus 20:9 KJV) and "20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:10-11 KJV)

"30:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 30:12 When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their number, then shall they give every man a ransom for his soul [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] unto the LORD, when thou numberest them; that there be no plague among them, when thou numberest them. 30:13 This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary: (a shekel is twenty gerahs:) an half shekel shall be the offering of the LORD. 30:14 Every one that passeth among them that are numbered, from twenty years old and above, shall give an offering unto the LORD. 30:15 The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when they give an offering unto the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls. 30:16 And thou shalt take the atonement money of the children of Israel, and shalt appoint it for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation; that it may be a memorial unto the children of Israel before the LORD, to make an atonement for your souls." (Exodus 30:11-16 KJV)

The washings at the Tabernacle were among the origins of Christian baptism (see The Origin of Baptism).

The High Priest

"30:17 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 30:18 Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. 30:19 For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat: 30:20 When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD: 30:21 So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations." (Exodus 30:17-21 KJV)

The anointing oil was a specific formula declared by the LORD. "Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people."

"30:22 Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 30:23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, 30:24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: 30:25 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. 30:26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 30:27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense, 30:28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot. 30:29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

30:30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. 30:31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations. 30:32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you. 30:33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people." (Exodus 30:22-33 KJV)

So too, the holy incense: "Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people."

"30:34 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight: 30:35 And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: 30:36 And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy. 30:37 And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD. 30:38 Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people." (Exodus 30:34-38 KJV)

Fact Finder: Will angels burn incense at the time just before the Messiah's return? Is the burning of incense symbolic of the prayers of the LORD's people?
Revelation 8:3-4; see also How To Pray and Dust and Ashes


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This Day In History, October 12

539 BC: The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia captured Babylon - an event that later permitted the return of the people of Judah to Jerusalem (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Babylon and Persia, Israel In History and Prophecy: The Return Of Judah and Iran's Greatest Leader Was Pro-Zionist).

1285: 180 Jews were burned to death in Munich, Germany, after refusing to convert to the Church of Rome (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1492: Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the "New World" (see Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy). All four of the voyages of Columbus were actually limited to the area of the Caribbean Sea - despite popular myth and propaganda, none landed in North America.

Voyages of Christopher Columbus

1518: After the "Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) began proceedings against him for heresy, 35 year old Martin Luther was summoned to the Diet at Augsburg. In the theological discussions that followed, Luther refused to recant his 95 Theses that he had posted on the door of the Castle Church at Wittenberg. While Luther rejected the corrupt leadership of the Papacy, he, and most "Protestants" ever since, maintained nearly all of Rome's antichrist doctrines (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

1576: Rudolf II, the king of Hungary and Bohemia, succeeded his father Maximillian II as Holy Roman emperor.

1692: Massachusetts Governor William Phips ordered an end to the Salem witch trials that caused numerous innocent people to be executed (see alsoWhat Is Sorcery?).

1702: In the War of The Spanish Succession, Admiral Rooke with 30 British ships defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Vigo Bay and seized 11 ships full of treasure.

1810: Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildurghausen. The festivities became an annual event and evolved into the present Oktoberfest festival of beer and bratwurst.

1811: Paraguay declared its independence from Spain and Argentina.

1822: Brazil formally became independent of Portugal.

1899: The Anglo-Boer War began in South Africa.

1918: A forest fire killed 453 people in Minnesota.

1928: The Graf Zeppelin became the first commercial dirigible to cross the Atlantic. The Zeppelin, named after its inventor, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, made more than 500 trans-Atlantic flights until it was retired in favor of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg.

1933: Alcatraz was opened as a U.S. federal maximum-security prison.

1945: A few months after the Second World War in Europe ended, the Allied Control Council ordered the dissolution of the Nazi Party of Germany (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1960: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev pounded his desk at the United Nations with his shoe after becoming angry during a debate.

1963: Archaeological research digs began at Masada in Israel.

1964: The Soviet Union launched Voskhod 1 into orbit. It was the first spacecraft to carry a multiple crew.

1970: President Richard Nixon announced the withdrawl of 40,000 more U.S. troops from the Vietnam civil war (Vietnam was divided into North and South by France; when France was driven out, the U.S. replaced French forces and took the side of South Vietnam).

1973: Spiro Agnew resigned as U.S. Vice-President after being convicted of tax evasion. He was replaced by Gerald Ford.

1984: 5 people were killed when an Irish Republican Army terrorist bomb exploded at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England, during the annual Conservative Party Conference. It was an attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet.

1992: An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter Scale struck Cairo; 552 killed, nearly 10,000 injured. The epicenter was not far from the great pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.


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