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Friday, December 9 2016
Frankincense And Incense - What's The Difference?
"And the LORD said to Moses, "Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense, of each shall there be an equal part, and make an incense blended as by the perfumer"
The frankincense recorded in the Holy Scriptures was processed from the gum resins of the tree Boswellia sacra (shown in the illustration) which was obtained by traders from across North Africa, the Middle East and India. Frankincense is regarded as a pure substance, not a mixture of ingredients.
Frankincense was one of the gifts brought by the Magi ("wise men") for the Messiah (the shepherds came within hours of His birth, while the Magi came months later; see The Birth And Childhood Of The Messiah and The Bethlehem Shepherds Prophecy; also Why Did The Magi Come? and Escape From Herod and The Rachel's Children Prophecy). Although many commonly assume that there were three wise men, because of the three gifts that they presented ("they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh"), there could have been many more. The number of the kinds of gifts is no proof of the number of men who brought them.
"2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." (Matthew 2:1-2 KJV)
Unlike frankincense, which is a relatively pure substance, not a mixture of ingredients, incense is a mixture of ingredients. In some formulations, frankincense was an ingredient in incense.
The Holy incense that was to be used exclusively at the Tabernacle (see The Glory Of The LORD In His Tabernacle) had frankincense as one of its ingredients. The King James Version renders the incense in those verses as "perfume," while most other translations translate it as "incense." The King James Version was not incorrect - "perfume" is from a Latin word that originally meant to smoke i.e. the "fumes" of "perfume, just like the smoke from incense.
"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.
The use of incense continued at the Temple in Jerusalem. John the Baptist's father, who was a Temple Levite, was burning the prescribed incense when the angel Gabriel appeared to him to announce that he would have a son who would become a great prophet in Israel (see The Miraculous Birth Of John The Baptist).
"1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
Fact Finder: How can useful things be misused for self-destructive purposes?
This Day In History, December 9
480: Odoacer, the first Germanic (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) king of Italy, occupied Dalmatia and established his political power with the co-operation of the Roman Senate.
536: Flavius Belisarius (most-often known simply as "Belisarius"), a general of the Eastern (or "Byzantine") Roman Empire, captured Rome.
1625: The Treaty of the Hague was signed under which England and the Netherlands agreed to subsidize Christian IV of Denmark in his campaign in Germany.
1755: The first post office in Canada opened, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
1824: The Battle of Ayacucho, during the Latin-American war of independence; an anti-Spain republican rebel victory over royalists on the high plateau near Ayacucho, Peru.
1868: W.E. Gladstone became British Prime Minister for the first of his four terms.
1870: The Society of Biblical Archaeology was founded in London.
1905: An Act for the Separation of Church and State became law in France, repealing Napoleon's Concordat of 1801.
1917: During the First World War (1914-1918), British forces under the command of General Edmund Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire (listen to our Sermons The Ottoman Empire and The Balfour Declaration; see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Balfour Declaration). It occurred on Hanukkah, which commemorates the recovery of The Temple after the original "abomination of desolation" that was committed by the Seleucids (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids) while under the rule of the heathen Antiochus Epiphanes (see A History Of Jerusalem: Abomination Of Desolation and The Holy Place In History And Prophecy).
1931: Spain became a republic.
1940: British forces launched their first major offensive in North Africa during the Second World War (1939-1945).
1941: During the Second World War, China declared war on Japan, Germany and Italy - thereby making China allies with Russia, the U.S., Britain.
1945: The flamboyant U.S. General George Patton was involved in an automobile accident at Kafertal, a suburb of Mannheim, Germany. The collision was relatively minor, however Patton, who was not wearing a seat belt, flew upward and struck his head on the roof of the vehicle; he was paralyzed from the neck down and died 12 days later.
1949: The United Nations General Assembly voted for the entire city of Jerusalem to be transformed into a corpus separtum - an "international" city.
1957: Lester Pearson (who later served as Canada's 14th Prime Minister, 1963-1968) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He received the award for his work while Canadian external affairs minister in negotiating a settlement of the 1956 Suez crisis by proposing a UN peace-keeping force as a means of easing the British and French out of Egypt.
1961: Captured Nazi Adolf Eichman was found guilty of war crimes by a court in Israel (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1961: Tanganyika became independent from Britain and took the new name Tanzania.
1979: The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, thereby making smallpox the first and only human disease driven to extinction.
1990: Former "Solidarity" labor union leader Lech Walesa won Poland's presidential election.
1994: The closest (to date) recorded approach to earth by a celestial object occurred when an asteroid the size of a small house passed within 100,000 km. of the planet (about 1/4 of the distance to the moon). Known as asteroid 1994XM1, it orbits the sun in the same area as the earth and is believed that it will eventually collide with earth.