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Thursday, November 29 2018

A Bible Journey, 80: The Sacred Spices

"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"

The English-language word "frankincense," from the Hebrew word pronounced lev-ow-nah, is a highly-fragrant natural resin that is obtained from cuts made in the bark of certain types of balsam trees.

Frankincense

Numerous references are made to the actual or symbolic usage of frankincense throughout the Bible, both the Old Testament and New Testament. The important 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 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 The Day Of Atonement: Deliverance Of The Passover Blood) 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 A Bible Journey, 76: Why Did The LORD Build His 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 (see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) 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 A Bible Journey, 77: When Did The Messiah Become A Burnt Offering? and Dust and Ashes


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This Day In History, November 29

561: King Chlothar I died at Compiegne. His four sons (Charibert I, Guntram, Sigebert I and Chilperic I) divided the Frankish Kingdom, while continuing the Merovingian Dynasty.

Europe in 560

Europe in 560

800: Charlemagne arrived at Rome to investigate the crimes of Pope Leo III (see The Holy Roman Empire and The Struggle For The Papacy).

1394: Korean king Yi Seong-gye, founder of the Joseon Dynasty, relocated his capital from Kaesong to Hanyang (known today as Seoul). See also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?

Sea Of Japan

1612: The Battle of Swally that reduced the Portuguese Empire's control of India.

1760: British forces took possession of Detroit. It was prior to that time a French military and trading colony, founded in 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac (one of his descendants named the Cadillac automobile after him). "Detroit" is a French word that means the straits i.e. in that case referring to the river that flows from Lake Erie to Lake St. Clair (another French name).

New France

1787: King Louis XVI of France granted political recognition of Protestants.

1798: In Canada, the legislature of the Island of St. John voted to change its name to Prince Edward Island.

1812: Napoleon's "Grand Army" crossed the Berezina River in retreat from a disastrous defeat in Russia (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).

1864: Over 400 Cheyenne and Arapahoe people (women, children and old men - most of the young men were already dead in battles to defend their homelands from the European invaders) who had surrendered, and were told that they could camp there in peace, were massacred by a force of 700 Colorado Militiamen led by Colonel John Chivington at Sand Creek, Colorado. That particular incident of the genocide of Native Americans (among many, many others) is variously known to historians as "the Sand Creek Massacre" or the "Chivington Massacre." (see also The First Chinese American War)

1922: Egyptian King Tutankhamen's tomb was opened by archaeologists (see also Biblical Eras: 400 Years Of Israel's Prosperity In Egypt and A Biography Of Jesus Christ: The Years In Cleopatra's Egypt).

Tutankhamen's Tomb

1947: The United Nations General Assembly voted to partition "Palestine" (a word that is merely another pronunciation of "Philistine") into Jewish and Arab territories (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: The Balfour Declaration).

1961: NASA launched a chimpanzee named Enos into Earth orbit. The Russians had already launched the first human into space, Yuri Gagarin, earlier that year, on April 12 1961.

Cosmonauts

1963: U.S. President Lyndon Johnson appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to head a commission to investigate the assassination of President John Kennedy The "Warren Commission" declared that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin.

1964: The Roman Catholic Church replaced Latin with English in masses in some countries.

1974: A bill to outlaw the Irish Republican Army became law in Britain.

1989: Czechoslovakian dissidents ousted Communist party leader Milos Jakes.





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