What are frankincense and myrrh? It was one of the ingredients God instructed the Israelites to use in making the pure and sacred incense blend for the most holy place in the tabernacle. According to Touwaide, myrrh appears with more frequency than any other plant substance in the writings of the Greek physician Hippocrates, who revolutionized the field of medicine in the fourth and third centuries B.C. If these ancient remedies can indeed provide relief for the many patients who suffer from these potentially devastating illnesses, the great incense roads of antiquity may flourish once again. Balsam trees from which Frankincense is obtained, are related to turpentine trees. Frankincense and the other plant-derived treasure given to the newborn Jesus in the New Testament narrative—myrrh—have a long history dating back thousands of years. The holy anointing oil described in Exodus was made with myrrh, sweet cinnamon, calamus, cassia and olive oil. Frankincense was a key part of worship in the Old Testament and a costly gift brought to the baby Jesus. The primary purpose of anointing someone or something was to sanctify or set it apart as holy. Frankincense essential oil mixed with pure Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Israel Frankincense was commonly used in the Tabernacle—we find it in the grain offerings, it was burned on the golden altar and even used to sprinkle on the show breads. There is also a phonetic guide to use to see the proper pronunciation of Frankincense . Gathering frankincense resin was a time-consuming process. Many popular natural toothpastes contain myrrh, which has proven beneficial to dental and gum health since ancient times. In their time, they were worth as much as gold, and fought over like oil today. Frankincense tree in Dhofar mountain, Oman What is Frankincense used for? In the Bible, Frankincense is often associated with myrrh, another expensive spice that features prominently in Scripture (Song of Solomon 3:6; Matthew 2:11). Click the PLAY button below to hear how to pronounce Frankincense . The English word frankincense comes from a French expression meaning "free incense" or "free burning." They are also extremely fragrant, particularly when burned, with frankincense giving off a sweet, citrusy scent and myrrh producing a piney, bitter odor. It burns for a long time, with a steady flame. The ancient Egyptians bought entire boatloads of the resins from the Phoenicians, using them in incense, insect repellent, perfume and salves for wounds and sores; they were also key ingredients in the embalming process. Frankincense was probably used in Jesus’ burial in the tomb. It burns for a long time, with a steady flame. 12; When buying pure frankincense essential oil, check the label for its Latin name, Boswellia Carterii or Boswellia sacra. Frankincense is the king of the oils. In addition to many other historical accounts, the famous Bible passage notes that frankincense was one of the three gifts brought by the Three Wise Men and given to baby Jesus. The event is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, which also tells of their gifts: Only the book of Matthew records this episode of the Christmas story. Matthew states that the Three Kings visited the child Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense , and myrrh. Find out more about these healing gifts of the magi. And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meat offering. Almost 1,500 years before the Magi brought gifts of frankincense and myrrh to Bethlehem, the ancient Egyptians included them among their vast materia medica. Why is the frankincense smell important? It was not native to that region, however, so obtaining frankincense … The gift of frankincense is said to have been an acknowledgement of Jesus’ priesthood, setting him apart from a typical king. Over a period of two or three months, the sap would leak from the tree and harden into white "tears." Frankincense was a very expensive substance because it was collected in remote parts of Arabia, North Africa, and India and had to be transported long distances by caravan. In Exodus, the Lord said to Moses: “Gather fragrant spices—resin droplets, mollusk shell, and galbanum—and mix these fragrant spices with pure frankincense, weighed out in equal amounts. Mark notes that when Jesus was dying on the cross , someone offered him wine mixed with myrrh to stop the pain, but he did not take it. Jack Zavada is a writer who covers the Bible, theology, and other Christianity topics. For instance, both are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and aromatherapy. Because frankincense and myrrh can be collected from multiple Boswellia and Commiphora species, several different varieties are available. Frankincense, a vegetable resin, brittle, glittering, and of a bitter taste, used for the purpose of sacrificial fumigation. Frankincense was a precious spice with great significance and worth in ancient times. Early attempts to grow the trees in the Levant—and specifically in what is now Israel—failed, according to Touwaide. Today, frankincense is a popular essential oil (sometimes called olibanum). This was considered a pure and holy recipe containing sweet spices mixed with pure frankincense. The hardened gum might be distilled to extract its aromatic oil for perfume, or crushed and burned as incense. How was Frankincense used in the Bible? This free audio Bible name pronunciation guide is a valuable tool in your study of God’s word. Gift of, Matt. Frankincense is the gum or resin of the Boswellia tree, used for making perfume and incense. Frankincense is used for pain and swelling in people with various diseases. To harvest the smell and oils, frankincense is boiled. Its perhaps best-known use is to create a permeating scent by burning crystalized pieces during rites … Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. After 2-3 weeks, the frankincense resin is ready to be collected. Frankincense was widely used by the ancient Egyptians in their religious rituals. Since his ascension to heaven, Christ serves as high priest for believers, interceding for them with God the Father. 2:11. Most of the references in the OT are instructions as to how and how not to use this scent (Lev 2:1; 5:11).In Song of Solomon 3:6 the references are to frankincense as perfume. Both substances are edible and often chewed like gum. It's also known as gum olibanum. Frankincense was often burned as an incense, while myrrh made its way into medicine and perfume. Since the early days of Christianity, Biblical scholars and theologians have offered varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of the gold, frankincense and myrrh that the magi presented to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew (2:11). The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts of the resins, which they burned as incense, used during cremations and took for a wide variety of ailments. Frankincense and myrrh today Frankincense, which was often burned, symbolized prayer rising to the heavens like smoke, while myrrh, which was often used in embalming, symbolized death. Its smoke symbolizes the prayers of the faithful ascending to heaven. The Bible records myrrh showing up three times in the life and death of Jesus Christ. Frankincense and myrrh are both tree resins. Maintains Oral Health. Frankincense Dried sap (gum resin) from trees and bushes of certain species of the genus Boswellia. Small traces of it have been found on mummies. It is believed that the Babylonians and Assyrians burned them during religious ceremonies. FRANKINCENSE [SMITH] a vegetable resin, brittle, glittering, and of a bitter taste, used for the purpose of sacrificial fumigation. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Hyssop. What Does the Bible Say About Burning Sage? At the time Jesus is thought to have been born, frankincense and myrrh may have been worth more than their weight in the third gift presented by the wise men: gold But despite their significance in the New Testament, the substances fell out of favor in Europe with the rise of Christianity and fall of the Roman Empire, which essentially obliterated the thriving trade routes that had developed over many centuries. The fragrant gum resin obtained from balsam trees (Boswellia) can be ground into a powder and burned to produce a balsam-like odor. The species has star-shaped flowers that are pure white or green, tipped with rose. 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