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Frankincense

Used in : Temple Incense, Song Of Songs Oil, Frankincense & Myrrh Oil

"Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?" Song of Songs 3:6

The Hebrew “levona”, comes from a root word “lavan” meaning white, evidently from its milky color. The Greek “libanos” is derived from the Hebrew. White carries with it the connotation of purity. In the tabernacle of Moses, we find frankincense in the grain offering (Lev.2:1), in the incense that was burned on the golden altar (Ex. 30:7,34,35) and sprinkled on the showbread (Lev. 24:7). A powerful interpretation of the meaning of incense is set forth in the book of Revelation where it is connected with intercession. Rev 5:8b “…Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Since Moses and the prophets point to Messiah, we see thus in each of the symbols mentioned, the aspects of the purity of Yeshua, His intercession, and His fragrance that comes into focus.

An ancient synonym for Frankincense is "olibanum, " derived from the Latin 0lhmi libanum (oil from Lebanon). Frankincense may have been sold in Lebanon, but it is grown in the desert regions of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman.

The temples of antiquity were known to always be fragrant with the aroma of burning frankincense. As late as the reign of England's King George III (1760-1820), frankincense was burned ceremonially in the royal chapels.

The healing power of frankincense was known in antiquity since people used it to cure everything from gout to a broken head.

Frankincense is one of the most important oils in the Bible, with 24 citings, all but two in the Old Testament. Related to the terebinth (turpentine) tree and to trees producing balsam and myrrh, bushes and trees of genus Boswellia which produce a milky sap.

The frankincense tree grows to about 25 feet high. The flowers are star-shaped, white or green with a red tip. The leaves are compound, seven to nine serrated glossy leaflets. Frankincense gum is harvested by making successive cuts in the bark or by peeling off the bark at intervals, causing a white milk-like juice to flow and form into tears when exposed to air. The frankincense milk dries into a fragrant gum resin that has a bitter taste but a wonderful aromatic aroma when burned (Song of Songs 3:6). The oil is pale yellow to green with a spicy lemony top note and a warm, rich, sweet, balsamic undertone.

Frankincense was a principal item carried by the caravans of Asian traders who traveled the spice routes out of Arabia to Gaza and Damascus. Isaiah 60:6 and Jeremiah 6:20 state that it was imported in this way into Israel from Sheba. Sheba was a wealthy kingdom located in the eastern portion of the Yemen Arab Republic known for its gold, frankincense, myrrh, precious stones and ivory. Sheba dominated the caravan routes from Arabia and India. Yeshua commented that the Queen of Sheba who visited Solomon was "the queen of the south" and that she "came from the ends of the earth" (Matthew 12:42). Harib, the old capital of Sheba, was about 1,300 miles southeast of Jerusalem. Yeshua said that the Queen of Sheba, who made a very long and difficult journey to hear Solomon's wisdom, would rise up in the judgment and condemn the men of his generation (Luke 11:31) because the Jews who did not recognize who He was, but claimed to be servants of YHWH, did not pay attention to him.

Solomon mentions "the hill of frankincense" (Song of Solomon 4:6), possibly in a figurative way, but he may have indicated the cultivation of frankincense trees in his royal parks (Ecclesiastes 2:5; Song of Solomon 4:12-16).

Frankincense was used on offerings (Leviticus 2:1-2, 15-16), as it was a "pleasing odor to YHWH." The people put it on grain offerings (Jeremiah 17:26).

Frankincense was added to each row of the showbread of the sanctuary (Leviticus 24:7). The bread was stacked in two piles consisting of six loaves or layers each. Pure frankincense was put on each stack. Jewish tradition says that the frankincense was put in golden vessels and not directly on the bread. When the showbread was removed on the Sabbath, the frankincense is said to have burned on the altar. Frankincense was not to be included on sin offerings (Leviticus 5:11) or on the "cereal offering of jealousy" (Numbers 5:15), because they were for sin or error, and were not offered up as a sacrifice of praise or thanksgiving to YHWH.

Frankincense was stored in the rebuilt temple buildings following the return from Babylonian exile (Nehemiah 13:5, 9; 1 Chronicles 9:29).

Isaiah records Jehovah's displeasure and disapproval of gifts and the use of frankincense when offered by those who reject his Word (Isaiah 66:3).

The "wise men from the East" who visited the child Yeshua brought frankincense with them (Matthew 2:11). Frankincense was associated with divinity and it was for this reason that it was one of the three gifts given to Yeshua. Legend says that there were three of them, and they had three kinds of gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Bible does not say that there were three, nor does it say that they were 'wise,' 'kings,' 'magicians,' nor 'astrologers.' Rather, it calls them magoi (Matthew 2:1). The word is derived from 'magu,' a Persian word for Zoroastrian priests. These priests of Babylon studied the stars and their influences on human events. They were master astrologers. Their names were Melchior, Gasper and Balthazar. According to medieval legend, after their death their bodies were taken by Helena, the mother of the first Christian emperor Constantine I, to Constantinople. From there, the bodies were moved to Milan and still later to Cologne, Germany. The bodies are now buried in the Cologne Cathedral and they are sometimes referred to as the 'Three Kings of Cologne.'

Matthew 2:11 tells us that when the magi "went into the house they saw the young child." Apparently by the time they got there, Joseph, Mary and Yeshua were living in a house, not in the stable scene we so often see at Christmas. Matthew used the Greek word paidion, which can refer an older child, such as one able to speak and play games in the marketplace (Luke 7:32). Another indication that Yeshua was no longer a newborn is that when the magi did not return, Herod ordered the killing of "all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under" (Matthew 2:16).

Frankincense was used as an incense by ancient civilizations in India, China, the Middle East and Egypt since the beginning of recorded time. It has been used medicinally both in the East and the West for a wide range of conditions.

Price: 15ml (1/2oz) - NIS 30.00