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

Onycha

Used in : Temple Incense

"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" Exodus 30:34.

A long lasting debate has existed, whether Onycha refers to a shellfish or a plant. The majority opinion is that, having been used in a holy mixture in the Temple, it is most likely that Onycha is a plant material and not shellfish. The Jewish scholar Rashi said that Onycha is a kind of root, while the Talmud states it came from an annual plant. Cloves, "zipporen" in Hebrew, is considered a likely candidate. Cloves is traditionally known for its comforting and soothing properties.

Our portion in Exodus uses the word “shecheleth” for onycha. It’s meaning is obscure, perhaps that of peeling off by concussion of sound; a scale or shell (aromatic mussel). This word stems from the word “shachal” which refers to a fierce roaring lion. In the book of Hosea God is likened to this fierce Lion when He deals with idolatry in Israel (Ephraim). This brings us to a very sobering principle of the severity of our jealous God, who will peel off or devour unfaithfulness.

Hosea 13:4-9 “Yet I {have been} the LORD your God since the land of Egypt; and you were not to know any god except me, for there is no savior besides me. I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of drought. As {they had} their pasture, they became satisfied, and being satisfied, their heart became proud; therefore, they forgot me. So I will be like a lion (shachal) to them; like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside. I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs, and I will tear open their chests; there I will also devour them like a lioness, {as} a wild beast would tear them. {It is} your destruction, O Israel, that {you are} against me, against your help.”

Disobedience, rebellion and idolatry all go hand in hand. Look what happened when Aaron’s sons brought strange fire before God.
Lev 10:1-2 ‘Now Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective fire pans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. And fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.”

In the allegory in Ezek 16 Israel was taken as possession and beautified as a stunning bride for the LORD Jehovah. She turned away from Him because she became proud and relied on her beauty. The fragrance of onycha serves to remind us to stay faithful to God. Only then will He truly be comforting, soothing and a stronghold to us, roaring against our enemies and not at us.

Joel 3:16-17 “And the LORD roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the LORD is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. So Jerusalem will be holy, and strangers will pass through it no more.”

Onycha is known as "Zipporen" in Hebrew - Cloves.

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