Frankincense

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Frankincense : (Heb. lebonah; Gr. libanos, i.e., "white"), an odorous resin imported from Arabia (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20), yet also growing in Palestine (Song of Solomon 4:14). It was one of the ingredients in the perfume of the sanctuary (Exodus 30:34), and was used as an accompaniment of the meat-offering (Leviticus 2:1,16; 6:15; 24:7). When burnt it emitted a fragrant odour, and hence the incense became a symbol of the Divine name (Malachi 1:11; Song of Solomon 1:3) and an emblem of prayer (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3).

This frankincense, or olibanum, used by the Jews in the temple services is not to be confounded with the frankincense of modern commerce, which is an exudation of the Norway spruce fir, the Pinus abies. It was probably a resin from the Indian tree known to botanists by the name of Boswellia serrata or thurifera, which grows to the height of forty feet.

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