Biblical and Ancient References to Oils

There are over 200 references to aromatics, incense, and ointments throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Aromatics such as frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, cinnamon, cassia, rosemary, hyssop, and spikenard were used for anointing and healing the sick. In Exodus, the Lord gave the this recipe to Moses for a holy anointing oil: Exodus 30:22-25

Myrrh: “five hundred shekels” (about 1 gallon)
Cinnamon: “two hundred and fifty shekels”
Calamus: “two hundred and fifty shekels”
Cassia: “five hundred shekels”
Olive Oil: “an hin” (about 1 1/3 gallons)

Psalms 133:2 speaks of the sweetness of brethren dwelling together in unity: “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.” Another scripture that refers to anointing and the overflowing abundance of precious oils is Ecclesiastes 9:8: “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.”

The Bible also lists an incident where an incense offering by Aaron stopped a plague.Numbers 16:46-50 records that Moses instructed Aaron to take a censer, add burning coals and incense, and to “go quickly into the congregation to make an atonement for them: for there is a wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.” The Bible records that Aaron stood between the dead and the living and the plague was stayed. It is significant that according to the biblical and Talmudic recipes for incense, three varieties of cinnamon were involved. Cinnamon is known to be highly antimicrobial, anti-infectious, and antibacterial. The incense ingredient listed as “stacte” is believed to be a sweet, myrrh-related spice, which would make it anti-infectious and antiviral as well.

The New Testament records that wise men presented the Christ child with frankincense and myrrh. There is another precious aromatic, spikenard, described in the anointing of Jesus:

“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head” (Mark 14:3).

The anointing of Jesus is also referred to in John 12:3:

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”

According to the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, priests and physicians were using oils thousands of years before the time of Christ. There are 188 references to oils in the Bible. Precious oils such as frankincense, myrrh, rosemary hyssop and spicknard were used for the anointing and healing of the sick. The three wise men brought essential oils of frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child.   Biblical prophets recognized the use of essential oils as a protection for their bodies against the ravages of disease.  Essential Oils are God’s Gift of Health to Mankind.

There were three wise men (magi) who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child. Clinical research now shows that frankincense and myrrh are two of the most powerful immune-stimulating substances available, containing very high amounts of immune- stimulating properties. Perhaps the three wise men were wise in ways beyond our knowledge. Young Living Essential Oils is helping to restore this ancient knowledge to our modern world.

Psalms 133:2 speaks of the sweetness of brethren dwelling together in unity: “It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.”

Another scripture that refers to anointing and the overflowing abundance of precious oils isEcclesiastes 9:8: “Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment.”

The Bible also lists an incident where an incense offering by Aaron stopped a plague.Numbers 16:46-50 records that Moses instructed Aaron to take a censer, add burning coals and incense, and to “go quickly into the congregation to make an atonement for them: for there is a wrath gone out from the Lord; the plague is begun.”

The Bible records that Aaron stood between the dead and the living and the plague was stayed. It is significant that according to the biblical and Talmudic recipes for incense, three varieties of cinnamon were involved. Cinnamon is known to be highly antimicrobial, anti-infectious, and antibacterial.

The incense ingredient listed as “stacte” is believed to be a sweet, myrrh-related spice, which would make it anti-infectious and antiviral as well.

The New Testament records that wise men presented the Christ child with frankincense and myrrh. There is another precious aromatic, spikenard, described in the anointing of Jesus: “And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head” (Mark 14:3).

The anointing of Jesus is also referred to in John 12:3: “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”

EZEKIEL 47:12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. The fruit thereof shall be your meat, and the leaf your medicine.

Throughout the Old Testament and up to the time of Christ, there are numerous references to the value of oils. Perhaps during the Dark Ages and the burning of the libraries in Alexandria and other places, much of this knowledge was lost; and only through the cosmetic and perfume industry did this valuable science start to resurface.

Anchored in Scripture
Recent excavation of the ancient city called Gilead, has unearthed the remains of a fortress like building used for the manufacture of balsam oil. This “balm of Gilead” noted inJeremiah 8:22, had long been famous in antiquity for its nearly miraculous properties to HEAL WOUNDS. In fact, the balsam oil of Gilead was so famous that the conquering Roman emperor Titus (79-81 A.D.), after conquering Gilead, displayed branches from Gilead’s balsam trees in his triumphal march through Rome.

So precious was this oil to the commerce of Gilead, the exact manufacturing process was kept a closely guarded secret. So much so, archaeologists uncovered an inscription carved into the floor of a local synagogue that reads, “Whoever reveals the secret of the village to the gentiles, the one whose eyes roam over the entire earth and see’s what is concealed will uproot this person and his seed from under the sun.” (see Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 1996 issue).

It should be noted when Joseph’s brothers tried to sell him to a caravan of Ishmaelites passing by, Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, purchased in Gilead, on their way to Egypt. (Gen. 37:25)


Scripture References

Cedarwood

Cedarwood (Cedrus Atlantica) – This oil is historically recognized for its purifying properties, and is used in avoiding hair loss, dandruff, acne, psorisis, arthritis, congestion, coughs, sinustitis, cystitis, and nervous tension.

Leviticus 14:51-“And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:”

Leviticus 14:52-“And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet.”

Numbers 19:6-“And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer.”

Numbers 24:6-“As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, [and] as cedar trees beside the waters.”

2 Samuel 5:11-“And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.”

2 Samuel 7:2-“That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.”

2 Samuel 7:7-“In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?”

1 Kings 4:33– “And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that [is] in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.”

1 Kings 5:6-“Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that [there is] not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.”

1 Kings 5:8-“And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: [and] I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.”

1 Kings 5:10-“So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees [according to] all his desire.”

1 Kings 6:9– “So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.”

1 Kings 9:11-“([Now] Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.”

2 Kings 19:23-“By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, [and into] the forest of his Carmel.”

1 Chronicles 22:4-“Also cedar trees in abundance: for the Zidonians and they of Tyre brought much cedar wood to David.”

2 Chronicles 1:15-“And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem [as plenteous] as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that [are] in the vale for abundance.”

2 Chronicles 2:8-“Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and behold, my servants [shall be] with thy servants,”

2 Chronicles 9:27-“And the king made silver in Jerusalem as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that [are] in the low plains in abundance.”

Ezra 3:7– They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.”

Isaiah 41:19-“I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together:”

Ezekiel 17:3-“And say, Thus saith the Lord God; A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:”

Ezekiel 17:22-“Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set [it]; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant [it] upon an high mountain and eminent:”

Ezekiel 17:23-“In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.”

Zechariah 11:2-“Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.” 


Cinnamon

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Verum) – Sri Lanka has been producing this oil for over 2,000 years. It is used in the Middle East and Orient for fighting viruses and infectious disease. Dr. J. C. Lapraz found that viruses could not live in the presence of cinnamon oil. Because of its high phenol content, it is best diluted before being applied on the skin.

Revelation 18:13-“And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” 


Fir

1 Kings 6:15-“And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: [and] he covered [them] on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.”

1 Kings 6:34-“And the two doors [were of] fir tree: the two leaves of the one door [were] folding, and the two leaves of the other door [were] folding.”

1 Kings 9:11-“([Now] Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.”

2 Kings 19:23-“By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, [and into] the forest of his Carmel.”

2 Chronicles 2:8-“Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants [shall be] with thy servants.”

2 Chronicles 3:5-“And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.”

Psalms 104:17-“Where the birds make their nests: [as for] the stork, the fir trees [are] her house.”Song Of Solomon 1:17—”The beams of our house [are] cedar, [and] our rafters of fir.”

Isaiah 14:8-“Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, [and] the cedars of Lebanon, [saying], Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”

Isaiah 37:24-“By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, [and] the forest of his Carmel.”

Isaiah 41:19-“I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, [and] the pine, and the box tree together:”

Isaiah 55:13-“Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign [that] shall not be cut off.”

Isaiah 60:13-“The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.”

Ezekiel 27:5-“They have made all thy [ship] boards of fir trees of Senir: they have taken cedars from Lebanon to make masts for thee.”

Ezekiel 31:8-“The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty.”

Hosea 14:8-“Ephraim [shall say], What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard [him], and observed him: I [am] like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found.”

Nahum 2:3-“The shield of his mighty men is made red, the valiant men [are] in scarlet: the chariots [shall be] with flaming torches in the day of his preparation, and the fir trees shall be terribly shaken.”

Zechariah 11:2-“Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.”


Frankincense

Leviticus 2:15-“And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it [is] a meat offering.”

Leviticus 2:16-“And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, [part] of the beaten corn thereof, and [part] of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: [it is] an offering made by fire unto the Lord.”

Leviticus 5:11-“But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he that sinned shall bring for his offering the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering; he shall put no oil upon it, neither shall he put [any] frankincense thereon: for it [is] a sin offering”

Leviticus 6:15-“And he shall take of it his handful, of the flour of the meat offering, and of the oil thereof, and all the frankincense which [is] upon the meat offering, and shall burn [it] upon the altar [for] a sweet savour, [even] the memorial of it, unto the Lord.”

Leviticus 24:7-“And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon [each] row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, [even] an offering made by fire unto the Lord.”

Numbers 5:15-“Then shall the man bring his wife unto the priest, and he shall bring her offering for her, the tenth [part] of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil upon it, nor put frankincense thereon; for it [is] an offering of jealousy, an offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to remembrance.”

1 Chronicles 9:29-“[Some] of them also [were] appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.”

Nehemiah 13:5-“And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meat offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was commanded [to be given] to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the priests.”

Nehemiah 13:9-“Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat offering and the frankincense.”

Song Of Solomon 3:6-“Who [is] this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankin-cense, with all powders of the merchant?”

Song Of Solomon 4:6-“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”

Song Of Solomon 4:14-“Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:”

Matthew 2:11-“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Revelation 18:13-“And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” 


Hyssop

Hyssop (Hyssopus Officinalis) – was used by Moses because of its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It opens the respiratory system and discharges toxins and mucous. It is anticararrhal, mucolytic, decongestant, antiasthmatic, anti-infectious, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory of the pulmonary, regulates lipid metabolism and prevents scarring.

Leviticus 14:49-“And he shall take to cleanse the house two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:”

Leviticus 14:51-“And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times:”

Leviticus 14:52-“And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:”

Numbers 19:6-“And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast [it] into the midst of the burning of the heifer.”

Numbers 19:18-“And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip [it] in the water, and sprinkle [it] upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:”

1 Kings 4:33-“And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that [is] in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes.”

Psalms 51:7-“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”

John 19:29-“Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put [it] upon hyssop, and put [it] to his mouth.”

Hebrews 9:19-“For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people.” 


Myrrh

Myrrh (Commiphora Molmol) – is anti-infectious and supportive to the immune system. The Arabian people found it to be beneficial for skin conditions such as athletes foot, chapped and cracked skin, eczema, ringworm, wounds, and wrinkles. It was used to help with asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, ginvitis (gum infection), mouth ulcers, and sore throat. It may also help alleviate diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence, and hemorrhoids. It also decongests the prostate and normalizes hyper-thyroid problems.

Esther 2:12-“Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, [to wit], six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with [other] things for the purifying of the women;)”

Psalms 45:8-“All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.”

Proverbs 7:17-“I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.”

Song Of Solomon 1:13-“A bundle of myrrh [is] my wellbeloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.”

Song Of Solomon 3:6-“Who [is] this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frank-incense, with all powders of the merchant?”

Song Of Solomon 4:6-“Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”

Song Of Solomon 4:14-“Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices:”

Song Of Solomon 5:1-“I am come into my garden, my sister, [my] spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”

Song Of Solomon 5:5-“I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped [with] myrrh, and my fingers [with] sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock.”

Song Of Solomon 5:13-“His cheeks [are] as a bed of spices, [as] sweet flowers: his lips [like] lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.”

Matthew 2:11-“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

Mark 15:23-“And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received [it] not.”

John 19:39-“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound [weight].” 


Myrtle

Zechariah 1:8-“I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white.”

Zechariah 1:10-“And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.”

Zechariah 1:11-“And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.” 


Spikenard

Song of Solomon 4:14-“Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense, myrrh and aloes, with all chief spices.”

Mark 14:3-“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured [it] on his head.”

John 12:3-“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.”


Galbanum

(Ferula Gummose) – This favorite oil of Moses, written about in the book of Exodus, was used for both medicinal and spiritual purposes. It is recognized for its antiviral properties and overall body strength and supporting properties. Alone, its frequency is low, but when combined with other oils, such as frankincense or sandalwood, the frequency increases dramatically.

For more information on using Young Living essential oils click here.

 

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