Frankincense: Intercession and Worship

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Frankincense Represents Intercession

Lifting our bodies and life  to God in intercession.

Lifting our bodies and life to God in intercession.

Frankincense to me is the most beautiful smelling essential oil. I use the essential oil often as perfume and anointing to God. Frankincense is said to speak of intercession and worship. To me this scent reminds me that I am always lifting my body and life up to God, constantly making intercession for Israel, my children, my clients, and even myself. It also reminds me that Yeshua sits at the right hand of God making intercession for us as well and that He was lifted up as an offering for us.

What is the Biblical Plant Frankincense?

The word Frankincense in the Hebrew Scriptures is  לבנה lebônâh

Strong’s concordance says: (from its whiteness or perhaps that of its smoke): – (frank-) incense.

This meaning can represent whiteness, purity, holiness, and righteousness.

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 Solomon 3:6)

 

The frankincense used in the Bible was most likely one of the Boswellia genus, B. serrata,  or B. Carterii (also known as B. sacra). As discussed previously here and here frankincense belongs to the Burseraceae family. These were large  trees that exude resin when cut. Boswellia trees usually exude a white resin. The bark is removed from the tree, the tree cut and the sap or gum resin is what becomes frankincense.

Frankincense trees exude a white resin that is gathered for medicinal and perfume use. By Mauro Raffaelli (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Frankincense trees exude a white resin that is gathered for medicinal and perfume use. By Mauro Raffaelli (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Historical Uses of Frankincense

Frankincense has been used throughout history, as mentioned in the Bible, in the temple, as incense, for anointing, and at funerals of royalty. Egyptians also used frankincense in temple worship, as a cosmetic, in burial and as medicine. Frankincense was used medicinally to heal wounds, fight infections, heal scars, and for calming affects to bring clarity of mind. It is also an anti- inflammatory which makes it beneficial for arthritis, asthma and respiratory conditions. It is also astringent and beneficial for urinary problems and for female or uterine problems as well as digestion. A beautiful scent used for centuries, one that allows us to truly see how God provides all we need for health and healing in His very creation.

Frankincense was one of the herbs used to make the incense in the temple

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: And thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy: And thou shalt beat some of it very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy.And as for the perfume which thou shalt make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall be unto thee holy for the LORD.Whosoever shall make like unto that, to smell thereto, shall even be cut off from his people .

(Exo 30:34-38)

These spices including frankincense were ground fine and used as a holy incense upon the golden altar burned before God twice a day continually and on Yom Kippur too provide fragrance and a covering over the Ark, for God’s Glory. This was so that man could meet with Him. It again symbolizes prayer, God’s glory, Judgement, Joy, Protection, Unity. Each spice was required and none could be left out.

And thou shalt put it before the vail that is by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 

(Exo 30:6)  

In Leviticus we read how the Frankincense is poured out upon the grain offering as well as added to the Table of shew bread, the unleavened bread always in the tabernacle.

 And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. 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. Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute. 

(Lev 24:5-9)

A Symbol of The Eternal Priesthood

Frankincense: A symbol of eternal priesthood                    By snotch (photo taken by author) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Frankincense: A symbol of eternal priesthood By snotch (photo taken by author) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Of course we are all reminded of the three gifts brought by the wise men, the astronomers of the East to Yeshua as a young child. Gifts that provided for His purposes and that are symbols of all that He fulfilled. Gold as a symbol of royalty and His kingship, Myrrh for purification, death and burial, and Frankincense as a Holy offering lifted up, His work and intercession for us, a symbol of His eternal priesthood and atonement for us.

 

 

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

 (Matthew 2:11)

Materia Medica

Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) Family: Burseraceae

Parts used: Resin

Properties: emenogogue, antiseptic, antispasmodic, nervine, anti inflammatory, Rheumatic, expectorant

Uses: Incense and perfume, Topically for Rheumatic pain, sores, abscesses, wounds, oral infections, liniments for bruises and injuries, scars, swelling. Internally: increase menstruation, cold and flu, lung, urinary and genital infections, diarrhea, colitis, arthritis,

normal dose: internal powder or resin 3-6 grams decocted in water. Topical: powder or essential oil

Contraindicated in pregnancy

 

Stay tuned for a mini workshop for a wonderful healing balm  with Goldenseal, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

 

This blog post was shared on Inspire Me Mondays.

 

Sources:

Planetary Herbolgy, Michael tierra C.A. N.D 1988

Encyclopedia Judaica 2007 The Gale Group, Frankincnese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About Tamra Speakman

Tamra is a holistic herbalist. She has over a decade of prior experience as a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Tamra owns, Shatul where she educates believers on using God's creation to obtain wellness and vitality. Shatul offers consultations, Deeply Rooted in the Word of God, in person, online, or via the phone for you and your entire family.

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