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Frankincense

The Bible

Bible Usage:

Dictionaries:

  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:

 

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 (Psalms 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.


Naves Topical Index
Frankincense

An ingredient of the sacred oil
Exodus 30:34

Used with shewbread
Leviticus 24:7

Used with meat offerings
Leviticus 2:1-2; Leviticus 2:15-16; Leviticus 6:15

Prohibited

In sin offerings when they consist of turtledoves or pigeons
Leviticus 5:11

In making an offering of memorial
Numbers 5:15

A perfume
Song of Solomon 3:6

Commerce in
Revelation 18:11-13

Used as an incense
Isaiah 43:23; Isaiah 60:6; Isaiah 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20


Smith's Bible Dictionary
Frankincense

a vegetable resin, brittle, glittering, and of a bitter taste, used for the purpose of sacrificial fumigation. (Exodus 30:34-36) It was called frank because of the freeness with which, when burned, it gives forth its odor. It burns for a long time, with a steady flame. It is obtained by successive incisions in the bark of a tree called Arbor thuris . The first incision yields the purest and whitest resin, while the product of the after incisions is spotted with yellow, and loses its whiteness altogether as it becomes old. The Hebrews imported their frankincense from Arabia, (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20) and more particularly from Saba; but it is remarkable that at present the Arabian libanum or olibanum is a very inferior kind, and that the finest frankincense imported into Turkey comes through Arabia from the islands of the Indian Archipelago. There can be little doubt that the tree which produces the Indian frankincense is the Boswellia serrata of Roxburgh, or Boswellia thurifera of Colebrooke, and bears some resemblance when young to the mountain ash. It grows to be forty feet high.


Webster's 1828 Dictionary
Frankincense

FRANKIN'CENSE, noun [frank and incense.] A dry resinous substance in pieces or drops, of a pale yellowish white color, of a bitterish acrid taste, and very inflammable; used as a perfume.