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1) Myrrh – 500 shekels: (By weight, probably about a pound)
Myrrh is obtained from a thorny bush that grows inArabia. It is a sap that is extracted from the bark by scoring it with a knife (like a rubber tree). These tears then harden into a bitter aromatic gum resin which is highly prized as a perfume or an unguent and very costly. I understand there is also a method of extraction by fire or heat. It may have been made into a powder.
a) Costly: It was a gift by the wise men to Jesus at his birth. (Matt 2:11)
The wise virgins had paid a price for their anointing oil (Matt. 25).
Joseph accompanied an Ishmaelite caravan to Egypt carrying it from Gilead.
Jacob offered it as one of the gifts to the ruler (Joseph) ofEgypt.
b) Bitter to taste: You had to get used to it. It may have been a pain reliever.
It was offered to and refused by Christ on a sponge at his crucifixion. (Mark 15:23).
c) Used in Purification of women: (Esther 2:12) Used for 6 months.
d) Fragrance: The spiritual attraction of the King. (Ps 45: 6-8)
The attributes of the bridegroom: (Sol 1:13, 3:6, 5:1, 5, 13)
The anointing attraction of the Good Shepherd: (John 10:4)
Used for anointing the body of Christ for His burial: (John 19:39).
It speaks of the character of Meekness: Gentleness, patience and longsuffering. To live in total obedience: Moses is an example of meekness (not weakness). 40 years in wilderness. Saul is the antithesis; he lost the anointing that was given him.
A quality of Fruit of the Spirit: (Gal 5:22).
2) Cinnamon – 250 shekels
Cinnamon is the bark of a tree of theLaurelorder, it is peeled off in rolls like a cane or tube. It is a native ofCeylonand has also been grown inArabia. The bark can be powdered (as is used for spices). The bark also yields an oil, golden yellow in color, which has an agreeable smell and is used as a perfume. The tree is straight, sturdy and usually taller than others in its environment.
This speaks of the character of Uprightness, Strength and Stability. This must be a description of our walk before the Lord. This “standing above” is not “lording it over.”
This was required of Aaron and his two sons after Nadab and Abihu were slain. (Lev. 10: 6-11). They were to represent a higher standard.
3) Calamus – 250 shekels
Calamus is a reed like tree (similar to bamboo) which grows inIndia,Asia Minorand a few other far away countries, and has a very fragrant smell. One method of obtaining the ingredient is to cut, dry and powder the tree. Another is to break off the shoots that grow out of the joints and collect the milky resin that collects at that point of the wound (i.e. a pruning process). It is said that the “tree” is almost always found in a bent or stooped position. It grows in a swamp.
This ingredient speaks of Humility. It is the servant attitude that is not full of self ambition, pride and opinions.
Jesus the example: washed the disciples feet (John 13: 12-16).
David was not seeking opportunity to be seen or promotion when he came against Goliath. He was sent by his father. In 1 Sam. 16 David was anointed by Samuel and manifests the anointing in music against the evil spirit that troubled Saul. InCh. 17 he demonstrates the anointing in warfare against the giant who had defied God’s people.
Paul counted his own accomplishments as loss. (Phil. 3:7-9)
James speaks of submission and humility. (4:6-7 & 10)
Solomon refers to the bride as a garden enclosed, including trees of calamus, cinnamon and myrrh. This is a spiritual picture.
4) Cassia – 500 shekels
Not much is known for certain about the cassia tree. Some liken it to the bark of the cinnamon tree; others believe it could be frankincense. It is believed to grow in a very hot, perhaps tropical climate. It is also said that the perfume is extracted by heat and fire.
It seems to represent the deep inner cleansing of the heart and soul. This would be the process of refinement to bring out the impurities, similar to the purifying of gold.
Purifying the sons of Levi is found in Mal. 3:2-3.
David asked for this cleansing of the inner man. (Ps. 51:6-10) This represents a people who have great desire in their heart to walk and live in holiness.
5) Olive Oil – one hin (about 6 quarts)
This was the base, which conveyed the other ingredients of anointing. It is also the 5th ingredient. Five speaks of grace also ministry. The oil is not obtained by crushing (although it is possible) but by beating (as was our Lord).
Olive oil has four main uses: (1) Food, (2) Medicine (as applied by the Good Samaritan), (3) as a Fuel to light the lamps, and (4) as a Refreshing to the skin.
Since this oil was poured upon the head of the priests it speaks of Freshness (Ps. 133)
David speaks of the anointing with fresh oil (Ps 92:10).
“Unction” as found in I John 2:20 is the Greek word “charisma” and means literally to smear or rub on. Spiritually it means “anointed.”
As the word “Christ” means “the anointed one.” Matt. 24:24 warns of the coming of false christs (false anointing) that will deceive many.
Oil on the body (used as an ointment) had to be washed off and refreshed daily. Otherwise it would (1) take on a sour smell, (2) attract flies, (3) become sticky with sand and dirt. The lack of fresh anointing is not attractive: it does not bring spirit and life.
John 6:63: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
See also 2 Cor. 3:6.
The oil of anointing must flow, and it must saturate: (Acts 2) they were filled.
It will be fragrant. (Ps 72:6) “He shall come down like the rain upon the mown grass.”
Three Other Principles (From Ex. 30:32-33)
1) It is not for man’s flesh (personal exaltation, recognition or gain).
2) It is not to be duplicated (man’s programs, methods, organizations)
3) It is not for a stranger. (It is the mark of the chosen, sanctified).