Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh
And when they had 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 gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). These gifts represented our Lords role as King Prophet and Priest. Undeniably Daniel’s promise of the coming King (Daniel 9:24-27), David’s promise of the coming Priest (Psalm 110:4), and Moses’s promise of the coming Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:15) was realized.
Kingly Anointing Oil
(1 Samuel 10:1; 16:13; Psalm 89:20) Samuel anoints Saul and later David to be king over Israel. In 1 Kings 19:16 Jehu the son of Nimshi is anointed king over Israel, Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah is anointed as a prophet. This is in congruence with historical accounts of Priest Kings and Prophets being anointed in divine oil, of which the main ingredient was often myrrh. Psalm 45 makes mention of myrrh as a kingly anointing oil, a eulogy suggestive of the coming Messiah. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia (Psalm 45:7-8)
Studies have long suggested that furanoeudesma-1,3-diene and curzarene a compound found in myrrh may interact with opiod receptors in the brain, an implication of an analgesic property. In the New Testament according to Mark, myrrh is offered to Jesus to alleviate His suffering, but Jesus refuses. “And they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it”. (Mark 15:22-23). The Lords refusal to sooth his suffering before death is in direct correlation with His rightful role as the one and only Anointed Mediator between God and men, whom can present us unflawed in the presence of God’s glory. According to John, myrrh was later used in the preparation of Jesus’ body for burial. “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury” (John 19:39-40)
In the Old Testament, the High Priest served as an intermediary between man and God, Frankincense was placed on the inner Alter of the Tabernacle burning throughout the day sending a pleasing scent to God, however with the birth of the Lord, the gift of Frankincense and Myrrh is suggestive of the Magi’s understanding of Moses and David’s promise. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)” The symbolism of Frankincense to the infant Christ therefore speaks of His role as a High Priest, an intercessory, and a confession that He Is the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6)
Frankincense & Myrrh, Scripture Reference
And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt.
And their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best fruits of the land in your vessels and carry down a present for the man—a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds.
“Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane,
Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad
I have perfumed my bed With myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Song of Solomon 1:13
A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me,That lies all night between my breasts.
Song of Solomon 3:6
Who is this coming out of the wilderness Like pillars of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all the merchant’s fragrant powders?
Song of Solomon 4:6
Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away, I will go my way 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
I have come to 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
Song of Solomon 5:5
I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.
And the LORD said to Moses: “Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense with thesesweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each
When anyone offers a grain offering to the LORD, his offering shall be of fine flour. And he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it.
He shall bring it to Aaron’s sons, the priests, one of whom shall take from it his handful of fine flour and oil with all the frankincense. And the priest shall burn it as a memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD.
And you shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it. It is a grain offering.
Then the priest shall burn the memorial portion: part of its beaten grain and part of its oil, with all the frankincense, as an offering made by fire to the LORD.
‘But if he is not able to bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons, then he who sinned shall bring for his offering one-tenth of an ephah of fine flour as a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it, nor shall he put frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering.
He shall take from it his handful of the fine flour of the grain offering, with its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the grain offering, and shall burn it on the altar for a sweet aroma, as a memorial to the LORD.
And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the LORD.
then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. He shall bring the offering required for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall pour no oil on it and put no frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing iniquity to remembrance
1 Chronicles 9:29
Some of them were appointed over the furnishings and over all the implements of the sanctuary, and over the fine flour and the wine and the oil and the incense and the spices.
And he had prepared for him a large room, where previously they had stored the grain offerings, the frankincense, the articles, the tithes of grain, the new wine and oil, which were commanded to be given to the Levites and singers and gatekeepers, and the offerings for the priests.
Then I commanded them to cleanse the rooms; and I brought back into them the articles of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
And cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.