What does Frankincense symbolize in the Bible? (Biblical Symbolism and Meaning)

The sermon from last Sunday’s service delved into the birth of Jesus and the significance behind the gifts that He received. I was particularly fascinated by the gift of Frankincense, and after conducting extensive research later in the day, I realized that many Christians, myself included, aren’t knowledgeable about the symbolism of Frankincense in the Bible. So, what does Frankincense symbolize in the Bible?

Frankincense symbolizes prayer, worship, and the divinity of Jesus Christ in the Bible. As suggested in Matthew 2:11, the Magi present frankincense as a gift to the newborn Jesus, representing their acknowledgment of his divine nature. Additionally, as implied in Revelation 8:3-4, Frankincense is used in the description of heavenly worship.

In this topic, I invite you to join me as I delve into this topic and uncover the symbolism and meaning of Frankincense in the Scriptures. Also, if you’d like to learn the spiritual meaning of Frankincense, how it was used in the Bible, and why it was among Jesus’ gifts during His birth, keep reading.

Where is Frankincense mentioned in the Bible?

Frankincense is mentioned in the Bible several times, particularly in the Old Testament. For instance, it is mentioned in Exodus 30:34-36. In this context, Frankincense was used to consecrate priests and other sacred objects, emphasizing its symbolic importance in religious ceremonies.

Also, in Leviticus 2:1, Frankincense is again mentioned as an ingredient in the grain offering that was presented to the Lord. The use of Frankincense in the grain offering was believed to add a pleasing aroma to the offering, representing the worshipper’s desire to please God. Another reference to Frankincense is in Numbers 16:1-50, where it’s used in the context of the rebellion of Korah. In this story, God commands Moses to instruct the high priest, Aaron, to take a censer, put fire on it, and lay incense on it, which according to most Theologians, included Frankincense.

Frankincense is also mentioned in Isaiah 60:6, where it’s used metaphorically to symbolize the prayers of the faithful. This verse emphasizes the importance of worship and prayer as a way of honoring God. In the New Testament, in Matthew 2:11, Frankincense is mentioned in the story of the Magi, who presented gifts of gold, Frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus, symbolizing their recognition of his piety.

What is the spiritual significance of Frankincense in the Bible?

Biblical Symbolism and Meaning of Frankincense
Spiritual significance of Frankincense in the Bible. Image source: Pinterest

The spiritual significance of Frankincense in the Bible is multi-faceted and rich. The use of Frankincense in biblical religious practices was believed to facilitate spiritual connection, enhance prayer, and represent the presence of God. Frankincense was also used as a symbol of worship, prayer, and God’s presence. For example, in the story of the Magi, Frankincense was used to signify the holiness and divine nature of Jesus, emphasizing the spiritual significance of the gift. In addition to its spiritual significance in the story of the Magi, Frankincense is also mentioned in the Old Testament in the context of religious ceremonies to signify the importance of worship and prayer as a way of honoring God. According to theologians, the spiritual significance of Frankincense in the Bible can be seen as a representation of the human desire for spiritual connection and the recognition of the divine presence in our lives.

What does Frankincense symbolize in the Bible?

In the Bible, Frankincense is a symbol of worship and prayer, representing the connection between humans and the divine. It’s also a symbol of sanctitude, emphasizing the holiness of God and Jesus. Also, its inclusion in anointing oil used to consecrate priests and sacred objects in the Old Testament emphasizes its symbolic value as a representation of worship. Additionally, the use of Frankincense in the story of the wise men in the New Testament emphasizes the importance of recognizing the heavenly presence of God in our lives.

What is the biblical meaning of Frankincense?

The biblical meaning of Frankincense is closely related to its symbolic value in the Bible. Frankincense represents worship and prayer, as well as the holy presence and holiness of God, and it’s also associated with sacrifice, offering, and consecration. Also, the metaphorical use of Frankincense in Isaiah 60:6 is used to symbolize the prayers of believers and emphasize the importance of worship as a way of honoring God. Theological studies suggest that Frankincense also has a deep spiritual meaning in many religious traditions besides Christianity.

Spiritual meaning of Frankincense

What does Frankincense symbolize in the Bible?
Spiritual meaning of Frankincense. Image source: Pinterest

In many spiritual traditions, Frankincense is believed to have powerful spiritual properties that can enhance spiritual experiences and bring a sense of calm and tranquility. Also, historically, Frankincense has been used in many different spiritual practices, including in the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman religions, as an offering to the gods, and it was believed to have the power to purify and protect. In ancient Egypt, Frankincense was also used in the embalming process to help preserve the body and protect it in the afterlife. Frankincense is also used in Catholic and Orthodox churches as part of the incense used during religious ceremonies, and in Islam, Frankincense is mentioned several times in the Quran and is believed to have spiritual properties that can bring protection, healing, and purification.

Frankincense is also believed to have a calming and grounding effect on the mind and body, which makes it a popular tool for meditation and spiritual practices. Furthermore, it is also associated with spiritual awakening and higher consciousness. Thus, its use in Hindu and Buddhist spiritual practices is thought to help open the third eye chakra, which is associated with intuition, spiritual insight, and higher consciousness, No wonder it’s often used in practices such as yoga and meditation, where the goal is to reach a higher level of spiritual consciousness.

How was Frankincense used in the Bible?

Frankincense was a highly valued commodity in the Bible, and it was frequently used in religious and spiritual practices. For instance, in religious and spiritual practices, Frankincense was primarily used as an offering or part of an offering. It was one of the ingredients used in the holy incense used in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple in Jerusalem, where the holy incense was made up of a specific blend of spices, including Frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, and cassia, and was burned on the altar as a symbol of worship and devotion to God.

Another significant use of Frankincense in the Bible was as one of the gifts brought by the Magi to the infant Jesus. The Magi, or wise men, brought three gifts to Jesus: gold, Frankincense, and myrrh, and the Frankincense was likely a symbol of Jesus’ celestial power and the recognition of his purity and his role as a Priest.

Theological studies suggest that the use of Frankincense in the Bible is symbolic of the worship and devotion of God’s people, and since it was considered a valuable and precious commodity, its use in holy incense and other religious ceremonies emphasized the importance of giving our best to God.

In addition to its use in religious ceremonies, according to most Theological and historical studies, Frankincense was also used for medicinal purposes in the Bible. Frankincense was recommended for a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and inflammation, and as a treatment for respiratory problems and other ailments.

Why did the magi bring Jesus frankincense?

Some theologians suggest that the gift of Frankincense was a symbol of Jesus’ divinity and the recognition of his Godliness. As an expensive and valuable commodity at the time, Frankincense was often associated with royalty and sanctity. Thus, the Magi may have been acknowledging Jesus as a king or even as a deity. Other Theologians and scholars suggest that the gift of Frankincense symbolized Jesus’ role as a priest. In the Old Testament, priests used Frankincense in the Tabernacle and Temple during their rituals and ceremonies. Thus by bringing Frankincense to Jesus, the Magi may have been acknowledging his role as a priest and mediator between God and humanity.

It’s worth knowing that according to Matthew 2:11, the Magi brought three gifts to the infant Jesus: gold, Frankincense, and myrrh. However, this passage does not offer any specific explanation for the choice of these gifts. Therefore, the significance and meaning of these gifts have been the subject of much speculation, debate, and interpretation throughout history, and various theological and historical studies offer different perspectives on their meaning.

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