Essential Oils of the Bible
I struggled with this at first trying to figure out how to give information in my own words about Gods greatest gift (Essential Oils) but as I was reading and researching I discovered that the best way for me to give the information on these beautiful Oils is to give the facts and nothing but facts! So here is what I discovered :O)
When starting on this wonderful adventure, I never thought about essential oils being in the Bible, until I started learning about them. Then I had a thought, if they used them back in the days when Jesus was here on earth it would only make since that we use them now. I discovered they are in the bible, plain as day. (Who would have thought?) And now it seems like it should have been obvious. Why would they be obvious you ask well I believe God put things here on earth for a purpose and since they are in the bible as healing and anointing it would only make since that they were used as the medicine back in Jesus time, so why not use them now for the same purpose.
Essential oils have been a huge part of people’s lives for over thousands years. The oils in the Bible have been used for all sorts of things including healing the body, mind and spirit. They were also used for anointing the sick and the temples of that time as well as in everyone’s home for daily use.
In both the New and Old Testaments, there are so many references (over 600) aromatics essential oils, incense, ointments, and other. (It was astonishing and exciting to realize this) I learned that incense was mentioned at least 68 times in the Bible and in that 54 of them times the oils of Frankincense, Myrrh and Galbanum were all referenced. I learned that incense back then means “lebanoh” which back then was Frankincense.
The oils were used in religious rituals, for anointing, and for supporting the health of people during the time of Jesus walked on earth.
In the Old Testament Moses was given a recipe for holy anointing oil. Within this recipe it has the essential oils of myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, and cassia and pure olive oil. The recipe for this oil is as follows, Myrrh Essential Oil 500 shekels, Cassia Essential Oil 500 shekels, Cinnamon Essential Oil 250 shekels, Calamus Essential Oil 250 shekels and last Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1hin). This oil blend was used for cleaning and for the cleansing of the spirit for sins and unwanted emotion. Who wouldn’t want that blend right!
I believe they actually knew how to use the oils better then we could ever do now.
It is also known that the wise men of the New Testament, upon visiting the Christ Child, gave him frankincense and myrrh. The two most hard to get and the most richest of them all!
Another very well-known incident is when Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with a large amount of the expensive essential oil of spikenard and then wiped his feet with her hair.
I think it is an amazing thing that they used essential oils in Biblical times and a sad thing that they got lost someplace along the way.
The following is a list of the most mentioned Essential Oils in the Bible and their references:
Essential Oils of the Bible: CALAMUS
Exodus 30: 23
The Song of Solomon 4: 14:
Ezekial 27: 19
Essential Oils of the Bible: CASSIA
Exodus 30: 24
Psalm 45: 8
Ezekial 27: 19
Essential Oils of the Bible: CEDARWOOD
Leviticus 14: 4 Leviticus 14: 6 Leviticus 14: 49 Leviticus 14: 51 Leviticus 14: 52
Numbers 19: 6. Numbers 24: 6
Judges 9: 15
2 Samuel 5: 11 2 Samuel 7: 2 2 Samuel 7: 7
1 Kings 4: 33 1 Kings 5: 6 1 Kings 5: 8 1 Kings 5: 10 1 Kings 6: 9-10 1 Kings 6: 15-16
1 Kings 6: 18 1 Kings 6: 20 1 Kings 6: 36 1 Kings 7: 2-3 1 Kings 7: 7 1 Kings 7: 11-12
1 Kings 9: 11 1 Kings 10: 27
2 Kings 14: 9 2 Kings 19: 23
1 Chronicles 14: 1 1 Chronicles 17: 1 1 Chronicles 17: 6 1 Chronicles 22: 4
2 Chronicles 1: 15 2 Chronicles 2: 3 2 Chronicles 2: 8 2 Chronicles 9: 27 2 Chronicles 25: 18
Ezra 3: 7 Job 40: 17
Psalm 29: 5. Psalm 80: 10 Psalm 92: 12 Psalm 104: 16 Psalm 148: 9
The Song of Solomon 1: 17 The Song of Solomon 5: 15 The Song of Solomon 8: 9
Isaiah 2: 13 Isaiah 9: 10 Isaiah 14: 8 Isaiah 37: 24 Isaiah 41: 19 Isaiah 44: 14
Jeremiah 22: 7 Jeremiah 22: 14-15 Jeremiah 22: 23
Ezekial 17: 3, Ezekial 17: 22-23 Ezekial 27: 5 Ezekial 27: 24 Ezekial 31: 3 Ezekial 31: 8
Amos 2: 9 Zephaniah 2: 14 Zechariah 11: 1-2
Essential Oils of the Bible: CINNAMON
Exodus 30: 23 Proverbs 7: 17 The Song of Solomon 4: 14 Revelations 18: 13
Essential Oils of the Bible: CISTUS/ROCK ROSE
Song of Solomon 2:1 Genesis 37:25 Genesis 43:11
Essential Oils of the Bible: CYPRESS
Isaiah 44: 14
Essential Oils of the Bible: FRANKINCENSE
Exodus 30: 34 Leviticus 2: 1-2 Leviticus 2: 15-16 Leviticus 5: 11 Leviticus 6: 15 Leviticus 24:7
Numbers 5: 15 1 Chronicles 9: 29 Nehemiah 13: 5 Nehemiah 13: 9
The Song of Solomon 3: 6 The Song of Solomon 4: 6 The Song of Solomon 4: 14
Matthew 2: 11 Revelations 18: 13
Essential Oils of the Bible: GALBANUM
Exodus 30: 34
Essential Oils of the Bible: HYSSOP
Exodus 12: 22 Leviticus 14: 4 Leviticus 14: 6 Leviticus 14: 49 Leviticus 14: 51-52
Numbers 19: 6 Numbers 19: 18 1 Kings 4: 33 Psalm 51: 7 John 19: 29 Hebrews 9: 19
Essential Oils of the Bible: MYRRH
Genesis 37: 25 Genesis 43: 11 Exodus 30: 23 Esther 2: 12 Psalm 45: 8 Proverbs 7: 17
The Song of Solomon 1: 13 The Song of Solomon 3: 6 The Song of Solomon 4: 6
The Song of Solomon 4: 14 The Song of Solomon 5: 1 The Song of Solomon 5: 5
The Song of Solomon 5: 13 Matthew 2: 11 Mark 15: 23 John 19: 39
Essential Oils of the Bible: MYRTLE
Nehemiah 8: 15 Isaiah 41: 19 Isaiah 55: 13
Zechariah 1: 8 Zechariah 1: 10-11
Essential Oils of the Bible: ONYCHA
Essential Oils of the Bible: SANDALWOOD
Numbers 24:6 Psalms 45:8 Proverbs 7:17 Song of Solomon 4:14
Essential Oils of the Bible: SPIKENARD
The Song of Solomon 1: 12 The Song of Solomon 4: 13-14
Mark 14: 3 John 12: 3
Therapeutic Effects of the Ancient Scripture
These oils alone address all the body systems and appear to be prophetic when considering the volatile times that were fast approaching God’s people at that time:
Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum album) is calming and emotionally balancing and is used for stress and unwinding. Also called Aloes. Chemistry: Sesquiterpene alcohols- 80% Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons- 12% Sesquiterpene aldehydes- 3% Carboxylic Acids- 2%
Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia carteri) is high in sesquiterpenes and naturally occurring constituent boswellic acid. It helps to uplift mood and brings feelings of relaxation. It may help smooth the appearance of healthy-looking skin, and is useful in combination with massage after exercise..
Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil (Cinnamomum verum) The essential oil promotes a healthy immune response, and helps maintain a healthy lifestyle regimen.
Galbanum Essential Oil (Ferual gummosa) Opens up communication to the creator. Holy incense along with Frankincense. It is a spiritual oil that has been used for mediation and to increase awareness.
Hyssop Essential Oil (Hyssopus officinalis) supports the immune system and is noted for its purifying properties.
Spikenard Essential Oil (Nardostachys jatamansi) is known for its spiritual significance. It acts as a skin tonic and soothes the mind and body!
Myrrh Essential Oil(Commiphora myrrha) is a very powerful antioxidant. Supports healthy skin.
Cassia Essential Oil (Cinnamomum cassia) smells and tastes like cinnamon oil. Contained in the recipe for the Holy Anointing Oil given to Moses.
Cypress Essential Oil (Cupresus sepmervirens) was used for centuries to alleviate occasional discomforts associated with women’s menstrual cycle. It also supports the digestive system and can soothe muscles after exercise.
Cistus Essential Oil (Cistus ladanifer) supports the immune and respiratory systems. It is a spiritual oil made famous by the Song of Salomon. Also called Rose of Sharon.
Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedras atlantica) has an earthy aroma that gives you a sense of security. It is beneficial for oily skin and hair. It is calming and purifying.
Onycha or Bnzoin Essential Oil (Styrax benzoin) is in the Holy Incense Oil given to Moses.
Just as Essential Oils were used so was Incense. Incense is mentioned over 68 times in the bible were I believe
54 of them were incense of Frankincense, Myrrh and Galbanum. In the Bible incense means “lebanoh” which
back in those times meant Frankincense. I have gotten unscented incense sticks and used Frankincense and
WOW!! What an amazing scent!
The meaning of Anointing: What an interesting point, and to think we do this all the time when we rub or
massage a person with oils. The Hebrew Word for anointing means to rub or massage a person with oil. This
meant using the essential oils of the plants of the Bible, not vegetable oil to bless the person on a physical and
also a spiritual basis. I can recall several times that Jesus feet had been anointed with oils in the Bible. Oils back
in Jesus time were used to support the emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual. Essential Oils can
help us connect to our divine source and delete all negative emotions on a cellular level.
Here is the Essential Oil recipe for Moses Holy Anointing Oil that was in Exodus 30:23-24:
- Myrrh Essential Oil – 500 Shekels
- Cassia Essential Oil – 500 Shekels
- Cinnamon Essential Oil – 250 shekels
- Calamus Essential Oil – 250 shekels
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 hin)
500 Shekels of material if interested, is about 12.5 lbs and a hin is 1 gallon. So this recipe made up about 22.3
liters or 23.6 quarts of oil! You can imagine the cost of this oil blend!
This anointing oil blend was used to clean areas around animal sacrifices which I would think should have been
full of unwanted germs. It helped to cleanse the spirit of unwanted sin and emotions! This blend was also put on wafers and unleavened bread and eaten, which shows that essential oils were used topically and internally. (A lot has changed on this earth since Jesus time with pollution in the air chemicals in the ground and how our bodies react to them). I would not recommend ingesting Essential Oils.
The recipe for the Holy Incense was given in Exodus 30:34-35. The Essential Oils that were used include:
- Stacte (Myrrh Essential Oil)
- Onycha (Benzoin Essential Oil)
- Galbanum Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
Did you know that the Levite priests were in charge of diagnosing and healing disease through prayer and
anointing with oils?
The Levite priests had many duties, including the responsibility for certain medical diagnoses and treatments
which they used essential oils to heal and treat. According to 1 Chronicles 9:30 and Exodus 30:25, The Levite
Priests were the apothecaries and perfumers who mixed the various oils and herbs for anointing, incense, and
In Luke 10:1-9 we read that Jesus appointed his followers (all of them, not only the apostles) and sent them to
heal the sick by anointing with essential oils.
Did you know that essential oils were used by the apostles?
It is stated that God placed his blessing on essential oils through both his son and the Apostles. The 12 disciples
were with Jesus for most of three years , they were taught and prepared by Jesus to carry a message that would
change the world. In Mark we read that Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. Jesus gave them specific
instructions which you ca read in verse 13 “they drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with
oil and healed them”
Essential oils and the plants that produced them are mentioned over 500 times in the Bible. In the Old
Testament, they are referenced in 36 of 39 books. In the New Testament, they are referenced in 10 of the 27
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of
plants. They are 50-70 times more potent than herbs. Essential oils have been used throughout history for their
medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
It is interesting to note that in God’s original design for man, He chose to put man outside among the plants and
trees. Not only are the aromas of the plants good for our health, but walking in mineral-rich soil has been
shown to be beneficial.
The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of
the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of
life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The Bible mentions using leaves of the plants for medicine:
Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not
wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the
sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.
In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits,
each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
God gave Moses the recipe for Holy Anointing Oil:
Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “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, 24 five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary,
and a hin of olive oil. 25 And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded
according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil. 26 With it you shall anoint the tabernacle of
meeting and the ark of the Testimony; 27 the table and all its utensils, the lampstand and its utensils, and the
altar of incense; 28 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base. 29 You shall
consecrate them, that they may be most holy; whatever touches them must be holy.[a]30 And you shall anoint
Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister to Me as priests.
31 “And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout
your generations. 32 It shall not be poured on man’s flesh; nor shall you make any other like it, according to its
composition. Itis holy, and it shall be holy to you. 33 Whoever compounds any like it, or whoever puts any of it
on an outsider, shall be cut off from his people.’”
God also gave Moses a recipe for incense to be used in worship:
Exodus 30: 33-35
34 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. 35 You shall make of these an incense, a
compound according to the art of the perfumer, salted, pure, and holy. 36 And you shall beat some of it very
fine, and put some of it before the Testimony in the tabernacle of meeting where I will meet with you. It shall be
most holy to you. 37 But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves,
according to its composition. It shall be to you holy for the Lord. 38 Whoever makes any like it, to smell it, he shall be cut off from his people.”
Essential oils were valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and often valued more than gold. We see this in the story of Joseph:
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. 26 So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph 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.
Solomon mentions MANY different oils in this beautiful passage:
Song of Solomon 4: 13-15
Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates
With pleasant fruits,
Fragrant henna with spikenard,
14 Spikenard and saffron,
Calamus and cinnamon,
With all trees of frankincense,
Myrrh and aloes,
With all the chief spices—
15 A fountain of gardens,
A well of living waters,
And streams from Lebanon.
Essential oils were used in burial:
2 Chronicles 16:14
They buried him in his own tomb, which he had made for himself in the City of David; and they laid him in the bed which was filled with spices and various ingredients prepared in a mixture of ointments. They made a very great burning for him.
Oils are mentioned many times in the birth, life, and burial of Jesus. He was given gifts of frankincense, and myrrh by the wise men after he was born:
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.
Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the costly oil of spikenard, which was worth a year’s wages. (Here is a very interesting commentary about John 11-12.)
Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Myrrh was combined with wine as an analgesic offered to Jesus on the cross:
Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.
Oils were prepared for his burial:
Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.
Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them,[a] came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.
So what do we do with this information? I challenge you to dig into scripture for yourself and ask God to teach you how to care for your family using the incredible gift of healing He has provided through essential oils.
Study the properties of essential oils, how to use them to treat various health conditions and how to use them in prayer. Find health professionals that seek the Lord for wisdom.
In the book of James, the sick are instructed to go to the elders of the church for anointing and prayer. I’d love to see this used in every church around the world!
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
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