Thursday, December 20, 2012

Frankincense: Perfume of the Sanctuary

Slashing the bark of the frankincense tree is called 'striping'.
It, too, results in a resin bled out.
Tears form.
The hardiest species is the Boswellia sacra.
It is unusual in that it grows in unforgiving environments,
sometimes directly from solid rock.

'The means of initial attachment to the stone is not known
but is accomplished by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk.
This disk-like growth at the base of the tree
prevents it from being torn away from the rock
during the violent storms that frequent the region they grow in.
This feature is slight or absent in trees grown in rocky soil or gravel.
The tears from these hardy survivors are considered superior
for their more fragrant aroma.' (Wikipedia)

Used to treat arthritis, to heal wounds,
and to drive germs from the environment,
it has been valued for many centuries.
It suppresses cancer cells.
The incense relieves depression and anxiety, healing the mind.

It accompanied the meat offering.
Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
It was presented with the showbread.
It was given with thanksgiving.

Herodotus claimed it was dangerous to harvest
because of the venomous snakes which resided in the trees.

Perfume of the sanctuary,
emblem of prayer,
symbolic of the Divine Name,
its Hebrew name means 'white'.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord, 
though your sins be as red as scarlet, 
they will be white as snow.

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