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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 7386 incense
7386 incense

7386 incense

An expensive resin from southern Arabia and the fragrant aroma it emits when offered in worship ritual. It is also called frankincense.

Regulations governing the offering of incense

The priest was to keep incense burning on the altar daily 2Ch 13:11 See also Ex 30:7-9; Nu 4:16; Dt 33:10; 1Sa 2:28; 1Ch 6:49; 1Ch 9:29; Lk 1:9

Only the priests were to burn incense Korah, Dathan and Abiram: Nu 16:16-18,35,40,46-47
2Ch 26:16-19 Uzziah’s pride

Failure to burn incense is disobedience 2Ch 29:7-8

The blending of the incense Ex 30:34-38 See also Ex 25:6 pp Ex 35:8; Ex 35:28

Occasions for offering incense

At the setting up of the tabernacle: Ex 39:38; Ex 40:5,26-27 To accompany sacrifices: Lev 2:1-2,15-16; Lev 6:15
Lev 5:11 not to accompany a sin offering; Lev 16:12 on the Day of Atonement; Lev 24:7 to accompany bread and oil; Nu 7:86 As part of the offerings at the dedication of the tabernacle, each leader presented a golden incense dish.

The altar of incense

Ex 30:1 See also Ex 30:27; Ex 31:8,11; Ex 35:15; Ex 37:25-29; 1Ch 28:18

Burning incense to foreign gods

Incense offered to other gods will not bring answers to prayer Jer 11:12; Jer 44:23

Israel disobeyed the Lord’s commands Jer 7:9-10 See also Jer 18:15; Jer 19:13; Jer 32:29; Jer 44:5; Eze 16:18-19; Eze 20:28; Hos 11:2

The practice continued under successive kings In the early days of Solomon’s reign: 1Ki 3:3; 1Ki 11:8
1Ki 22:43 Jehoshaphat; 2Ki 12:3 Joash; 2Ki 14:4 Amaziah; 2Ki 15:4 Azariah; 2Ki 15:35 Jotham; 2Ki 16:4 pp 2Ch 28:4 Ahaz

It provoked God’s anger Jer 44:3 See also 2Ki 22:17; Isa 65:3; Jer 1:16; Jer 11:17; Jer 44:5,8,21; Jer 48:35; Hos 2:13

The destruction of pagan incense altars

As part of God’s punishment for disobedience Lev 26:30; Eze 6:4,6,13

Their destruction in religious reformations 2Ki 18:4 under Hezekiah Under Josiah: 2Ki 23:5,8; 2Ch 34:4,7 Nehemiah restored the storage rooms for incense: Ne 13:5,9

Their destruction brought God’s blessing and deliverance Isa 27:9

The significance of incense

A right heart attitude is more important to God Isa 66:3; Jer 6:20

It both accompanies and symbolises prayer Ps 141:2; Rev 5:8; Rev 8:3-4

It symbolises worship 2Ch 2:4; Da 2:46; Mal 1:11; Mt 2:11; Heb 9:4

It brings pleasure Pr 27:9; SS 3:6; SS 4:6; Eze 20:41

See also

1045God, glory of
1065God, holiness of
4466herbs and spices
7308Atonement, Day of
7435sacrifice, in OT
7459tabernacle, in OT

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