Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Exodus 30:36

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible
Verses 34-38

Exodus 37:29. The incense, like the anointing oil, consisted of four aromatic ingredients.

Stacte - supposed to be either the gum of the Storax tree (Styrax officinale) found in Syria and the neighboring countries, or the gum known as Benzoin, or Gum Benjamin, which is an important ingredient in the incense now used in churches and mosques, and is the produce of another storax tree (Styrax benzoin) that grows in Java and Sumatra.

Onycha - , a perfume perhaps made from the cap of the strombus, or wing-shell, which abounds in the Red Sea.

Galbanum - , a gum of a yellowish brown color, in the form of either grains or masses. It is imported from India, Persia, and Africa; but the plant from which it comes is not yet certainly known.

Pure frankincense - This was the most important of the aromatic gums. Like myrrh, it was regarded by itself as a precious perfume Matthew 2:11, and it was used unmixed with other substances in some of the rites of the law. The tree from which it is obtained is not found in Arabia, and it was most likely imported from India by the Sabaeans, like Cinnamon, Cassia, and Calamus (see Exodus 30:23). The tree is now known as the Boswellia serrata, or B. thurifera, and grows abundantly in the highlands of India. The frankincense of commerce is a different substance, the resin of the spruce and of some other kinds of fir.

Exodus 30:35

See Exodus 30:25.

Tempered together - The four substances were perhaps pounded and thoroughly mixed together, and then fused into a mass. This rendering is to be preferred to that in the margin.

Exodus 30:36

See Exodus 30:6.

Exodus 30:37-38

Compare Exodus 30:32-33.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Directions are here given for making the holy anointing oil, and the incense to be used in the service of the tabernacle. To show the excellency of holiness, there was this spiced oil in the tabernacle, which was grateful to the sight and to the smell. Christ's name is as ointment poured forth, So 1:3, and the good name of Christians is like precious ointment, Ec 7:1. The incense burned upon the golden altar was prepared of sweet spices. When it was used, it was to be beaten very small; thus it pleased the Lord to bruise the Redeemer, when he offered himself for a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour. The like should not be made for any common use. Thus God would keep in the people's minds reverence for his own services, and teach us not to profane or abuse any thing whereby God makes himself known. It is a great affront to God to jest with sacred things, and to make sport with his word and ordinances. It is most dangerous and fatal to use professions of the gospel of Christ to forward wordly interests.