The Meaning Of Anointing Oil Fragrances
The Word of God is not just a random collection of words, even though the order of some Bible books have been changed throughout the years, and even though parts were left out. When God speaks, He carefully weighs each and every word He says. He never says a word too much or too little. Each Word has a meaning and a message for us in these days, even though it may sometimes look random. The fact that 201 chapters and 345 verses in the Word of God are speaking about the oil, and the fact that the term ‘Anointed One’, which is the translation for Messiah, appears 596 times, tells us that there are almost 1000 Bible verses, where God wants to teach us something about the Anointing and the Anointing Oil. Why else would Jesus be called the Messiah? If His name would have meant “Son of God” it would have been great as well. But He is called the Anointed One. Not because it has such a nice sound, but because it means something.
Most of the Anointing Oils in the Bible were fragrant oils. But all of the Anointing Oils that were used for the service of the Lord were fragrant oils. As we have seen, the Anointing in the natural is a prophetic deed of empowerment by the Holy Spirit, of the glory of God and of holiness. But we haven’t covered the fragrances of the oil yet. Each fragrance of the Anointing Oils has a specific prophetic meaning as well.
Many places in the Bible are referring to ointments and fragrances. Two examples are the following verses.
Because of the fragrance of your good ointments, Your name is ointment poured forth; Therefore the virgins love you.
Song of Solomon 1:3
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16
We know that Jesus, to Whom the text of Song of Solomon is referring, is in the spiritual realm. We know that His fragrance, where both Bible parts are referring to, can be smelled in the spiritual realm. To us that fragrance means life. To every creature that does not belong to Jesus it means death. The whole spiritual realm is very aware of the fragrance of Christ. His fragrance and glory are going before Him. When a spirit, that is not from God, smells His fragrance, he trembles and flees. When we use fragrances in the natural world, it is a prophetic deed of what already took place in the spiritual realm, but has not yet become visible in our natural realm. By Anointing someone with a fragrant oil, we show our faith in what Christ has already done for us. These are the prophetic meanings of the fragrances that are used in the Anointing Oils.
Frankincense & Myrrh – Healing & Intercession
In temple days, sweet incense containing Frankincense was placed on the Inner Altar of the Tabernacle and burned morning and evening. It speaks of intercession. Myrrh, used as a burial spice and in purification rites, was a primary ingredient of the Holy Anointing Oil. It speaks of suffering and death, but our total deliverance in the atoning work of Messiah. Frankincense & Myrrh, two of the three prophetic gifts given to the Messiah at His birth, represent His role as Priest and Prophet, signifying all that Messiah would do and continues to do on our behalf.
"He was wounded for our transgression, He was bruised for our iniquities; ....and by His stripes we are healed."
"...he is totally able to deliver those who approach God through him; since he is alive forever and thus able to intercede on their behalf."
This is probably one of the most effective fragrances that can be used for prayer for deliverance. As I’ve said before, the spiritual realm runs parallel to the natural realm. It means that what we see in this natural world, is a result of what already took place in the spiritual realm. In the spiritual and in the natural realm, snakes hate this fragrance. Just the smell of this fragrance often leads to manifestations. In Israel these fragrances were often used to keep snakes away from under the houses.
Cassia – Dedication & Devotion
Cassia was one of the principal spices of the Holy Anointing oil used to anoint priests, kings and their garments. Likewise, the coming King Messiah's robes will smell of cassia. Cassia is not frequently used today but was apparently a highly valued commodity in biblical times. The root word, kiddah, in both Hebrew and Arabic, signifies a strip and refers to the strips of bark from which the spice is made. In the spiritual sense, cassia speaks of devotion (being stripped of pride) and consecration (set apart) with a servant's heart. The deep, exotic aroma and the rich color of our Cassia oil make it a welcome addition to our family of biblical fragrant anointing oils.
"Your robes are all fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia..."
Cedars of Lebanon – Strength & Protection
The cedar of Lebanon is a huge evergreen tree by Middle Eastern standards, reaching 90 feet in height, the “King" of all biblical trees. The wood is astonishingly decay-resistant and it is never eaten by insect larvae. It is beautifully majestic and red-toned with deep green leaves. The tree bark is dark gray and exudes a gumlike resin from which the highly aromatic oils are produced. Cedars of Lebanon is the strong, fragrant wood used to build David's house, Solomon's house and much of the First Temple. It was also used along with hyssop in the cleansing of a leper's house. It speaks of strength, permanence, wholeness and restoration.
"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon."
Hyssop (Holy Fire) – Purification & Empowerment
Hyssop is a low growing evergreen, bushy herb growing 1 to 2 feet high, cultivated for its flower tops, from which the fragrance is extracted. The herb grows in arid climates out of rocky soil and out of cracks in ancient walls such as in the old Temple area of Jerusalem. Hyssop was once called a "Holy Herb" because it was used for sprinkling in the ritual practices of the Hebrews. Ex 12:22 reads, “And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two side posts.” Because of the reference found in Num. 19:6 (“And the priest shall take cedar wood, and hyssop, and scarlet, and cast it into the midst of the burning of the heifer”), we have called this fragrance “HOLY FIRE." Hyssop speaks of spiritual cleansing by the refining fire of the Holy Spirit and can best be described as a "fresh, clean-smelling" aroma.
“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.”
King’s Garments – Glory of the King
In Psalm 45:8 the Bible portrays a king whose garments are so thoroughly scented with costly perfumes that they seem to be altogether woven out of them. Two of the three scents mentioned, Myrrh and Cassia, were ingredients in the holy anointing oil used to anoint priests and kings. The remaining fragrance, Aloes, is listed among the “chief species” in the garden of the beloved in Song 4:13-14. King's Garments is a special aromatic blending of the three biblical scents consisting of:
Myrrh: A gum resin that exudes from a small bushy tree found in Arabia. It flows as milky white then quickly turns to a deep purple-brown color as it begins to crystalize.
Aloes: Most likely the product of a tree of the genus Aquilaria, a native of northern India. At a certain stage of decay, the wood develops a fragrance well known to the ancients and from it a rare perfume was obtained.
Cassia: An evergreen tree in the cinnamon family with an aromatic bark, which is harvested in strips to make an aromatic powder or oil.
Myrrh – Grace & Peace
Myrrh, an exotic biblical spice, was used in purification and beautification rites, in the formula for the Holy Anointing Oil, and in burial spices. Queen Esther was bathed in Oil of Myrrh for six months and with other aloes and perfumes for another six months before her presentation to the king. Bitter to the taste but sweet to the smell, myrrh in the spiritual sense speaks of dying to self to become a "sweet smelling savor" to the Lord.
"A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."
Song of Sol. 1:13
Pomegranate – Blessing & Favor
The pomegranate, a Persian native, is one of the oldest fruits known to man and was highly esteemed by the Israelites. An enormous number of the flower petals must be pressed and steam-distilled in order to make a quantity of oil. Once pressed the slightly amber oil, which is the basis for all our Pomegranate products, gives off a pleasant and slightly fruity odor.
Jewish tradition teaches that the pomegranate is a symbol for righteousness, because it is said to have 613 seeds which correspond with the 613 mitzvot or commandments of the Torah. Pomegranate is one of the seven species the spies brought back with them to show how fertile the Promised Land was. It speaks of God's favor exhibited in fruitfulness and abundance.
"They came to the valley of Eshkol...they brought also of the pomegranates, and of the figs."
Rose of Sharon – Beauty of the Beloved
The Rose of Sharon fragrance is best described as "tea-rose", a not-too-sweet, light, floral scent, which does not overpower. This flower from the region of Sharon in Israel is actually not a rose, but is part of the hibiscus family. Its blooms are nonetheless beautiful and glorious, just as Isaiah depicted the Bride of Messiah would be in the millennial reign when she shines forth in all the radiance of her heavenly glory, beauty, gentleness and honor.
"I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys."
Song of Sol 2:1
Spikenard – Worship & Praise
Spikenard, a rare and costly fragrant oil, was used by Mary of Bethany to anoint the head and feet of the Messiah two days before His death, as recorded in John 12:3: “Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” It speaks of the Bride’s extravagant adoration of and intimacy with the Bridegroom, in total abandonment, without regard to cost. It symbolizes the Bride who has made herself ready.
"While the king sits at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance."
Song of Sol 1:12
Cinnamon – Passion & Courage
Sweet Cinnamon is one of the four aromatic ingredients of the Holy Anointing Oil described in Exodus 30:23. The fragrance of cinnamon has a rich full bodied aromatic energy about it once it permeates the atmosphere. Cinnamon added to the holy anointing oil is the seasoning that brings passion and stirs up fire to continue on no matter what the pressure. It represents Holy Boldness, Courage and Passion in the believer.