Oils & Scripture
Did you know that there are at least 33 different essential oils or aromatic oil-producing plants mentioned in the Bible? There are over 600(!!!) references to essential oils and/or the aromatic plants from which they were extracted in the Bible. Essential oils are also referred to in the Bible as fragrances, odors, ointments, aromas, perfumes or sweet savors. Incense is mentioned 68 times in the Bible. In 54 of these, the oils of frankincense, myrrh, galbanum, and onycha are indicated! There are four references to the oil of joy or gladness and how oils rejoice the heart.
Using essential oils is a very personal decision much like the beliefs and values each of us hold. We encourage that you explore Scripture, verses or phrases shared in this presentation with kindness and respect. We each walk a spiritual path unique to our hearts and our souls- it is sacred space. Our words can lift us up or take us down. This presentation aims to lift each other up as we discover how oils can enhance our experiences in prayer, worship and study. Practice kindness.
We cannot talk about oils without mentioning plants. After all, oils are the liquid gold of plants. On the third day of creation, “the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.” (Genesis 1:12-13) What a delight to read that God declared plants are good! We can find about 600 references to essential oils or fragrant plants in the Bible. Oils were used for 3 main purposes: anointing, healing and worship through the use of incense. The first time oils are mentioned is in Exodus 25:6 when God calls upon His people to bring an offering. “oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense”.
When we read on, there are stories of oils and aromatic plants being treasured as more valuable than gold and silver. They are frequently stored with royal treasures (2 Kings 20:13), brought into the holy space of worship in the Tabernacle in Exodus 30:23-25), and used to anoint King Saul and David. Most treasured of all are the essential oils bestowed in celebration and worship of Jesus Christ. Baby Jesus was gifted Frankincense and Myrrh. Later, during his ministry, he was anointed twice with Spikenard.
Fragrance was an integral part of Biblical ceremonies and often something God required of His believers. Moses added spices and fragrant oils to pure olive oil (Exodus 30). Psalms 45 tells us the Messiah will be clothed with the scent of myrrh, aloes and cassia. Paul writes in Philippians 4:18, about gifts that are a “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.” Incense was another form of fragrance, burned twice daily in the Tabernacle and later in the Jerusalem temple.
These essential oils of the Bible were more than just for scent; they were also used for healing. In Ezekiel 47:12, it is written ““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 be for food, and their leaves shall be for medicine.” They were often incorporated into ointments and salves.
But that’s not all! These oils also brought joy and gladness to the heart (Psalm 45:7-8, Proverbs 27:9, Isaiah 61:3 and Hebrews 1:9). The essential oils of the Bible are high in specific constituents that can actually support emotional and spiritual well-being on a cellular level.
There is also science backing up the strength and the value of the Biblical oils. The three most dominant compounds of the Biblical oils are: Sesquiterpenes, Monoterpenes, and Phenols. There are also ketones, aldehydes, and esters in these oils. Each of them offer benefits for our spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical well being.
- Sesquiterpenes are oxygenating, mood elevating, and deprogram miswritten or garbled codes in the DNA. This compound can stimulate the pineal gland to enhance the spiritual experience. They are also strong supporters of the immune system and boost the body’s natural defenses.
- Monoterpenes, much like sesquiterpenes, are hostile to microbes and reprogram cells with correct information. This compound can also access the pineal gland to increase the spiritual experience. They are also strong supporters of the immune system and boost the body’s natural defenses.
- Phenols, ketones, and aldehydes are antiseptic, cleanse receptor sites, and detoxify our bodies whereas esters are calming. Esters help reduce stress and release emotions. Phenols can also support healthy hormonal balance and body function.
Here's a presentation centered on the specific oils found in the Bible...
Thank you for being here on this journey with me. xo