Monday, January 6, 2014

The Gift of the Magi

. . . . .And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts;
         gold, and frankincense and myrrh. ~Matthew 2:11
 

Frankincense (Boswellia carterli) is an exudate from the wounded bark of a tree. The milky secretion forms tear drops that are used world wide as an incense. According to the ancient law of Moses, it should be burned in a proportion of six parts frankincense to one part of myrrh. Its pleasant fragrance compliments the musky odor of myrrh. Its presentation to the Child signified recognition of His divinity. Myrrh (Conniphera myrrha) is a dark resin that exudes from the bark of a small tree of East Africa and Asia. This forms "tears" which are used in perfumes, as incense, and as a healing agent for embalming purposes. In ancient times it was valued more than gold. As a gift to the Christ Child, it signified his mortality.

3 comments:

Angela McRae said...

I love this! It wasn't until this past Christmas that I made the oh-so-obvious connection of "frankincense" to "incense." Naturally (pun intended), you would know all about this!

Marilyn said...

fascinating!

JB said...

There's now an identical Nativity set on display in the front entrance
of The Glencairn Museum in Bryn Athyn PA. It is beautifully carved out of european alder/linden wood. I had wondered if Joseph was holding a staff?. I understand the gold represents love to the lord, or celestial love, the frankincence love of the neighbor or spiritual love, & myrrh natural love that exists with those in the good of life.
The wise men who were led to the Lord at his coming were among the last of those who at that time had knowledge of the interior meaning of the word with men, & knew of the many prophecies of his birth.