Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Exodus 30:22-33 - A brief summary of the materials required to make a Holy Anointment Oil

The Exodus 30:22-33 describes in detail the Holy Anointment Oil, that was used to anoint the Priests, artefacts and all other parts of the Mishkan. The complete recipe is provided, and the prohibition is imposed to make it for personal use. Let's take a quick look:

Exodus 30:22-33

22 Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,

24 And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:

25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil.

26 And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony,

27 And the table and all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of incense,

28 And the altar of burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.

29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy.

30 And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office.

31 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.

32 Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it, after the composition of it: it is holy, and it shall be holy unto you.
33 Whosoever compoundeth any like it, or whosoever putteth any of it upon a stranger, shall even be cut off from his people.

‎22 ‏וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃

‎23 ‏וְאַתָּ֣ה קַח־לְךָ֮ בְּשָׂמִ֣ים רֹאשׁ֒ מָר־דְּרוֹר֙ חֲמֵ֣שׁ מֵא֔וֹת וְקִנְּמָן־בֶּ֥שֶׂם מַחֲצִית֖וֹ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים וּמָאתָ֑יִם וּקְנֵה־בֹ֖שֶׂם חֲמִשִּׁ֥ים וּמָאתָֽיִם׃

‎24 ‏וְקִדָּ֕ה חֲמֵ֥שׁ מֵא֖וֹת בְּשֶׁ֣קֶל הַקֹּ֑דֶשׁ וְשֶׁ֥מֶן זַ֖יִת הִֽין׃

‎25 ‏וְעָשִׂ֣יתָ אֹת֗וֹ שֶׁ֚מֶן מִשְׁחַת־קֹ֔דֶשׁ רֹ֥קַח מִרְקַ֖חַת מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה רֹקֵ֑חַ שֶׁ֥מֶן מִשְׁחַת־קֹ֖דֶשׁ יִהְיֶֽה׃

‎26 ‏וּמָשַׁחְתָּ֥ ב֖וֹ אֶת־אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד וְאֵ֖ת אֲר֥וֹן הָעֵדֻֽת׃

‎27 ‏וְאֶת־הַשֻּׁלְחָן֙ וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֔יו וְאֶת־הַמְּנֹרָ֖ה וְאֶת־כֵּלֶ֑יהָ וְאֵ֖ת מִזְבַּ֥ח הַקְּטֹֽרֶת׃

‎28 ‏וְאֶת־מִזְבַּ֥ח הָעֹלָ֖ה וְאֶת־כָּל־כֵּלָ֑יו וְאֶת־הַכִּיֹּ֖ר וְאֶת־כַּנּֽוֹ׃

‎29 ‏וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ֣ אֹתָ֔ם וְהָי֖וּ קֹ֣דֶשׁ קָֽדָשִׁ֑ים כָּל־הַנֹּגֵ֥עַ בָּהֶ֖ם יִקְדָּֽשׁ׃

‎30 ‏וְאֶת־אַהֲרֹ֥ן וְאֶת־בָּנָ֖יו תִּמְשָׁ֑ח וְקִדַּשְׁתָּ֥ אֹתָ֖ם לְכַהֵ֥ן לִֽי׃

‎31 ‏וְאֶל־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל תְּדַבֵּ֣ר לֵאמֹ֑ר שֶׁ֠מֶן מִשְׁחַת־קֹ֨דֶשׁ יִהְיֶ֥ה זֶ֛ה לִ֖י לְדֹרֹתֵיכֶֽם׃

‎32 ‏עַל־בְּשַׂ֤ר אָדָם֙ לֹ֣א יִיסָ֔ךְ וּבְמַ֨תְכֻּנְתּ֔וֹ לֹ֥א תַעֲשׂ֖וּ כָּמֹ֑הוּ קֹ֣דֶשׁ ה֔וּא קֹ֖דֶשׁ יִהְיֶ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃

‎33 ‏אִ֚ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִרְקַ֣ח כָּמֹ֔הוּ וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יִתֵּ֛ן מִמֶּ֖נּוּ עַל־זָ֑ר וְנִכְרַ֖ת מֵעַמָּֽיו׃ ס
As you can see from this image(top left corner), the Holy(or rather Sacred) Anointing Oil was made out of five(5) components:
  1. Pure Myrrh ("מָר־דְּרוֹר֙") - five hundred(500) Silver Shekels by weight.
  2. Sweet Cinnamon ("וְקִנְּמָן־בֶּ֥שֶׂם") - two hundred and fifty(250) Silver Shekels by weight.
  3. Sweet Calamus ("וּקְנֵה־בֹ֖שֶׂם") - two hundred and fifty(250) Silver Shekels by weight.
  4. Cassia ("וְקִדָּ֕ה") - five hundred (500) Silver Shekels by weight.
  5. Pure Olive Oil ("וְשֶׁ֥מֶן זַ֖יִת") - one(1) Hin ("הין")
Please keep in mind, that the English translations of the components of the Oil may not be accurate, as no one really tried to research the subject in depth

As Exodus 30:25 specifies, this Oil were to be made by a professional oil maker, and in case of the Mishkan it were to be used to anoint the following:

  1. The Tent of the Mishkan

  2. The Ark of the Covenant

  3. The Table of Shewbread and all his Utensils

  4. The Golden Lampstand and all of his parts and Utensils

  5. The Altar Of Incense

  6. The Altar Of Burnt Offering with all of his parts and Utensils

  7. The Copper Laver and his Copper Foot

  8. Aaron and his sons
And last but not least, Exodus 30:31-33 imposes a strict prohibition of making such Oil for either personal use, or for an unauthorized use. The punishment for violation would be "cutting off from among the people" ("וְנִכְרַ֖ת מֵעַמָּֽיו"), which usually means a divine curse (in literal or figurative sense).

It is also worthy to note, that this Oil (the Oil that was made by using this recipe) was used not only for the Priestly Anointment but also for the Kingship Anointment. Aaron the High Priest, King Saul, King David, King Solomon, Prophet Elisha (a protege of Prophet Elijah) e.t.c.

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