Exodus 30:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus,

New Living Translation
"Collect choice spices--12- 1/2 pounds of pure myrrh, 6-1/4 pounds of fragrant cinnamon, 6-1/4 pounds of fragrant calamus,

English Standard Version
“Take the finest spices: of liquid myrrh 500 shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, that is, 250, and 250 of aromatic cane,

New American Standard Bible
"Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty,

King James Bible
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,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Take for yourself the finest spices: 12 1/2 pounds of liquid myrrh, half as much (6 1/4 pounds) of fragrant cinnamon, 6 1/4 pounds of fragrant cane,

International Standard Version
"You are to take for yourself the finest spices: 500 shekels by weight of liquid myrrh, half as much fragrant cinnamon (250 shekels), 250 shekels of fragrant reeds,

NET Bible
"Take choice spices: twelve and a half pounds of free-flowing myrrh, half that--about six and a quarter pounds--of sweet-smelling cinnamon, six and a quarter pounds of sweet-smelling cane,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Take the finest spices: 12 1/2 pounds of powdered myrrh; half as much, that is, 61/4 pounds of fragrant cinnamon; 61/4 pounds of fragrant cane;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Thou must take unto thee of the principal spices: of excellent myrrh five hundred shekels and of aromatic cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of aromatic calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,

King James 2000 Bible
Take also unto you the finest spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet-smelling cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet-smelling cane two hundred and fifty shekels,

American King James Version
Take you also to you 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,

American Standard Version
Take thou also unto thee the chief spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred'shekels , and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Saying: Take spices, of principal and chosen myrrh five hundred sicles, and of cinnamon half so much, that is, two hundred and fifty sicles, of calamus in like manner two hundred and fifty.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou, take best spices -- of liquid myrrh five hundred [shekels], and of sweet cinnamon the half -- two hundred and fifty, and of sweet myrtle two hundred and fifty,

English Revised Version
Take thou also unto thee the chief spices, of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty,

Webster's Bible Translation
Take thou also to thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels,

World English Bible
"Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty;

Young's Literal Translation
And thou, take to thyself principal spices, wild honey five hundred shekels; and spice-cinnamon, the half of that, two hundred and fifty; and spice-cane two hundred and fifty;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

30:22-38 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23 - Principal spices. The ancients recognised a vast variety of spices. Pliny notices an ointment which was composed of twenty-six ingredients, chiefly spices (H.N. 13:2, § 18). Herodotus mentions five "principal spices" as furnished by Arabia (3:107), of which four seem to be identical with those employed in the holy oil. Pure myrrh. Literally, "myrrh of freedom," or "freely flowing myrrh." The shrub which yields myrrh (Balsamodendron myrrha) produces two kinds - one, which exudes spontaneously, and is regarded as the best (Plin. II. 4:12:35; Theophrast. De Odoribus, § 29); and another, of inferior quality, which flows from incisions made in the bark. It is the former kind which is here intended. Myrrh was among the ancients in high request as a spice. It was used by the Egyptians for embalming (Herod 2:86), in Persia as an odour (Athen. Deipn, 12. p. 514, A); by the Greeks for incense (Soph. Fr. 340) and in unguents (Aristoph Eq 1. 1332); by the later Jews in funerals (John 19:39); and was largely exported from Arabia and Ethiopia into various parts of Asia and Europe. Sweet cinnamon. Cinnamon was a far rarer spice than myrrh. It is only mentioned three times in the Old Testament (cf. Proverbs 7:16; Song of Solomon 4:14). I am not aware of any trace of it in Egypt; but Herodotus says that it was obtained by the Greeks from Arabia in his day (3:111). It is the inner bark or rind of a tree allied to the laurel, and called by some Laurus cinnamomum, by others Cinnamomum zeylanicum. The tree now grows only in India on the Malabar coast, in Ceylon, Borneo, Sumatra, Cochin China, and China. If its habitat has not suffered contraction, we must regard the mention of it here as indicative of a very early commerce of a very extensive character. Sweet calamus. Aromatic reeds, probably of several distinct kind, seem to have been the produce anciently of Palestine, Arabia, Mesopotamia, and India. It is impossible to say what exactly was the species here intended. Calamus is mentioned as a spice in Isaiah 43:24; Jeremiah 6:20; Ezekiel 27:17; and Song of Solomon 4:14; but the term used (kaneh, "cane ") is vague; and it is not at all clear that one species only is alluded to.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Take thou also unto thee principal spices,.... To make the anointing oil with, and are as follow:

of pure myrrh five hundred shekels; it is strange that Saadiah, and so Maimonides (f), should take this for musk, which comes from a beast, and is confuted by Aben Ezra from Sol 5:1 from whence it plainly appears to be what comes from a tree; and the word "mor", here used, gives the tree the name of myrrh almost in all languages. And it is justly mentioned first among the chief of spices; since, as Pliny (g) says, none is preferred unto the stacte or liquor that flows from it, that which is pure myrrh, unmixed, unadulterated; or "myrrh of freedom" (h), which flows freely, either of itself, or, when cut, which is the best; and this was fitly used as a principal ingredient in the anointing oil, since oil was made out of it itself, called oil of myrrh, Esther 2:12 and as a shekel is generally supposed to weigh half an ounce, the quantity of this to be taken was two hundred and fifty ounces:

and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels; or one hundred twenty five ounces: it is here called sweet cinnamon, to distinguish it from that which was not sweet; so Jarchi observes,"there is one sort that has a good smell and taste, another that has not, but is as wood (common wood), therefore it was necessary to say sweet cinnamon.''So Pliny (i) speaks of two sorts of it, one whiter, and another blacker; sometimes the white is preferred, and sometimes the black is commended. The cinnamon tree grows in great plenty in the island of Zeilon in India (Ceylon or called Srilanka today, Editor), as Vartomanus (k) relates, who says it is not much unlike a bay tree, especially the leaves; it beareth berries as does the bay tree, but less and white; it is doubtless no other than the bark of a tree, and gathered in this manner; every third year they cut the branches of the tree--when it is first gathered it is not yet so sweet, but a month after, when it waxeth dry; and with this Pliny (l) agrees, who says it is not odorous while it is green. Pancirollus (m) reckons cinnamon among the things that are lost; and says, that we have no knowledge of the true cinnamon; and reports from Galen, that in his time it was so scarce, that it was rarely found but in the cabinets of emperors. Pliny (n) makes mention of it, as used in ointments:

and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels; or one hundred and twenty five ounces; and this is called sweet, because there is a calamus that is not sweet, as Jarchi; this is the same with the sweet cane from a far country, Jeremiah 6:20 from India, as is generally thought; but rather perhaps from Sheba, or some part of Arabia; it must be nearer at hand than India, from whence the Israelites had these spices; and Moses is bid to take them, as if they were near indeed; and Pliny speaks of myrrh, and of sweet calamus, as growing in many places of Arabia, and of cinnamon in Syria (o); and Dionysius Periegetes (p) mentions calamus along with frankincense, myrrh, and cassia, and calls it sweet smelling calamus; and so Strabo (q) speaks of cassia and cinnamon as in Arabia Felix; and Diodorus Siculus (r) makes mention of all these in Arabia, and of cassia that follows.

(f) Cele Hamikdash, c. 1. sect. 3.((g) Nat. Hist. l. 12, 15. (h) "myrrhae libertatis", Montanus, Vatablus; "myrrhae sponte fluentis", Tigurine version. (i) Ibid. c. 19. (k) Navigat. l. 6. c. 4. (l) Ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 12, 15.) (m) Rer. Memorab. sive Deperd. par. 1. tit. 9. p. 28. (n) Ib. l. 15. c. 7. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 15, 22, 28. (p) Orb. Descript. l. 937. (q) Geograph. l. 16. p. 538. (r) Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 132.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23-33. Take thou also … principal spices, &c.—Oil is frequently mentioned in Scripture as an emblem of sanctification, and anointing with it a means of designating objects as well as persons to the service of God. Here it is prescribed by divine authority, and the various ingredients in their several proportions described which were to compose the oil used in consecrating the furniture of the tabernacle.

myrrh—a fragrant and medicinal gum from a little known tree in Arabia.

sweet cinnamon—produced from a species of laurel or sweet bay, found chiefly in Ceylon, growing to a height of twenty feet: this spice is extracted from the inner bark, but it is not certain whether that mentioned by Moses is the same as that with which we are familiar.

sweet calamus—or sweet cane, a product of Arabia and India, of a tawny color in appearance; it is like the common cane and strongly odoriferous.

Exodus 30:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Anointing Oil
22Moreover, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 23"Take also for yourself the finest of spices: of flowing myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, two hundred and fifty, and of fragrant cane two hundred and fifty, 24and of cassia five hundred, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and of olive oil a hin.…
Cross References
Exodus 25:6
olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;

Exodus 30:22
Then the LORD said to Moses,

Exodus 30:24
500 shekels of cassia--all according to the sanctuary shekel--and a hin of olive oil.

Exodus 31:11
and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you."

Exodus 35:28
They also brought spices and olive oil for the light and for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense.

Exodus 37:29
They also made the sacred anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense--the work of a perfumer.

1 Samuel 10:1
Then Samuel took a flask of olive oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, "Has not the LORD anointed you ruler over his inheritance?

1 Kings 1:39
Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!"

1 Chronicles 9:30
But some of the priests took care of mixing the spices.

Proverbs 7:17
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.

Song of Solomon 4:14
nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.

Isaiah 43:24
You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses.

Jeremiah 6:20
What do I care about incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me."
Treasury of Scripture

Take you also to you 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,

thee principal

Exodus 37:29 And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet …

Psalm 45:8 All your garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the …

Proverbs 7:17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

Songs 1:3,13 Because of the smell of your good ointments your name is as ointment …

Songs 4:14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; …

Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet …

Ezekiel 27:19,22 Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in your fairs: bright …

pure myrrh. Myrrh is a white gum, issuing from the trunk and larger branches of a thorny tree resembling the acacia, growing in Arabia, Egypt, and Abyssinia. Its taste is extremely bitter; but its smell, though strong, is agreeable; and it entered into the composition of the most costly ointments among the ancients. The epithet deror, rendered pure, properly denotes fluid, from the Arabic darra, to flow; by which is meant the finest and most excellent kind, called stacte, which issues of itself from the bark without incision. Cinamon. Kinnamon bosem, odoriferous or spicy cinnamon, is the bark of the canella, a small tree of the size of a willow growing in the island of Ceylon. sweet calamus. Kenaih bosem, calamus aromaticus, or odoriferous cane, is a reed growing in Egypt, Syria, and India, about two feet in height, bearing from the root a knotted stalk, quite round, containing in its cavity a soft white pith. It is said to scent the air while growing; and when cut down, dried, and powdered, makes an ingredient in the richest perfumes.

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Alphabetical: that also 500 as cane cinnamon fifty fine finest five flowing following for fragrant half hundred is liquid much myrrh of shekels shekels spices Take the two yourself

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