Exodus 30:34
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take fragrant spices--gum resin, onycha and galbanum--and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts,

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Gather fragrant spices--resin droplets, mollusk shell, and galbanum--and mix these fragrant spices with pure frankincense, weighed out in equal amounts.

English Standard Version
The LORD said to Moses, “Take sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense (of each shall there be an equal part),

New American Standard Bible
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each.

King James Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD said to Moses: "Take fragrant spices: stacte, onycha, and galbanum; the spices and pure frankincense are to be in equal measures.

International Standard Version
The LORD told Moses, "Take for yourself spices: stacte, onycha, galbanum, and spices with pure frankincense, all in equal amounts.

NET Bible
The LORD said to Moses: "Take spices, gum resin, onycha, galbanum, and pure frankincense of equal amounts

New Heart English Bible
The LORD said to Moses, "Take to yourself sweet spices, gum resin, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be an equal weight;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD said to Moses, "Take one part fragrant spices (two kinds of gum resin and aromatic mollusk shells), and mix them with one part pure frankincense.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense; of each shall there be a like weight.

New American Standard 1977
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee aromas, stacte and onycha and aromatic galbanum and pure frankincense, of each in equal weight.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto you sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be the same amount:

American King James Version
And the LORD said to Moses, Take to you sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said to Moses: Take unto thee spices, stacte, and onycha, galbanum of sweet savour, and the clearest frankincense, all shall be of equal weight.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said to Moses, Take fragrant drugs -- stacte, and onycha, and galbanum -- fragrant drugs and pure frankincense; in like proportions shall it be.

English Revised Version
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight;

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said to Moses, Take to thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

World English Bible
Yahweh said to Moses, "Take to yourself sweet spices, gum resin, and onycha, and galbanum; sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be an equal weight;

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith unto Moses, 'Take to thee spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum, spices and pure frankincense; they are part for part;
Study Bible
The Incense
33Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.'" 34Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take for yourself spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there shall be an equal part of each. 35"With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.…
Cross References
Exodus 30:33
Whoever shall mix any like it or whoever puts any of it on a layman shall be cut off from his people.'"

Exodus 30:35
"With it you shall make incense, a perfume, the work of a perfumer, salted, pure, and holy.

Exodus 31:11
the anointing oil also, and the fragrant incense for the holy place, they are to make them according to all that I have commanded you."

Exodus 35:15
and the altar of incense and its poles, and the anointing oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the doorway at the entrance of the tabernacle;

Exodus 37:29
And he made the holy anointing oil and the pure, fragrant incense of spices, the work of a perfumer.

Leviticus 16:12
"He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil.

Numbers 4:16
"The responsibility of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest is the oil for the light and the fragrant incense and the continual grain offering and the anointing oil-- the responsibility of all the tabernacle and of all that is in it, with the sanctuary and its furnishings."

Song of Solomon 3:6
"What is this coming up from the wilderness Like columns of smoke, Perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, With all scented powders of the merchant?

Isaiah 43:23
"You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, Nor wearied you with incense.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said to Moses, Take to you sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense: of each shall there be a like weight:

unto thee

Exodus 30:23 Take you also to you principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred …

Exodus 25:6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,

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

stacte. Heb. nataph. The Jews and others suppose it to be what was afterwards called the balm of Jericho, or Gilead. onycha. The word shechaileth is generally allowed to denote onycha, (nail-fish, from its form,) as it is rendered by the LXX. and Vulgate. It is the shell of the purpura, and of the whole class of murex; and serves as the basis of the principal perfumes in India. Galbanum. Chelbenah, (probably from Chalay, milk or gum, and lavan, white,) is the gummy, resinous juice of an umbelliferous plant, the bubon gumniferum of Linnaeu, growing in Syria, Persia, and Africa. It rises with a ligneous stalk from eight to ten feet, and is garnished with leaves at every joint. The top of the stalk is terminated by an umbel of yellow flowers which are succeeded by oblong channelled seeds, which have a thin membrane or wing on their border. When any part of the plant is broken, there issues out a little thin juice, of a cream colour, of a fat tough substance, like gum ammoniac, composed of many small, shining grains, of a strong, piercing smell and a sharp, warm taste. frankincense

Leviticus 2:1,15 And when any will offer a meat offering to the LORD, his offering …

Leviticus 5:11 But if he be not able to bring two turtledoves, or two young pigeons…

Leviticus 24:7 And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on …

1 Chronicles 9:29,30 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all …

Nehemiah 13:5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they …

Songs 3:6 Who is this that comes out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, …

Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child …

THE COMPOSITION OF THE HOLY INCENSE.

(34) Take unto thee sweet spices.--Rather, Take unto thee spices. The word translated "spices" has no epithet. Incense, as commonly used in the ancient world, was not a composition, but some single spice, most frequently frankincense. That, however, employed by the Hebrews was always a compound. According to Josephus (Bell. Jud., v. 5, 5), the incense burnt in the later temple contained thirteen ingredients.

Stacte is probably the gum storax, which is the produce of the styrax officinalis, a tree common in Syria and Palestine. It burns readily, and emits much smoke (Herod. iii. 107).

Onycha is thought to be the "claw" or operculum of the unguis odoratus, or blatta Byzantina, a sort of shell-fish common in the Red Sea. This "claw" produces, when burnt, a strong odour.

Galbanum is a gum well known to modern chemists. It may be procured from various plants, as the opoidia galbanifera, the galbanum Persicum, and others. When burnt, this gum has a strong pungent odour, which is said to be disagreeable in itself, but to bring out and prolong the scent of other spices (Plin. H. N., xii. 54).

Frankincense was probably the main element of the "holy incense," as it is of such incense as is burnt in modern times. It is a gum or resin obtained from incisions in the bark of the arbor thuris, or frankincense-tree, which grows abundantly in India, and in the islands of the Indian archipelago. Anciently, the tree appears to have grown also in Arabia, whence the Egyptians (Records of the Past, vol. x., pp. 14-17), the Phnicians, the Hebrews (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20), and the Greeks obtained it in large quantities. The odour is very peculiar, and to most persons very agreeable. In England it is best known as the scent given out by the pastilles which are burnt in sick rooms.

Verses 34-38. - THE HOLY INCENSE. It remained to give directions concerning the composition of the incense, which, according to verse 7, was to be burnt upon the altar of gold. That it was to be of one and one only peculiar kind had been already implied in the prohibition to burn "strange incense" (ver. 9). Moses is now told exactly how it was to be composed. As the oil was to contain four spices, so was the incense to be made of a like number - stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense - of each the same quantity (ver. 34). The art of the apothecary was to be called in for making it up (ver. 35). A portion of it was to be "beaten very small," and placed in front of the ark of the covenant, probably on the golden altar outside the vail (ver. 36). A prohibition is added, similar to that given with respect to the holy oil: no one is to make any like it for private use, under pain of being "cut off from his people" (vers. 37, 38). Verse 34. - Take unto thee sweet spices. Rather, "Take unto thee spices," or "perfumes." The word has no epithet. Stacte. The Hebrew word used means simply "a drop" (Job 32:27), and might be applied to any gum or resin which exuded from a tree. We have no clue to the gum here intended but that which is furnished by the rendering of the LXX., στακτή, which our translators have followed. Now the Greeks seem to have called two gums by this name - one, the natural exudation from the myrrh tree, called above (ver. 23) "pure myrrh," or "the myrrh that flows freely;" and the other gum storax. As it is not likely that the same substance has been given two names within the space of ten verses, we must suppose the latter to be meant. Gum storax is the produce of a tree allied to the poplar, and known as Styrax officinalis, which grows abundantly in Syria and Palestine. It was frequently used as a perfume by the ancients (Herod. 3:107; Plin. H. N. 12:17, §40). Onycha. The Hebrew word, she-kheleth, seems to mean a "shell" of some kind or other. The Greek ὄνυξ, Lat. onycha, was applied to the operculum - the "nail" or "claw" - of certain shell-fish of the genus Strombidae, which were common in the lied Sea, and elsewhere. The particular strombus which furnishes the onycha of the ancients is thought to have been the Unguis odoratus or Blatta Byzantina. The opercula of these shell-fish have, when burnt, a strong odour, "something like castoreum." The onycha is, again coupled with galbanum and gum storax in Ecclesiates 24:15. Galbanum. The Hebrew word khelb'nah, is so near the Greek χαλβάιη and the Latin galbanum that it has with good reason been assumed to designate the same substance. Galbanum is a gum well known both to ancients and moderns. It is admitted into the pharmacopeia. Several plants seem to produce it, as the Opoidia galbanifera, the Galbanum Persicum, and a plant which grows in Northern Persia, very like the Ferula erubeseens. When burnt, galbanum has a strong pungent odour, which is said to be disagreeable by itself, but to improve and preserve other odours (Plin. H. N. 12:54). Frankincense. On the wide use of frankincense, see the comment on ver. 1. It was the produce of a tree which anciently flourished in Arabia, but which appears to have degenerated, and now produces only an inferior quality. The best frankincense comes now from the high lands of India. It exudes from a tree called salai (the Boswellia setrata or thurifera of botanists). Some think that the frankincense exported largely from Arabia to the neighbouring nations was in part the produce of this tree imported by the Arab merchants from Hindustan. And the Lord said unto Moses,.... In a continued discourse, or some time after the former, though more probably at the same time; since it concerns the incense to be offered on the altar of incense, about which directions are given in the former part of the chapter:

take unto thee sweet spices: which are as follow, "stacte", "onycha", and "galbanum"; the former of these has its name from dropping; and of the same signification is the Hebrew word "Nataph", here used. Pancirollus says (a), myrrh is a drop or tear distilling from a tree in Arabia Felix; and stacte is a drop of myrrh, which is extracted from it, and yields a most precious liquor: and so Pliny (b) relates, that myrrh trees sweat out of their own accord, before they are cut, what is called stacte, to which nothing is preferable: though some naturalists, as Theophrastus and Dioscorides (c) speak of this as flowing from it when it is cut; however, all agree it is a liquor that drops from myrrh; though the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem interpret it "balsam" or "rosin"; as does Jarchi on the place, and Maimonides (d): the second of these, "onycha", has its name from being of the colour of a man's nail, as the onyx stone is, and is the same with the "unguis odorata" or "blatta byzantia". Jarchi says it is the root of a spice, smooth and shining like a man's nail. It is by some"understood of "laudanum" or "balellium"; but the greatest part of commentators explain it by the "onyx", or the odoriferous shell, which is a shell like to that of the shell fish called "purpura": the onyx is fished for in watery places of the Indies, where grows the "spica nardi", which is the food of this fish, and what makes its shell so aromatic: they go to gather these shells when the heat has dried up the marshes. The best onyx is found in the Red sea, and is white and large, the Babylonian is black and smaller; this is what Dioscorides says of it (e).''And the best being found in the Red sea, it may be reasonably supposed it was what Moses was bid to take. In all India, it is the principal thing in all perfumes, as the aloe is in pills (f); the Targum of Jonathan interprets it by "costus"; and the Jerusalem Targum by spike of myrrh, meaning perhaps spikenard. The last of these, "galbanum", what now goes by that name, is of a very ill smell, and therefore cannot be thought to be one of these sweet spices; but another is meant, and which, by its name "Chelbanah", was of a fat and unctuous nature; though Jarchi says, galbanum, whose smell is ill, is put among the spices; and Maimonides (g) and Kimchi (h) describe it like black honey, and of an offensive smell; but it must be something odoriferous, and therefore most likely to be the galbanum Pliny (i) speaks of as growing on Mount Areanus in Syria, which he mentions along with several sorts of balsams, and as a sort of frankincense; and the Vulgate Latin version, to distinguish it, calls it "galbanum" of a "good smell":

these sweet spices with pure frankincense; for which Sabaea in Arabia Felix was very famous, and was called the thuriferous country, as Pliny (k) says; who observes that there were in it two times of gathering the frankincense, the one in autumn, that which was white, and the purest, the other in the spring, which was reddish, and not to be compared with the former:

of each shall there be a like weight; just as much of one as of the other: in the Hebrew text it is, "alone by alone"; and the sense may be, that each spice was beaten alone, and after that mixed, as Aben Ezra, or weighed alone, and then put together.

(a) Rer. Memorab. & Deperd. par. 1. tit. 12. p. 32. (b) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 15. (c) Apud Dalechamp. in Plin. ib. (d) Cele Hamikdash, c. 2. sect. 4. (e) Calmet's Dictionary on the word "Onycha". (f) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 2. p. 243. (g) Cele Hamikdash, c. 2. sect. 4. (h) Sepher Shorash. Rad. (i) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 15. (k) Ib. c. 14. 34-38. the Lord said unto Moses, Take unto thee sweet spices—These were:

stacte—the finest myrrh;

onycha—supposed to be an odoriferous shell;

galbanum—a gum resin from an umbelliferous plant.

frankincense—a dry, resinous, aromatic gum, of a yellow color, which comes from a tree in Arabia, and is obtained by incision of the bark. This incense was placed within the sanctuary, to be at hand when the priest required to burn on the altar. The art of compounding unguents and perfumes was well known in Egypt, where sweet-scented spices were extensively used not only in common life, but in the ritual of the temples. Most of the ingredients here mentioned have been found on minute examination of mummies and other Egyptian relics; and the Israelites, therefore, would have the best opportunities of acquiring in that country the skill in pounding and mixing them which they were called to exercise in the service of the tabernacle. But the recipe for the incense as well as for the oil in the tabernacle, though it receives illustration from the customs of Egypt, was peculiar, and being prescribed by divine authority, was to be applied to no common or inferior purpose. 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.
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Alphabetical: all amounts an and be each equal for fragrant frankincense galbanum gum in LORD Moses of onycha part pure resin said shall spices stacte Take the Then there to with yourself

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