Exodus 30:31
And you shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil to me throughout your generations.
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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.An oil of holy ointment - Rather, a holy anointing oil.

After the art of the apothecary - According to Jewish tradition, the essences of the spices were first extracted, and then mixed with the oil. The preparation of the anointing oil, as well as of the incense, was entrusted to Bezaleel Exodus 37:29, and the care of preserving it to Eleazar, the son of Aaron Numbers 4:16. In a later age, it was prepared by the sons of the priests 1 Chronicles 9:30.

24. cassia—from the same species of tree as the cinnamon—some think the outer bark of that tree. All these together would amount to one hundred twenty pounds, troy weight.

hin—a word of Egyptian origin, equal to ten pints. Being mixed with the olive oil—no doubt of the purest kind—this composition probably remained always in a liquid state, and the strictest prohibition issued against using it for any other purpose than anointing the tabernacle and its furniture.

i.e. Reserved for my service alone, not employed to any profane or civil use, as it follows. And thou shall speak unto the children of Israel,.... When he was come down from the mount, and gave the instructions about the making and using of this oil:

saying, this shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations; Abarbinel, and other Jewish writers, conclude from hence, that this same oil, which was made by Moses, lasted throughout the generations to the times of Josiah, when it was hid with other things; but this, notion is justly exploded by Aben Ezra; it is not probable, that so small a quantity that was now made, which is supposed by some to be no more than a gallon and a half of wine measure, should suffice so long: it does not seem to be more than what was sufficient for present use; for the anointing of so many persons, and things as were anointed, and much less to be sufficient for the anointing of priests and kings in after times, until that period. This cannot be supposed without a miraculous interposition, to which the Talmudists (z) fly, and observe, that there were many miracles in this affair; but there is no need to have recourse to them, since, for aught that is said, it might be made again in like manner for sacred uses, which is meant by the phrase "unto me"; though it might not be made for any other use, private or profane.

(z) Massachet Cerithot, fol. 5. 2. & Horayot, fol. 11. 2.

And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, This shall be an holy anointing oil unto me throughout your generations.
31. throughout your generations] See on Exodus 12:14.

31–33. The oil thus prepared to be reserved exclusively for the sacred purposes thus specified.The Holy Anointing Oil. - This was to be prepared from the best perfumes ראשׁע בּשׂמים, where ראשׁע, caput, the principal or chief, is subordinate to בּשׂמים), viz., of four fragrant spices and olive-oil. The spices were, (1) liquid myrrh, as distinguished from the dry gum; - (2) קנּמן־בּשׂם, cinnamon of fragrance, the name having been introduced to the Semitic nations along with the thing itself, and then by the Phoenicians to the Greeks and Romans (κίνναμον, cinnamum): whether it came from Ceylon, the great mart of cinnamon, is very doubtful, as there is not word that can be discovered in the Indian dialects corresponding to cinnamon; - (3) cane of fragrance, the κάλαμος ἀρωματικός, calamus odoratus, of the Greek sand Romans, i.e., the scented calamus which is imported from India; - and (4) kiddah, probably cassia, and possibly the species called κιττώ in Dioscor. 1, 12, in which case קציעה (Psalm 45:9) is either the generic name for cassia, or else refers to a different species. The proportion in which these spices were to be taken was 500 shekels or 14 1/2 lbs. of myrrh, half the quantity, i.e., 7 lbs, of cinnamon, and the same of calamus and cassia; in all, therefore, 21 lbs. of dry spices, which were to be mixed with one hin of oil (about 5 quarts) and 14 lbs. of liquid myrrh. These proportions preclude the supposition, that the spices were pulverized and mixed with the oil and myrrh in their natural condition, for the result in that case would have been a thick mess: they rather favour the statement of the Rabbins, that the dry spices were softened in water and boiled, to extract their essence, which was then mixed with oil and myrrh, and boiled again until all the watery part had evaporated. An artificial production of this kind is also indicated by the expressions מרקחת רקח "spice-work of spice-mixture," and רקח מעשׂה "labour (work) of the perfumer or ointment-maker."
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