frants'-in-sens (lebhonah, from root meaning "whiteness," referring to the milky color of the fresh juice:
Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1,15; 5:11; 6:15; 24:7; Numbers 5:15; 1 Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5,9; Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:6,14; Isaiah 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; translated in the last six references "incense" in the King James Version, but correctly in the Revised Version (British and American); libanos: Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13. The English word is derived from old French franc encens, i.e. "pure incense"): The common frankincense of the pharmacopeas is a gum derived from the common fir, but the frankincense of the Jews, as well as of the Greeks and Romans, is a substance now called Olibanum (from the Arabic el luban), a product of certain trees of the genus Boswellia (Natural Order, Amyridaceae), growing on the limestone rocks of south Arabia and Somali-land (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20). The most important species are B. Carteri and B. Frereana. Some of the trees grow to a considerable height and send down their roots to extraordinary depths. The gum is obtained by incising the bark,
and is collected in yellowish, semitransparent tears, readily pulverized; it has a nauseous taste. It is used for making incense for burning in churches and in Indian temples, as it was among the Jews (Exodus 30:34). See INCENSE. It is often associated with myrrh (Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:6) and with it was made an offering to the infant Saviour (Matthew 2:11). A specially "pure" kind, lebhonah zakkah, was presented with the shewbread (Leviticus 24:7).
E. W. G. Masterman
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