|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(Hebrews lebonah; Gr. libanos, i.e., "white"), an odorous resin imported from Arabia (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20), yet also growing in Palestine (Cant. 4:14). It was one of the ingredients in the perfume of the sanctuary (Exodus 30:34), and was used as an accompaniment of the meat-offering (Leviticus 2:1, 16; 6:15; 24:7). When burnt it emitted a fragrant odour, and hence the incense became a symbol of the Divine name (Malachi 1:11; Cant. 1:3) and an emblem of prayer (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3).
This frankincense, or olibanum, used by the Jews in the temple services is not to be confounded with the frankincense of modern commerce, which is an exudation of the Norway spruce fir, the Pinus abies. It was probably a resin from the Indian tree known to botanists by the name of Boswellia serrata or thurifera, which grows to the height of forty feet.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) A fragrant, aromatic resin, or gum resin, from trees the genus Boswellia, burned as an incense in religious rites or for medicinal fumigation. The best kinds now come from East Indian trees, of the genus Boswellia; a commoner sort, from the Norway spruce (Abies excelsa) and other coniferous trees. The frankincense of the ancient Jews is still unidentified.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
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; 24:07:00; Numbers 5:15 1 Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5, 9 Songs 3:6; Songs 4:6, 14 Isaiah 43:23; Isaiah 60:6; Isaiah 66:3 Jeremiah 6:20; Jeremiah 17:26; Jeremiah 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 (Songs 3:6; Songs 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
Frankincense (22 Occurrences)
Matthew 2:11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Revelation 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 30:34 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; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Leviticus 2:1 "'When anyone offers an offering of a meal offering to Yahweh, his offering shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil on it, and put frankincense on it. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Leviticus 2:2 He shall bring it to Aaron's sons, the priests; and he shall take his handful of its fine flour, and of its oil, with all its frankincense; and the priest shall burn its memorial on the altar, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Leviticus 2:15 You shall put oil on it, and lay frankincense on it: it is a meal offering. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Leviticus 2:16 The priest shall burn as its memorial, part of its bruised grain, and part of its oil, along with all its frankincense: it is an offering made by fire to Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Leviticus 5:11 "'But if he can't afford two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, then he shall bring his offering for that in which he has sinned, the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it, neither shall he put any frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Leviticus 6:15 He shall take from there his handful of the fine flour of the meal offering, and of its oil, and all the frankincense which is on the meal offering, and shall burn it on the altar for a pleasant aroma, as its memorial, to Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Leviticus 24:7 You shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire to Yahweh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Numbers 5:15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring her offering for her: the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal. He shall pour no oil on it, nor put frankincense on it, for it is a meal offering of jealousy, a meal offering of memorial, bringing iniquity to memory. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
1 Chronicles 9:29 Some of them also were appointed over the furniture, and over all the vessels of the sanctuary, and over the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Nehemiah 13:5 had prepared for him a great chamber, where before they laid the meal offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the wave offerings for the priests. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Nehemiah 13:9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and there brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meal offerings and the frankincense. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Song of Songs 3:6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Song of Songs 4:6 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Song of Songs 4:14 Spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices: (KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 43:23 You have not brought me of your sheep for burnt offerings; neither have you honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with frankincense. (WEB JPS ASV YLT RSV)
Isaiah 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Yahweh. (WEB ASV YLT NAS RSV)
Isaiah 66:3 He who kills an ox is as he who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, as he who breaks a dog's neck; he who offers an offering, as he who offers pig's blood; he who burns frankincense, as he who blesses an idol. Yes, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations: (WEB JPS ASV YLT RSV)
Jeremiah 6:20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. (WEB JPS ASV YLT NAS RSV)
Jeremiah 17:26 They shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places around Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the lowland, and from the hill country, and from the South, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meal offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving, to the house of Yahweh. (WEB JPS ASV YLT RSV)