Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh

This blog is a chapter from my forthcoming book, All The Trees of Frankincense, hopefully, available in the spring of 2018.

all the trees cover

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh ~ The Gifts From the Magi

It is during the season of Christmas the most famous of frankincense and myrrh scriptures is brought to light. Churches, malls, and homes decorated with a stable and three kings kneeling to present their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child. The rest of the scene has Mary holding the child and Joseph looking on with camels, donkeys, and sheep to add to the humble setting all the while the star is brightly shining. And to add to the scene we have a few shepherds with their staffs and a host of angels.

When we moved to North Carolina, in November 1990, our fifth child was three weeks old. On our first Sunday in our new town, we walked into a church with our tribe. As we were departing this lady came up to us. She was overjoyed and very excited to meet us. She looked at Hannah and said “There’s my baby Jesus! We don’t have to use a doll this year.” After talking with her we found out that she was the Children’s Church Director. So, David was Joseph, I was Mary, and Hannah was Jesus that year. The Children’s Church surrounded us as angels gazing down on us and the notable wise men giving us the treasure chests of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

nativity

The three gifts were of great symbolic significance as well as of a valuable commodity. Gold represents a deity, myrrh is suffering, and frankincense is worship. In my Precious Oils Study of the Fragrances of the Bible, I expound on the symbolic meanings of these treasures.

Precious Oils Study Cover

Let’s look at some key points that lead up to the presentation of the gifts that set the stage for the gifts.

In Matthew 2:1 we find the introduction of the “wise men” from the east. The original word is magi, from which comes our word magician. Today magician is used in a negative way, but that wasn’t the original definition. Wise Men were philosophers, priests, or astronomers who scholars tell us lived chiefly in Persia and Arabia. They were men of integrity and devoted to their higher learning and calling of their vocations; astronomy, religion, and to healing and medicine. These men were highly esteemed by the Persian court and other countries from where they resided.

Verse 2 asks “Where is he?” and then they say, “born of the King of the Jews”. We need to stop and think about a few things. During this period of history, there was a deep expectation that some remarkable person would appear in Judea, perhaps even “The Messiah”. People were looking for the fulfillment of Daniel 9:25-27. With hopeful hearts, they knew that the period was approaching when he would appear. Although this king would be temporary, a great expectation that he would deliver them from Roman bondage was deep in their hearts. Many Jewish families, at that time, lived in Egypt, Rome, Greece and other Eastern countries. They carried the history, and prophecies of their people, written on scrolls, in every place they lived so naturally there was a great expectation that some remarkable person was about to appear just as they read.

“From the East” can show us two thoughts, the first is the country of from where they were from, or it could mean that from where they were traveling from, perhaps the east/west ancient trade route over land. At this point of the story we don’t know they have “gifts”, but as we read in the next verse we find that they were brought to Jerusalem under the guidance of “His Star”. Commentators enlighten us with these thoughts.

Among the ancients, the appearance of a new star or comet was regarded as an omen of some remarkable event. Many such appearances are recorded by the Roman historians at the birth or death of distinguished men. Thus, they say that at the death of Julius Caesar a comet appeared in the heavens and shone seven days. These wise men also considered this as an evidence that the long-expected Prince was born. It is possible that they had been led to this belief by the prophecy of Balaam “There shall come a star out of Jacob,” Numbers 24:17. What this star was is not known. There have been many conjectures respecting it, but nothing is revealed concerning it. We are not to suppose that it was what we commonly mean by a star. The stars are vast bodies fixed in the heavens, and it is absurd to suppose that one of them was sent to guide the wise men. It is most probable that it was a luminous appearance, or meteor, such as we now see sometimes shoot from the sky, which the wise men saw, and which directed them to Jerusalem. It is possible that the same thing is meant which is mentioned in Luke 2:9; “The glory of the Lord shone round about them”, a great light appeared shining on them. That light might have been visible from afar, and might have been seen by the wise men in the East.            Barnes Notes of the Bible.

“This glory of the Lord” is the same as a “great” glory – that is, a splendid appearance or “light.” The word “glory” is often the same as light as found in I Corinthians 15:41; Luke 9:31 and Acts 22:11. The words “Lord” and “God” are often used to denote “greatness” or “intensity.” In the Word, we find “trees of God” meaning great trees; “hills of God,” high or lofty hills, etc. So “the glory of the Lord” here means an exceedingly great or bright luminous appearance perhaps not unlike what Paul saw on the way to Damascus.

As we continue to expound verses one and two we find another reference “In the East”, which is not the same as “From the East”. “In the East” does not mean that they had seen the star to the east of themselves, but that, when they were in the East, they had seen this star as it was in the direction of Jerusalem and must have been west of them. This could be translated, “We, being in the East, have seen his star.” It is called his star because they believed it indicated the time and place of his birth.

HIs Star and Wise Men

To worship him does not mean that they had come to pay him religious homage, or to adore him They regarded him as the King of the Jews as there was no evidence that they supposed that he was divine. Their tribute was to honor him as a prince or king, not as God. Worship implies no more than this. It means to prostrate oneself before another; to fall and pay homage to another. This was the mode in which homage was paid to earthly kings, and this they wished to pay to the new-born King of the Jews. We find the same meaning of worship in Matthew 20:20 and 18:26; Acts 10:25 and Luke 14:10. Webster defines worship as “to respect, to honor, to treat with civil reverence’.

Thayer’s Greek Definition is.

1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence

2) among the Orientals, especially the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence

3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether to express respect or to make supplication

3a) used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank

The Strong’s Concordance describes further. G4352

proskuneo   pros-koo-neh’-o

From G4314 and probably a derivative of G2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand); to fawn or crouch to, that is, (literally or figuratively) prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore): – worship.

As I would very much like to continue the rest of the passage verse-by-verse, I’ll share the story in a nutshell.

Herod, the king HEARD the wise men, He got super agitated because “he was king”. He may have ranted so much it could be the reason that we read “and all of Jerusalem with him”. He gathers the Sanhedrin DEMANDING them to tell him where this king had been born. The scribes, without hesitation, told him what the prophet Micah had written in Micah 5:2

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 

Then Herod had a secret meeting with the wise men; he wanted to know when the star had appeared giving him insight on the approximate age of the child in which scholars tell us that he was around two years of age. Herod sent them out to search for the child and told them when you find him send someone to tell me. After the meeting with the king, the wise men departed. Then the same star shone brightly leading them until it was over the child.

The joyfulness was great among them as they went into the house seeing the child with his mother and gave homage to the child, presenting him with the precious and sacrificial gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

In a dream, the wise men were told not to return to Herod and departed another path back home.

Now, this takes us a few moments to ponder the gifts that are only mentioned in Matthew’s account. But first I want to share a “thought”, not from anything I read but just as I was thinking and writing this for you.

So, I had a thought about Luke 2 who tells us more of the story; there was “no room in the inn”, shepherds herding their flocks and “the angel of the Lord”. Do you think that “his star” from Matthew was “his angel” as often people have described angels as being “light”? And perhaps the wise men heard of the taxation and perhaps is why the wise men gave sacrificially of the precious gifts.

Back to the precious gifts given. Perhaps the offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were given as they were the most prized gifts from the country that the Magi (or wise men) were from.

Much speculation has occurred for centuries of what the gift of gold was and is debatable. The precious metal of gold is very possible, but perhaps not. In Scripture, we find several words for gold as well as the metal mined from many surrounding nations. As I’ve studied I often wonder if the “gold” given to the Christ child was coins or something of a golden nature such as this plant-loving apothecary tends to think.

In Biblical Archeology Bible History Daily (12/02/2017) they write this, in which had me thinking perhaps my train of thought was on the right path.

Still, others have suggested that the gifts of the magi were a bit more practical—even medicinal in nature. 

I’ve read a few thoughts where something “golden” could have been the “gold”. Some think it was turmeric. Others suggest that it was the Balm of Gilead. All were (are) “medicinal” but personally, I rather doubt that they were the most valuable non-coin in those days.

While I am not ruling out that the “gold” could have been gold coins, I’m presenting something else that I’ve been teaching since I wrote my Precious Oils Study in 2008 that the “gold” given by the wise men was possible a wood called “oud” (a/k/a “Aloes”).

The wood is dark to golden colored and its cost is more than gold.  Around the world, the wood is known as Gaharu, Jinko, Aloeswood, Agarwood, Eaglewood or Oud.  It is valued in many cultures for its distinctive fragrance and has been called the “Incense of the Kings.”

aloeswood

Aloes (aloeswood) is not the Aloe Vera that we think of from the desert cactus but from a specific tree that was (and still) used as incense by itself or in a blend as well as in designer perfumes such as Giorgio Armani’s Oud Royal and Tom Ford’s Oud Wood.

Aloeswood/Oud is the resinous heartwood from the Aquilaria agallochum plant. The time-honored fragrance is of continued great interest to me considering ancient cultures used it and we find it in Torah. Oud is extracted from decayed wood and found in countries of the east; Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, China, Siam, and Northern India. The tree grows to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of a great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. The aroma is amazing. We can purchase the rare essential oil by itself, but be prepared a few drops will cost you more than pure rose oil. The wood, as an incense, is also pricey, but is affordable and used for meditation and religious purposes, mainly in the Arab world.

Oud is believed to be one of the most expensive aromas in the world. Both the resin and the wood are equally treasured. One drop of the Oud CO2 can add a depth, unlike other plants to your hand-crafted perfume blend. The aroma is like a blend of cedar and sandalwood, but with subtle fragrance notes of roses and balsam. Totally intriguing and mysterious.

Another conviction that it was possibly “aloeswood” in this scripture verse is because we first find the plant mentioned in the Torah, written Lign Aloes in the goodly tents of Jacob. (Numbers 24). And it’s interesting that Solomon wrote another “aloes, frankincense and myrrh” verse that I’ll expound upon later in this book.

Be it gold coins or aloeswood all represented wealth then, as well as today.

Frankincense and myrrh haven’t changed much in the years past, and both are written in the Torah. The first account of myrrh is in Genesis 37 with the caravan of Ishmaelites carrying it with other choice products from an eastern region called Gilead. The first account of frankincense is also found in Torah (Exodus 30) as an ingredient in the Holy Incense. Later in this book, we examine the healing properties of these resins.

Frankincense and myrrh are both aromatic gum resins and were heavily traded on the ancient trade routes of land and sea and the use of them in the ancient culture of Egypt are well documented.

Now, “why these gifts”?  One thought I have goes back to the taxation when Joseph and Mary had to go to The City of David. As the story continues in Matthew 2, verse 13 we read the wise men departed, then the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream telling him to go to Egypt. If at that time, they hadn’t paid their taxes they could, and they would have “travel money” as Egypt was not their homeland, they would be foreigners and needed provision to live there. In ancient Egypt, massive quantities of aromatics were consumed. The precious resins of frankincense, myrrh, and other aromatics were in great demand. Is it possible that the wise men’s gifts were the riches they needed to survive in Egypt until Herod died?

Oh, and about those wise men, there probably were more than three, there may have been a dozen or a hundred, we don’t know. With the possibility of encountering robbers or wild animals, safety in numbers was “wise”.

frankincense burning II

Cynthia Hillson’s ministry, Precious Oils Up On the Hill, brings fragrances written in the Bible to life.  She has been married to David for 37 years. They are the parents of six children and grandparents to seven.

Precious Oils Up On the Hill® is the ministry Cynthia began in 1991 after a three-day encounter with the Holy Spirit where she was instructed to “anoint the nations” and “prepare the Bride”. Cynthia is a Modern Day Apothecary who teaches about Biblical fragrances for personal delight, physical health, and spiritual growth. Cynthia lovingly calls her books and workshops a “Show and Smell” ministry. For more information go to http://www.TheFragrantBride.com.

Precious Oils Logo 3 Feb 2012

 

 

 

 

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Message Stones

Today I have a “story” that I need to share that has transpired over the last few weeks. I hope you have a few moments to read.

In mid-November I had returned home from Israel where I had been a volunteer cooking for groups (another story . . . another time). I had only been home for a few days and a friend contacted me. Actually Jack and I became friends through one of his daughters, Jessica, and my daughter Hannah who have been buddies since they were like in 3rd grade, now they are in their early 20’s. Jack said he had something that he wanted to give me.

Jack arrived at my store, Bernice’s Tea & Spice in downtown Mooresville. We greeted one another and he asked me to come and see what he had as he was cleaning out his garage in preparation to move. I was a bit taken back when I saw the container after container of “message stones” and asked where he had gotten them.

Jack has a heart of gold and is part of the fund-raising committee for The Dove House, a Children’s Advocacy Center located in Statesville, NC that serves child victims of sexual abuse and their non-offending family members. He told me that a man had donated the stones for one of their fund-raising events and these were “leftover” and asked if I could use them.

As I picked a few of them up I remembered something I had done a number of years ago on one of my trips to Israel. I had designed a “Shalom, Shalom” message stone and gave out a couple hundred in the Jerusalem March and everywhere my steps walked in Israel that year.

Orginal Shalom Shalom Message Stone I designed (left), company currently makes the one on the right.pngThe picture shows the original stone I designed on the left (crazy that I kept one in my desk as a memory) and the one that the company now sells on the right.

Of course I had to say “Yes” as I thought how the Lord works in multiplying the little things into more than we can even ask for. This time it was in not only a couple hundred stones but thousands as there were more than a dozen plastic shoe boxes filled with about 400 to 600 stones in each box. That’s a lot of stones.

Message Stone Bins 400 to 600 per bin.png

We unloaded his car and I piled the stones in my shop and thought “Well, what am I going to do with these?”  I walked next door to my shopkeeper neighbor friend whose business, The Rustic Key re-purposes items and gave her an overflowing shoe-box full of them. My husband I glued about 300 to magnets to give to our customers, but we still had boxes of stones.

Message Stone Magnets.png

 

So, I hand-wrote a sign and set out a few buckets in front of my shop, each day replenishing the shoe boxes. Over the last 4 weeks little-by-little the stones were being taken from people who walked by.

Stone Messages Outdoor Sign 2015

Here’s a few of the messages of the glass and pewter stones. I’m sorry that I didn’t take pictures of all the messages of them as we had larger pewter ones and another glass stone that said “faith”.

Stone Message Stones Dec 2015

Pewter Message Stones

We’ve had a number of people step into our shop and ask if they could pay for the stones, and of course I can’t take their money as they were a gift that was intended to be a blessing to anyone who took one or two, or even a bag or two for themselves, and to share with others.

I’ve many stories of people who I’ve talked to about the stones . . . mostly me saying take as many as you like and point to the piles of shoe-boxes of them in my back room. But we need to share a few stories.

I had one woman come in my shop holding a handful of the stones to thank me. As she was talking she said with all of the craziness in the world the messages are important and how everyone needs hope and love, especially today. She asked if I was a “Believer”, in which I said “Yes, I believe in every word written in the Bible”. She said that she knew it when she walked in. I handed her a plastic bag and invited her to take as many stones as she wanted.

What happened last week is the reason I am taking time to share one important story, and really opened my eyes how being a willing vessel to share the message of hope and love in what seems to be a small way really has the opportunity to impact far wider than I could ever fathom.

It was last Thursday afternoon, Dec 10th. I watched out the window as a man took his selection of stones. He knocked on my window to show me his bag.  I smiled and waved and didn’t give any thought to his gratitude as dozens of people have, but I remembered his countenance and smile; it was full of joy and hope.

The next day another storekeeper friend, Pam from Pearls, stopped into my shop; she‘s also a Believer. Pam began to talk. She said “Cynthia, I’m not sure if you understand what is going on with those message stones that you are giving away.”  I told her yeah I had an idea because of the many conversations that have transpired over the last few weeks. Then she said again, “I don’t think you understand.”

I continued to listen as she took me back to the day before by saying this. “You know the homeless man?” I said “The one that walks his dog?” She said “No, not that one, the other one” . . . “Okay, I know who you are talking about. He picked up stones yesterday and knocked on my window to thank me.” She said “Yes, him”! Pam had “just so happened” to walk outside as he was kneeling down and filling his bag of stones and became happier and happier with every one he put in his bag. Pam spoke to him and shared with me what he told her. She said that he was so happy and told her “Do you know I have many friends who are so depressed this time of year? (Of course we know he meant in the homeless community in our town.) He told Pam that he was going to give them the stones and tell them never to give up; there is hope, love, friendship, faith and someone loves you.”

As she shared the story I understood why he was almost glowing as he waved his hand and smiled at me . . . and how he was taking a small message written on a stone to others.  I would never be able to reach the homeless community in our town as it is quite hidden but we know that there are many, including about 60 children according to a current awareness that a local church is educating our community of and their campaign to build a new shelter for the homeless.

I’m down to one shoe-box of stones; I am sure they will be gone by the end of the week. Quite timely I believe as Christmas Eve is this coming Thursday evening which even to those who don’t celebrate the holiday have to agree that a very special holy hush and reverence for the season can touch the hardest of hearts, and it does.

I’m also thinking of the many, many lives that have been, and will be touched because of the generosity of a man who first gave the stones, and how the message of faith, hope and love will be a light and a reminder to many this holiday season from the hundreds of hands who picked up the message stones in front of a little shop over the last few weeks. I’m also thanking my Jewish friend, Jack who told me that I was the first person he thought of to take the stones to.

Now, more than ever, the world, but especially Israel, needs the Hope of the Season, and the Shalom, Shalom that the one who is the Hope of the World brings to all of His Living Stones.

As I looked for my original “Shalom Shalom” stone today I’m also being nudged that I am to take the “Shalom Shalom” stones again to Israel next spring. I’ll be posting more about the tour that I am planning late May and early June in 2016 and how you can be join me in a blog over the next few days.

With Love,

Cynthia

 

 

The Garden in the Desert Project Update January 2015

What can I say as I sit at my computer this morning, 1 January 2015? But oh, my, I’m leaving for Israel in one month, for a month, to serve as Head Cook at Biblical Tamar Park, study at Hebrew University and write about the ancient secrets and modern uses of the plants of the Bible, and Antiquity.

For those who want to read a few of the things that I experienced during the six weeks I spent in Israel in Oct & Nov 2014 I can e-mail or snail mail it to you. E-mail PreciousOils@aol.com. In the subject line write Biblical Tamar Update and either send your snail mail or postal mailing address. Here’s a portion of that letter.

The vision of Biblical Tamar is in part the reason I volunteered at Biblical Tamar; it is called The Garden of the Ages @ Biblical Tamar Park. It is part of the responsibility of park completion given to Blossoming Rose, from the IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority). After I returned home in March Dr. Coxon and I had e-mail and phone conversations so I knew the importance of spending time to interact and hear the vision of Tamar from him, and to walk the land. I captured short videos of Dr. Coxon as a group of us walked with him from one end of the 55 acre park, to the other, showing us the boundaries and explaining the future plans of the park that will include 20 of the acres as The Garden of the Ages. The park’s boundaries are to be marked with trees and are the first important step of the gardens so the park’s boundaries are clear as construction of two hotels is beginning soon. Israel depends on tourism and highlights 31 regions where tourists can go. Biblical Tamar is located in the region known as “The Arava”. There are many Biblical references of the past, and the future of the Arava. Tamar is named as one of the future borders of Israel (Ezekiel 47). The seven periods of history represented at Biblical Tamar, as well as the location of the oldest tree in Israel, is bringing busloads of people to this very special site. The Arava has a new welcome center located less than 10 minutes away. They’ve produced a movie that introduces people to the rich resource and history of The Arava. The ancient jujube tree (the oldest tree in Israel) located at Biblical Tamar is shown often in the movie. The welcome center shows how The Arava crops are an important portion of the economy of the region and how Europe benefits from the fresh food that is being grown there.

There are a lot of projects to complete at Biblical Tamar Park before the gardens can be planted, and of course being in the Shmita year allows for  planning needed for the 20 acre project with a landscape artist.

You can be a part of the volunteer work team(s) that I will be cooking for in February, and in the fall. Volunteer duties to fit your gifting are available!!  You also can be a part by helping with the needed finances to complete the current and future projects of Biblical Tamar. If any of you reading this love Israel, Biblical History and are of a willing heart you can be a part of Biblical Tamar Park! Info posted at the end of this blog.

Personally I wish my ministry had the finances to sponsor one of the last two historical periods that have been unearthed at Biblical Tamar. The one most suited for Precious Oils to sponsor is the Fifth Historical Period ~ 675 to 1916 ~ The Arab period, which was the longest occupation of Biblical Tamar. You may be asking “How does this “fit” with Precious Oils?” It does in an amazing way. Let me share this from the Nov 2014 Biblical Tamar newsletter written by Dr. DeWayne Coxon, President of Blossoming Rose.

The Arab Period, was during the years that the Muslims controlled all of the Middle East. Tamar was a vital link for the camels when the desert caravans hauled spices, precious ointments, and Eastern goods to the Mediterranean Sea and on to Europe. Water was the commodity that was critically needed by conquering armies who controlled Tamar. The largest spring in the entire Arava was here at Tamar. The rushing streams were perfect for providing water for the camels and other animals that sought the cool shade in a very hot desert.

The Desert Caravans were of great importance to carry the spices and resins through Biblical Tamar.  I wrote this statement in my book, Esther’s Days of Purification.

The Arabs controlled the ancient spice markets of yesterday. Today, the prized myrrh and frankincense is still grown in the Arab world. Take note, the price of these essential oils are on the rise due to the unrest in many portions of the world where they are harvested. Building up your own arsenal of these precious oils for your health and well-being is recommended as they may become difficult in the future to obtain.

Are you aware during the Roman and early Arab periods of time 3000 tons of frankincense resin was transported on this ancient trail? Resin, my friends, not essential oils as the big mlm companies want you to believe. The ancient secrets of the value of not only the frankincense resin, but other resins, spices and other plants that were transported on the ancient trails is note-worthy. I look forward to sharing many new projects that my ministry of Precious Oils will be publishing in 2015 to teach you of these plants. I am also honored that I’ve been asked to be a member of the planning, planting, and maintenance committee of The Garden of the Ages @ Biblical Tamar Park.

DSCN2506

The picture is the camel trough and is amazing to think that thousands of camels would have been watered here at Biblical Tamar. It is even thought that the Queen of Sheba’s “great train” rested at this historical site.

While I want to write more today, I must get on with my day. I have a lot of things to do to prepare for my upcoming journey to Israel, but I want to share one more picture with you.

DSCN2477

These aren’t just “rocks” they are part of the ancient incense road of great importance that is part of Biblical Tamar Park in Israel. I can only tell you that as I walked this ancient trail last fall a whole new aspect of why Precious Oils is associated with Biblical Tamar came to life. I’m writing about the plants, resins, spices and trees that were transported on this ancient trail, some of the cargo may surprise you. I will be highlighting them through my www.ApothecaryMama.com blog over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. 🙂

The Ancient Secrets and The Modern Uses of the Plants of the Bible has been an on-going passion of mine. Honestly, I believe that the Lord “hand-picked” me and took note of my heart over the last 23 years since Precious Oils began. Last year, as Precious Oils began our 24th year, I sensed that the Lord was directing my steps into a special time, and into my (our) future. I pray that those of you who are reading this will join with me in 2015, and beyond as we will continue to bless Israel and educate the generations to come through the Precious Plants and Oils of the Bible.

As I prepare to go to Israel finances are needed for my journey (yes we pay to volunteer), to pay for the extra luggage of the things I take to bless others in Israel as well as finances and volunteers are needed for Biblical Tamar. Here’s how you can help.

Tax deductible giving is possible for Cynthia’s upcoming journeys to Israel. Please make checks out to Liberty Ministries, Inc., memo Israel 2015. Send to Cynthia Hillson, 107 Bradberry Street, Mooresville, NC 28115. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!!

To learn more about Biblical Tamar Park, and how you can be a part, visit their web site www.BlossomingRose.org. Contact them to get on their newsletter mailing. Donations for the projects that will be worked on in Feb 2015 are needed, and welcome. At this time formal donations for the garden development and the trees/plants has not begun.  If anyone wants to volunteer when I am at the Park either in February or in the fall of 2015, opportunity is available to you. Contact Dr. Coxon through the web site or by mail, 4707 Indian Lakes Rd, PO Box X, Cedar Springs, MI 49319 and he will find a place for you to use your gifts and talents at Biblical Tamar.

If you want to surf the web about the park be sure to search “Ancient Haseva (Hatzeva) [Biblical Tamar] in Israel” One other note, on the web, Bible Walks, is a wonderful explanation of what has been uncovered at Biblical Tamar Park. http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/BiblicalTamar.html. Biblical Tamar Park truly is an amazing place, and I pray that you will one day be able to visit and learn of the past, as well as enjoy the gardens that will soon be planted.

 

Want to hear more about The Garden of the Ages @ Biblical Tamar Park? Cynthia will come to your group to further share the exciting vision of The Garden of the Ages @ Biblical Tamar Park as well as the ancient plants that were transported on the trail. I will be in Texas in March, during Purim, sharing at a Women’s Conference.

With Love,

Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

rose II

Precious Oils Up On the Hill ®

PO Box 2036 Cornelius, NC 28031

Web site www.TheFragrantBride.com

E-Mail   PreciousOils@gmail.com

704-664-7971

New Arrivals of Aroma Bottles

New Arrivals of Aroma Bottles.

Go to www.Precious-Oils.com current inventory

Aroma Bottles 16 - 20 Sept 2014

 

To Order or for questions, please E-mail Cynthia at ApothecaryMamaCynthia@gmail.com

Garden in the Desert Project in Israel

Dear Friends, My heart is overflowing with all that is happening with my Precious Oils ministry both here and in Israel. I do hope that you find a few moments to read this letter, I will try to keep it short, but as always there is always interesting stories within the stories of my life.

In March, I went to Israel to work on a book called The Healing Rose; The Rest of the Story of Esther’s Purification. It was my husband, David, who suggested that I go during Purim and devote set-apart time to complete the work. I spent four days studying at the Hebrew University library. It was here where I uncovered some amazing writings from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s centered on Biblical flora, healing plants, ancient spice route information and many other things pertaining to my love and passion, and my Precious Oils ministry of the plants of the Bible.

It was my goal to write after I had studied at the university. I planned to go to a quiet prayer house in the desert; but my plans changed. The care-taker of the prayer house had a work-related emergency and wouldn’t be able to meet me on the day I was scheduled to arrive. This left me in a bit of a dilemma of where I would be going. I made a call to a place I had wanted to visit for years since I began staying at places in the desert known as The Scented Cities, and other ancient incense route locations. I arrived with the thought of staying there two nights, but I ended up staying three. Little did I know that there was a spice conference being held within a few kilometers, in which anyone staying at this ancient, historical site was invited to also attend?

How does this happen? I was detoured from one place only to find myself sitting among Israeli’s and other nations who came together for one purpose; to learn more about the ancient spice routes. This was the third year for this conference; the first two years it had been held in Eliat but this year after the recent finding of a piece of pottery that had an inscription stating that the Queen of Sheba was from Yemen the location got changed to be on the ancient incense route. Did I mention that the conference was all in Hebrew? That didn’t matter, I loved it!

I had opportunity to meet the two conference organizers, both very well-educated, English speaking and historians of the incense route. During the afternoon break I also met a really nice lady who wanted to meet me when she found out that I wrote about the plants of the Bible. We chatted and she said I needed to come to her home. I told her that I was going back to Jerusalem, and she said that is where she lived. The short version of this story is one evening I went to her home to “chat” about our love of spices. She began our conversation with “So, how did you come to the conference?” I explained that “I just so happened” to be staying at a guest caravan where the group was invited to the conference. And, I extended my stay so I could be part of the conference for one day. Then, I asked her what brought her to the conference. She replied, “My husband” who at that moment walked into the kitchen. I nearly fell out as I extended my hand to once again meet one of the conference organizers. New spice and incense loving friends. I have an invitation to visit them again, and they want me to bring them copies of my books.

Another really neat thing happened actually while I was staying on the incense trail. The director of the project came into the dining hall where I was writing. He asked if I had a moment, he wanted to show me around. As we walked around the grounds he lead me to two plants, given to the site by an archeologist whose job is to plant the desert. I had seen this plant before; it is the ancient Balm of Gilead which is being cultivated throughout Israel in select locations to see what part of the desert the plants can flourish. (I’ve actually touched and smelled this plant at two other places in the desert on previous journeys.) As he handed me a berry to smell he began to tell me about part of the vision, and the mandate from the government of Israel, of where we were standing. He perked my interest, we chatted and then he went back to the construction project he was working on. I thought “Hmm that was nice that the director took time to show me around this amazing place.” I know people in his position are very busy, they see new people all the time, and they often never see you twice, so I thought.

A few weeks after I returned home I received a personal e-mail from the director; it was a friendly handshake thanking me for coming and do I think that I will be returning? I really did love the place and told him so, as well as my heart’s desire to return. To shorten the story is that I’m planning on returning in October, this time to cook for some groups who will be staying and working on this ancient incense route site. Things even go deeper beyond cooking and doing laundry for groups from around the world this fall. As the director and I have conversed he is feeling that Precious Oils is to be part of a “garden project” vision at this very special archeological site. It’s not only on the incense trail it was one of the stopping points of the Children of Israel during their 40 years of wandering. It also is a place that is prophesied as part of the future borders of Israel. (Ezekiel 47 & 48).

I can’t even begin to explain to you what happened to me as I read his e-mails. He said “I had a hunch about you” and that is why he personally reached out to me. He’s said that many people “want” to be part of greening the desert, but he feels that I am the one for this particular project because of my passion for Israel, the Lord, and the flora of the Bible.

So, bottom line is this, prayer and financial support is needed as I am committed to cook and serve in Israel at this site for four or five weeks in October and November. David needs to also come to Israel while I am there, he has only been once, in 2000. It will be important for us to walk the land together to see how David and I, and Precious Oils, fits into the future green space desert plantings that will benefit generations to come.

If you want further, and more precise information about the Garden of the Ages please feel free to contact me. Please note that I’ve set up a new e-mail address, BlossomingIsrael@aol.com, for the desert garden project, and yes, my PreciousOils@aol.com is still to use if that is in your address book.

Tax deductible giving is possible (and greatly appreciated). Checks need to be payable to Liberty Ministries, Inc., please memo Israel/Hillson Mission.

Send checks to:   Cynthia Hillson 107 Bradberry Street Mooresville, NC 28115   Thank you for your love and support.

In His Service,

Cynthia

Ancient Balm of Gilead

Just a few other notes. Katie, our missionary daughter is doing well. She works for a church in Hong Kong as the Children’s Church Director where each week she oversees the lessons and volunteers for over 100 children, infant to 12. Thank you for your prayers and support for her as well as the timing for me to take her more of her personal items to her; she doesn’t plan to return home for a year, or two. She was home for the holidays; it was the first time in four years that all six children, spouses, grandchildren, David and I were all together. It was a fun, and chaotic, few hours. Our fifth grandchild is due in a few weeks!! Abigail graduates college and will soon be off on her own. The timing couldn’t be better to be empty-nesters with the opportunity(ies) that await us in Israel.

Leaves and Trees

I often find myself wondering “Why did I say that?” only to find out a few days later that what I had said was somewhat prophetic in nature, thus was the case two weeks ago.

On April 30th I taped two Precious Oils interviews at the Aviv Moon Studios in Charlotte, NC for Shabbat Night Live.

One of the questions of the second taping of the short interview went something like this:

Scott “What essential oils should we have as we prepare for the last days?”

Cynthia: “Leaves and Trees, we are going to need to breath”.

Oh vey, of anything I could have said, why the leaves and trees? Little did anyone realize how prophetic my answer was when the news began to appear two days later as the first (and now second) case of MERS has appeared here in the US.

You might be asking “What the heck is MERS?”

Well, MERS is not an emergency, but it has been in the news since May 2nd, and yesterday this article appeared. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2014/05/14/mers-airports-cdc/9077329/  MERS is an acronym for a virus named Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Well, that prophetic portion of my life must have been tuned into the leaves and the trees in another way just a few weeks earlier in April. I was a vendor at a Women’s Conference and I introduced a new jewelry line that will correspond with a seminar that I will be filming later this year. The jewelry is my “Tree of Life” line, and the seminar is “The Healing Leaves”.

 Tree of Life # 2

With the purchase of each pendant you will receive a “tree” healing essential oil and a copy of my teaching “A Leaf and A Handful of Leaves”.  For more information on the jewelry and my teaching booklet please go to www.shop.TheFragrantBride.com.

To keep updated of the date and other pertinent details of “The Healing Leaves” seminar go to my web site. http://www.thefragrantbride.com/The_Healing_Leaves.html

Check out on Shabbat Night Live at 9 pm Friday, May 16, 2014. The show will re-air throughout the week. Shabbat Night Live link.

The Leaf Cover

The Garden is Over Grown with Weeds

I, Apothecary Cynthia Hillson, would like to address something that I’m witnessing more than ever before concerning the plants of the Bible, and the misinterpretation that the plants were “essential oils”. The plants of the Bible were not essential oils, period! This lie has penetrated the hearts and minds of people who say that they are God-fearing followers of Yeshua, and The Holy Bible. This has me deeply concerned. I pray that as you read this note that you become as alarmed as I am.

 

I’ve read the blogs and the literature from the MLM companies, watched You Tube videos, and I even have friends who have been swept away thinking that their essential oils were the oils of the Bible. Last week I posted on my Face Book page the famous Norman Rockwell painting of gossip. It was in that post that I commented about the shekel and how it was a Biblical weight and how some of the mlm essential oil business people have made it a liquid measure. It is heresy that people who are teaching “Oils of the Bible” classes have once level-headed people making a religion out of this topic. It is of my opinion, and sad-to-say, that the motive behind many who are teaching that the plants of the Bible are essential oils are totally mislead, or there is a driving force of mammon involved. I am boldly saying this and encourage anyone who wants to debate me over the topic of what the oils of the Bible “really” were to contact me and we can further discuss.

Do you know what heresy is?   heresy (n) her·e·sy [ hérrəssee ]

1. unorthodox religious opinion: an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by a religious authority

2. holding of unorthodox religious belief: the holding of, or adherence to, an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by religious authorities

3. unorthodox opinion: an opinion or belief that does not coincide with established or traditional theory, especially in philosophy, science, or politics

 

Let me share the following from Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible and his comments found in   Exodus 30:22-38.

 

“Directions are here given for the composition of the holy anointing oil and the incense that were to be used in the service of the tabernacle; with these God was to be honored, and therefore he would appoint the making of them; for nothing comes to God but what comes from him.

1. The holy anointing oil is here ordered to be made up the ingredients, and their quantities, are prescribed, Exodus 30:23-25. Interpreters are not agreed concerning them; we are sure, in general, they were the best and fittest for the purpose; they must needs be so when the divine wisdom appointed them for the divine honor. It was to be compounded secundum artem – after the art of the apothecary (Exodus 30:25); the spices, which were in all nearly half a hundred weight, were to be infused in the oil, which was to be about five or six quarts, and then strained out, leaving an admirable sweet smell in the oil. With this oil God’s tent and all the furniture of it were to be anointed; it was to be used also in the consecration of the priests, Exodus 30:26-30. It was to be continued throughout their generations, Exodus 30:31. The tradition of the Jews is that this very oil which was prepared by Moses himself lasted till near the captivity. But bishop Patrick shows the great improbability of the tradition, and supposes that it was repeated according to the prescription here, for Solomon was anointed with it (1 King’s 1:39), and some other of the kings; and all the high priests with such a quantity of it that it ran down to the skirts of the garments; and we read of the making up of this ointment (1 Chronicles 9:30): yet all agree that in the second temple there was none of this holy oil, which he supposes was owing to a notion they had that it was not lawful to make it up, Providence overruling that want as a presage of the better unction of the Holy Ghost in gospel times, the variety of whose gifts was typified by these several sweet ingredients. To show the Excellency of Holiness, there was that in the tabernacle which was in the highest degree grateful both to the sight and to the smell. Christ’s name is said to be as ointment poured forth (Song of Songs 1:3), and the good name of Christians better than precious ointment, Ecclesiastes 7:1.

2.The incense which was burned upon the golden altar was prepared of sweet spices likewise, though not so rare and rich as those of which the anointing oil was compounded, Exodus 30:34, Exodus 30:35. This was prepared once a year (the Jews say), a pound for each day of the year, and three pounds over for the Day of Atonement. 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 savor.

3. Concerning both these preparations the same law is here given 1. (Exodus 30:32, Exodus 30:33, Exodus 30:37, and Exodus 30:38), that the like should not be made for any common use. Thus God would preserve in the people’s minds a reverence for his own institutions, and teach us not to profane nor abuse anything whereby God makes himself known, as those did who invented to themselves (for their common entertainments) instruments of music like David, Amos 6:5. It is a great affront to God to jest with sacred things, particularly to make sport with the word and ordinances of God, or to treat them with lightness, Matthew 22:5. That which is God’s peculiar must not be used as a common thing.”

 

This brings me to another important aspect of why I’m addressing the seriousness this subject. The pursuit of selling essential oils as being Biblical isn’t only not correct, but it is often done in a flippant way. (Matthew Henry called it jesting. Take a moment to read Ephesians 5 to know what Paul tells us about jesting.) It is my prayer that my friends who are involved in these companies understand that I am writing this in love. I feel repeating the mlm jargon that the plants of the Bible were essential oils only is extremely misleading.

 

In the Bible The Holiness that is associated with The Holy Oil and The Holy Incense can be read in the Hebrew. When one reads Scripture only in English the essence of what is said is often missed. Please also note that anytime that the Lord repeats a word it is like your parents telling you “What I about to say is important, so listen up.” Then it is our choice to heed their words. In Hebrew, the Holy Anointing Oil and The Holy Incense weren’t only just holy, they are MOST HOLY! You can look this up for yourselves in Exodus 30:29 & 36. Those who are repeating the heresy that the plants named in the Holy Oil & Incense were essential oils aren’t taking into consideration what “holiness” truly is.

My ministry name, Precious Oils was established in 1991 not because of essential oils but for anointing oils and my 3 day experience with the Lord. In my publications I share my love of our modern day convenience found in essential oils that I call a “Garden in a Bottle”. Psalm 133 is the Scripture that is printed on my ministry checks, and it is a song we all sing, hold hands and dance to, then we go back to our belligerence.

 

A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. Psalms 133:1-3

 

It seems that today the lack of unity among God’s people is rampant, and has become fiercely competitive; that includes the warring between companies, and individuals, about essential oils. The lies, and deception that the oils of the Bible were essential oils is preposterous, and even has become implausible. Instead of His plant kingdom, found in a pristine garden that He planted in the very beginning, it has become a bit frightening and the reason for this blog today. I’m afraid that the garden that the Lord desires to have in the future has become vastly overgrown with weeds among Believers. And, I believe that the Lord is about to weed His garden.

 

We enjoy the glimpse of a beautiful garden where the Shulamite gives up what was “her garden” and invites Him to come into “His garden”. (Song of Songs 4.) By the way, are you aware that the Shulamite’s name means peaceful . . . and her name is rooted in Shalom?

 

May there soon be shalom to all who want to enjoy God’s fragrant kingdom with His precious plants that are named in the Bible as well our modern usage of them including, but not limited to, essential oils.

 

Sincerely,

 

Apothecary Cynthia Hillson

 

http://www.TheFragrantBride.com

 

PreciousOils@aol.com

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