Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

The 12 Oils of Ancient Scripture

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In the Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture collection, Young Living has gathered the 12 most significant oils found in the Bible. There are 188 references to oils in the Bible.


The oils and aromatics mentioned in the Bible were more valuable than gold and silver. Israel’s King Hezekaih kept “the spices, and the precious ointment” (2 Kings 20:13) together with silver and gold in the royal treasure chamber.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines anoint as “to apply oil to as a sacred rite, especially for consecration.” It has been suggested that the holy anointing oil described in Exodus 30:23-25 is a symbol of being set apart for special purposes in God’s kingdom. People and objects were anointed throughout the Bible: Aaron and his sons were anointed priests, the Tabernacle and all of its vessels were anointed before being put into service, and Saul and David were anointed to be kings. The Hebrew word for Messiah, Moschiach, means “Anointed One.” Jesus Christ was twice anointed with the oil of spikenard, which was so expensive that Judas was indignant that it wasn’t sold to raise money for the poor.

God mandated that the anointing oil be fragrant when He instructed Moses to add spices and fragrant oils to the base of pure olive oil. Psalm 45 informs us that the garments of the Messiah are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia. In one Bible translation of Philippians 4:18, Paul described gifts given as “a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.”

Incense was offered twice daily in the Tabernacle and later in the temple in Jerusalem. In Proverbs 27:9 we are told “ointment and perfume rejoice in the heart.” The New Testament suggests that incense offering represents the prayers of saints. In Revelation 5:8, “four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints,” the King James translators chose to translate the Greek word “thumiama” as “odours” rather than “incense”. According to Strong”s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, “thumiama” ritual use of incense represented God’s power over life and death in Numbers 16:46-48 wherein the High Priest Aaron walked through the congregation with it, stopping a deadly plague.

Ancient Secrets of Scriptural Essential Oils

“Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food. Their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will be for food, and their leaves shall be for Medicine.” — Ezekiel 47:12

The power and mystique of fragrance have captured the imagination of both men and women for centuries. Spices and oils became an integral part of the Hebraic culture in Biblical times. Essential Oils, the missing link to modern medicine, were used to anoint kings, leaders, and the Christ Child. Frankincense and Myrrh (the gifts of the Christ Child) are now being documented by European doctors as the most powerful, natural health insurance in modern society. These healing plant oils are the life blood of the plant! Now you too can access the power of essential oils and learn the Secrets of the Ancient Scriptures.

The Twelve Oils of Ancient Scripture Collection

1. Aloes/Sandalwood

“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pound weight” (John 19:39). Many botanists believe that aloes was derived from sandalwood, one of the oldest incenses known to man. Its 4,000-year history includes use as a carved wood as well as distillation for its sweet-, woody-, and fruity-scented oil. The great quantity of myrrh and aloes used in preparing Christ’s body for burial was indicative of respect.

Many botanists believe that aloes were derived from sandalwood, one of the oldest sources of incense known to man.

2. Cassia

“All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad” (Psalm 45:8). Two of the oldest known spices in the world are cinnamon and cassia. It was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil and the incense that was burned daily in the temple. While its aroma is similar to cinnamon, cassia is chemically and physically quite different.

One of the oldest know spices, cassia was an ingredient in the holy anointing oil and the incense that was burned daily in the temple.

3. Cedarwood

“Then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean and Cedarwood and scarlet material and hyssop.” (Leviticus14:4). The cedars of Lebanon were used to build Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple where Christ taught.

Cedar was an integral part of two Biblical purification rituals- one for lepers and another for those who were impure from touching a dead body.

4. Cypress

“He takes down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengthen for himself among the trees of the forest” (Isaiah 44:14). The cypress tree is renowned for its durability. The sturdy cypress doors of the St. Peter’s in Rome, for example, show no signs of decay, even after 1,200 years! The mighty cypress groves of Lebanon were described in the Apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus as trees “which groweth up to the clouds” (50:10).

The cypress tree is renowned for its durability. Some Bible scholars believe cypress may be the “gopher wood” used to build Noah’s Ark.

5. Frankincense

“Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?” (Song of Solomon 3:6).

Because frankincense symbolizes divinity, it was one of the three gifts given to the Christ child.

6. Galbanum

“And the Lord said unto Moses, “take unto thee sweet spices, stacte, and onycha, and galbanum; these sweet spices with pure frankincense; of each there shall be a like weight” (Exodus 30:34). There is an interesting suggestion in the Jewish Talmud as to why this powerful, less-than-fragrant resin was used in the holy incense: “Every communal fast that does not include sinners of Israel is not a fast.” This has been linked to the fact that incense included spices or perfumes with lovely fragrances, but was not complete without one spice, galbanum, with its earthy odor. Also during Biblical times this oil was used for its medicinal properties.

Ancient incenses included spices or perfumes with lovely fragrances, but were not complete without the earthy odor of Galbanum.

7. Hyssop

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7). The hyssop plant was used during the exodus from Egypt to dab the Hebrews’ doorposts with lamb’s blood, protecting them from the plague of death.

Branches from the hyssop plant were used during the exodus from Egypt to dab Hebrew doorsteps with lamb’s blood as protection from the plague of death.

8. Myrrh

“I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, and aloes, and cinnamon” (Proverbs 7:17). Christ was given myrrh at His birth; and along with aloes, it was used in preparing His body for burial. Myrrh was included in the holy anointing oil and was well known to the ancient perfumers. From Ester 2:12, one learns that the candidates from which King Ahaseuerus was to pick his queen were prepared by anointing: “six month with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours. The Arabian people of antiquity used myrrh for a variety of skin conditions.

It is fitting that myrrh symbolizes suffering, since it is produced by slicing the bark of a myrrh tree, so that the precious resin oozes out and hardens into drops called “tears”.

9. Myrtle

“Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written” (Nehemiah 8:15). When the Jews came out of Babylonian captivity, Kin Nehemiah commanded that they gather branches from four trees, including myrtle. To the ancient Jews, myrtle was symbolic of peace and justice. One of the promises to Israel for the future is that “instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree” (Isaiah 55:13)

To the ancient Jews, myrtle was symbolic of peace and justice.

10. Onycha

“And to 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.” (Exodus 30:34).

Like frankincense and myrrh, onycha is a resin and was used in various religious ceremonies.

11. Rose of Sharon/Cistus

“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley” (Song of Solomon 2:1)

Anciently, the gum that exudes from this plant was collected from the hair of goats that had browsed among the bushes.

12. Spikenard

“And Jesus being in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and she broke the box, and poured the ointment on his head.” (Mark 14:3). Spikenard was transported to the Holy Land in sealed alabaster boxes all the way from the Himalayan Mountains. When distinguished guests came visiting, the master of the house showed honor by breaking open the spikenard and anointing the guest. The Hebrew and the Romans used spikenard in the burial of their dead. This is why Jesus said of the woman who poured the precious spikenard oil on Him, “She is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying” (Mark 14:8).

Hebrews & Romans used spikenard in the burial of their dead.

You can learn more about wellness and essential oils HERE.

* Please note that the information contained on this website is my personal opinion, and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice and treatment. If you have medical concerns, please consult with a physician or other qualified health professional. The information about the health topics is for informational purposes only.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I am a mom who looks for natural ways to support her family’s health through nutrition, exercise and alternative, holistic methods. Any statements made on my blog are my own and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else.

Statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure disease.

About sherry

5 Replies

  1. Anonymous

    I joined Young Living oils. The company has some amazing oils and I have began using them. However the oils from the Bible are some of my favorites. Thank you for the lnformation on the use of the Biblical oils.

    1. You’re welcome! My favorites in that collection are Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood (I used that last night when I was having trouble getting to sleep) and the Aloes (Sandalwood).

  2. I tried to visit (or click on your oils, page! But I couldn’t get to anything! Can you tell me where I go for your oils page. Thank you so much! I enjoyed reading all you have wrote for us on this page! I got to this page from Pinterest! Thank You

    1. Thank you for the heads up! I’ve fixed the link to the Ancient Oils of Scripture site. Thank you again!

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