2 Kings 20:13

Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses--the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil--his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

Why are spices considered treasures?

  • Even now spices are valuable. Go look up the value of saffron per kg!
    – curiousdannii
    May 13 at 3:40

Indeed, according to Pulpit Commentary

"Spices" always form an important portion of the treasure of Oriental kings (comp. Herod., 2. 97, sub fin.).

Earlier, even the wealthy King Solomon considered it valuable when he received them from the queen of Sheba in 1 Kings 10:

10 And she gave the king 120 talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again were so many spices brought in as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. ...

23 So King Solomon surpassed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. 24The whole world sought an audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom that God had put in his heart. 25Year after year, each visitor would bring his tribute: articles of silver and gold, clothing, weapons, spices, horses, and mules.

Why are spices considered treasures?

Precisely because they were valuable. They worthed a lot of money.


During the Middle Ages, spices were as valuable in Europe as gold and gems and the single most important force driving the world’s economy.


The possible reason I can think of why it is mentioned that the storehouse contained spices and olive oil along with valuable treasures like silver & gold is that they were holy and kept in large reserves for use in the temple.

  1. Olive oil and spices are ingredients used in the holy incense offering in the temple.
  2. All the Temple Items were sanctified with oil and spices.
  3. The menorah in the temple uses olive oil
  4. Also the Olive Oil was used for anointing priests and kings.

Please see the below verses for above points

Exodus 25:6 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense;

Exodus 30:22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels[d] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels[e] of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin[f] of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil.

Exodus 25:26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.

Exodus 30:34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred.

God bless.

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