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Scripture says in Exodus 30:22-25:

22 Moreover the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels), two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, 24 five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. 25 And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil, an ointment compounded according to the art of the perfumer. It shall be a holy anointing oil.

There's what I've gathered:

  • Myrrh: “Also take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh” (Exodus 30:23a).
  • Cinnamon: “half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon (two hundred and fifty shekels)” (Exodus 30:23b).
  • Sweet-Smelling Cane: “two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane” (Exodus 30:23c).
  • Cassia: “five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary” (Exodus 30:24a).
  • Olive Oil: “and a hin of olive oil” (Exodus 30:24b).

My question then is: what is the significance of the ingredients used in the anointing oil?

Or, why did God want these ingredients in the anointing oil?

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From practical standpoints, these oils are:

  1. Fragrant and pungent, concealing foul odors of sacrifices, acting like a pleasant perfume, and even repelling insects that would buzz around the tabernacle. Similar to the incense and barbecued sacrifices being a "sweet smelling aroma".

  2. Medicinal, being immunotherapy boosters to stave off disease due to sacrifices and the priests' role in administering diagnoses to the flock.

  3. Expensive and distinctive, such that it was easy to distinguish that scent in a crowd, fulfilling it being "holy" or set-apart... even majestic.

Possible spiritual meanings are:

  1. All of these except the cane are taken from trees, which is a notable rarity (it would be much more common to have a fragrance from flowers and not bark and tree resin), and God's people are likened as trees (quite often, but see for example Mark 8:22). This could symbolize concord of His people/trees.

  2. They are derived from plants from different far regions of the known world, unified into one, symbolizing God's people again as being a reassembly, a reversal of the Tower of Babel/Flood, and of course unification to come after exile.

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