Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh:
Matthew 2:11. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the Biblical Magi "from out of the East.”:
Entering the house where the baby and Mary his mother were, they threw themselves down before him, worshipping. Then they opened their presents and gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Gold symbolizes royalty:
Gold is the first, and most frequently mentioned metal in the Bible. That passage talks about the 4 rivers that flowed out of Eden to water the garden. There is gold mentioned in the first river and also on the land near there.
From the very beginning, gold has been highly valued and rare as a noble metal and the saying “worth its weight in gold” has clear meaning. It was useful in commercial transactions, as well as a measure of wealth and prominence.
In early Biblical times, it was found in its native purity in gravel deposits and riverbeds. It was easily separated and recovered because of its great weight. In the book of Job (28:1,2,6) mining and refining operations are mentioned.
The Ark of the Covenant was gold. David set aside what was called 100,000 talents of gold for Solomon’s temple, and each talent is about 75 pounds. Today’s value of the temple is in excess of $50 billion!
Gold is likened to wisdom, faith and knowledge so it is fitting that the wise men brought baby Jesus gifts of this precious metal.
In ancient times, gold was used to prepare medicines, wasn’t it?
In antiquity, gold and even silver were used to prepare medicines and both were considered a digestive. They are still considered medicinal in Chinese and Indian medicine and in certain homeopathic applications.
So gold can be eaten?
There’s a type of edible gold that comes in a box of gold leaf (sheets, flakes, or sprinkles). Edible gold is safe to eat, very expensive, but doesn’t have much flavor.
Metallic gold is biologically inert; that’s why dentists can use it for fillings, caps, and crowns.
Frankincense symbolizes divinity
It represents life and was used to anoint newborns.
It’s a resin that is scraped from the bark of the Boswellia tree, which isn’t the most beautiful specimen – sort of scraggly, but strong. These hardened resins are called tears. I have some Frankincense tears!
The Egyptians ground the charred resin into a powder called kohl. Kohl was used to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art.
Frankincense has been used since antiquity in religious rituals and is considered to be healing. (Think calming effect from burning incense and the religious ritual of incense at church).
Now Myrrh is not so well known as the other two – it symbolizes death.
Myrrh symbolized Jesus’ future death, as it was an ingredient used in embalming at the time.
It is a resin that comes from the sap of a type of Balsam tree, among others. It was very valuable and was used as an incense burned during funerals. Myrrh is a reddish brown color, while frankincense is more golden. Interestingly, the word comes from the Hebrew maror which means “bitter”.
Myrrh is used in perfumes, salves, some natural toothpastes, etc.