American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
A dry, aromatic gum, exuding from a tree which grows in Arabia and India. It is called also frankincense, from the freedom with which when burning it gives forth its odors. Other spices were mixed with it to make the sacred incense, the use of which for any other purpose was strictly forbidden, Exodus 30:34-38 . To offer incense, among the Hebrews, was an officer peculiar to the priests; for which purpose they entered into the holy apartment of the temple every morning and evening. On the great day of expiation, the high-priest burnt incense in his censer as he entered the Holy of Holies, and the smoke which arose from it prevented his looking with too much curiosity on the ark and mercy seat, Leviticus 16:13 . The Levites were not permitted to touch the censers; and Korah, Dathan, and Abiram suffered a terrible punishment for violating this prohibition. Incense was especially a symbol of prayer. While it was offered, the people prayed in the court without, and their prayers ascended with the sweet odor of the incense, until the priest returned and gave the blessing. So Christ presents his people and their prayers to God, accepted through his merits and intercession, and gives them the blessing, "Your sins are forgiven; go in peace," Psalm 141:2 Luke 2:9 Revelation 5:8 8:4 . "Incense" sometimes signifies the sacrifices and fat of victims, as no other kind of incense was offered on the altar of burnt-offerings, Psalm 66:15 . For a description of the altar of incense, see ALTAR .
These files are public domain and are a derivative of the topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859.
Rand, W. W. Entry for 'Incense'. American Tract Society Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ats/i/incense.html. 1859.