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Perfume
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
Perfumes, oils, and spices used not only for hygienic and cosmetic purposes but also for their medicinal qualities. The largest use of aromatics in the ancient Near East was likely for cultic purposes. Biblical and extrabiblical texts record the use of oils and compound mixtures as part of worship rituals and prayers as well as burial preparations for the dead to enter the afterlife. Due to the variety of uses, these products, which were often not native to the Mesopotamian region, were in high demand—creating a strong international trade economy.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Aromatics in the Ancient Near East
Aromatics in the Ancient Near East Perfumes, oils, and spices used not only for hygienic and cosmetic purposes but also for their medicinal qualities. The largest use of aromatics in the ancient Near East was likely for cultic purposes. Biblical and extrabiblical texts record the use of oils and compound
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Perfumes and Spices
PERFUMES AND SPICES. A variety of perfumes and spices are named in the Bible. Perfumes and spices were important items of trade in the ancient world.A. PerfumesAlthough the human sense of smell has atrophied over the millennia as hunting and being hunted became less of a pastime, our delight over pleasing
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Perfume
Perfume. Term covering a wide range of materials prepared from ground up minerals, vegetable oils, and roots, which were used from the earliest times to enhance one’s personal appearance or to produce pleasing fragrances both for secular and religious purposes. The Bible mentions a wide variety of perfumes
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Perfume; Perfumer
Perfume; Perfumer [Heb. rôqē (a)ḥ (Ex. 30:25, 35; 37:29; Eccl. 10:1), raqqāḥ (1 S. 8:13; Neh. 3:8), mirqaḥaṯ (2 Ch. 16:14), riqqû (a)ḥ (Isa. 57:9), rî (a)ḥ (Ex. 30:38), nûp̱ (Prov. 7:17), qeṭōreṯ (Prov. 27:9), mequṭṭereṯ (Cant. 3:6), bātê hannep̱eš (“perfume boxes,” Isa. 3:20),
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Perfume
PERFUME Term covering a wide range of materials prepared from ground-up minerals, vegetable oils, and roots, which were used from the earliest times to enhance one’s personal presentation or to produce pleasing fragrances both for secular and religious purposes. The Bible mentions a wide variety of perfumes,
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Perfume
PERFUME. The Israelites, like other peoples of the Near East and the Orient, made extensive use of perfumes manufactured from a variety of aromatic organic substances. Reduced to powder, perfume might be carried on the person as a sachet (Song 1:13; 3:6; Isa 3:20, RSV). Aromatic extracts were combined
Confection
CONFECTION. A perfume made by the temple apothecary (Ex 30:35). The KJV translates the same term as “ointment” while the ASV has “confection,” referring to a mixture of medicines or perfumes made by the sons of the priests (1 Chr 9:30).
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Perfume
PerfumePerfumes, liquid, gelatinous, or dry substances known for their aromatic qualities, play an important part in the economic, social, and religious culture of the ancient, biblical world. Words translated by “perfume” come from the Hebrew root rāqaḥ, “to prepare perfume,” and are associated with
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Perfume
Perfume (Heb. rōqēaḥ, rāqaḥ, qeṭōreṯ, bōśem).† In biblical times perfumes derived from a number of plants were used in the manufacture of cultic incense (Exod. 30:34–38; Heb. rōqēaḥ; cf. Isa. 57:9; riqqûaḥ), to adorn one’s body (Prov. 27:9; qeṭoreṯ; Isa. 3:24; bōśem), and to
The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land
Spices And Perfumes
SPICES AND PERFUMES In the primitive hygienic conditions of the ancient world the use of scents and ointments was very necessary. In private life perfumes and spices were used as ingredients in perfumed oils, ointments and powders, for cosmetic purposes, to protect the skin from the heat of the sun and
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Perfumes
Perfumes. The free use of perfumes was peculiarly grateful to the Orientals, Prov. 27:9, whose olfactory nerves are more than usually sensitive to the offensive smells engendered by the heat of their climate. The Hebrews manufactured their perfumes chiefly from spices imported from Arabia, though to
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Perfume
PERFUME. Such passages as the following: “Oil and perfume make the heart glad” (Prov. 27:9); “All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh” (Ps. 45:8); “What is this coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense?” (Song of Sol. 3:6); “And you have journeyed to
Confection
CONFECTION. A KJV term for perfume (so NASB, Ex. 30:35) made for use in the Temple. In the NIV (Ezek. 27:17), a word that may refer to a kind of cake (cf. NASB marg.).
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Perfumes
Perfumeswere used in religious worship, and for personal and domestic enjoyment (Ex. 30:35–37; Prov. 7:17; Cant. 3:6; Isa. 57:9); and also in embalming the dead, and in other funeral ceremonies (Mark 14:8; Luke 24:1; John 19:39).
Confection
Confection(Ex. 30:35, “ointment” in ver. 25; R.V., “perfume”). The Hebrew word so rendered is derived from a root meaning to compound oil and perfume.
Key passages
Pr 27:9

Perfume and incense will gladden a heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend is personal advice.

So 1:3

As fragrance, your perfumes are delightful; your name is poured out perfume; therefore young women love you.

So 1:12–14

While the king was on his couch, my nard gave its fragrance. My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh, he spends the night between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of blossoms of henna in the vineyards of En Gedi.

So 3:6

What is this coming up from the desert like a column of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense from all the fragrant powders of the merchant?

So 8:14

Flee, my beloved! Be like a gazelle or a young stag upon the perfumed mountains!

See also