ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Significance of 3 Wise Man Gifts

Updated on December 1, 2018
Pamela99 profile image

I am interested in politics and in the news. It is great to be informed about what is happening in the USA, around the world and history.

Do You Know?

I was watching the news this morning and a reporter was asking people on the street what three gifts were brought by the three wise men to celebrate the birth of baby JesusI

Most people could only name one or sometimes two, but they really knew few details of the birth of Jesus. The three wise men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. So I started thinking about it, and while I knew the answers I realized I really didn’t know anything about frankincense or myrrh. Gold is the one item that everyone recognizes.

The Three Wise Magi

Source

Biblical Story of the Magi

The Magi are referred to as the three wise men, which in a Christian view is a denoted a group of distinguished foreigners. In the second chapter of Matthew, verses one through nine, this event is fully described. King Herod secretly sent the Magi to search for the baby that was reportedly born to be the king of the Jews. At that same time a bright star appeared which they followed until they found the baby. Then, they bowed down and presented the gifts.

Many scholars think these three gifts were chosen because gold represented kingship, frankincense was a symbol for the priestly role of Jesus, and myrrh was the pre-figuring of the death in embalming of Jesus.

Interestingly enough, the word myrrh appears in the Bible 17 times. At that time in history, which includes the Old and New testament, it was used as one of the ingredients to make holy anointing oil, and it was also mixed with wine and offered to Christ when he was on the cross.

Gold

Source

Why were Myrrh and Frankincense so Valued?

Theologians and Biblical scholars have offered different views on the significance of the three gifts. Basically they were standard gifts often given to honor some king or deity at that point in history. Gold is a precious metal, as we all know. Frankincense was used as perfume or incense and myrrh as an anointing oil. As an example, these gifts were offered to the god Apollo at the temple in Milentus in 243 B.C.

Both frankincense and myrrh are derived from tree sap, and they are valued for their alluring fragrance. Frankincense is a milky white resin, which is extracted from trees that thrive in arid and cool areas of the Arabian Peninsula. Myrrh is a reddish resin, which is found in North East Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula. The way these resins are extracted and processed are identical.

Frankincense Growth Area

Myrrh Area of Growth

Source

Uses of Frankincense and Myrrh

The people that lived in these areas have been extracting these resins for 5000 years. They were used for personal, religious and medicinal purposes throughout time. As they did not bath daily, the people would use the sweet smoke from the residence to make themselves smell better, and women actually use the ash of frankincense for personal use and even mixed it into their eye shadow.

Both of these resins were also used for medicinal purposes, particularly for treatment of wounds. They were used to cure leprosy, hemlock poisoning, worms, snakebites, diarrhea, scurvy, plague and even baldness. There was such a high demand for each of these resins that a booming trade in the Middle East was created that lasted several hundred years.

We Three Kings of Orient Are

Religious Uses

Frankincense was also valued in religious ceremonies as it was burned, which symbolized prayer that was rising to heaven just like the smoke. Myrrh symbolized death and was often used for burials.

Frankincense

Source

Today’s use of Frankincense and Myrrh

While these resins are not as popular as they once were, they are still used today in some unexpected ways. They are common ingredients in perfumes and cosmetics. Scientists are working to find new ways to use these substances for medical treatments.

In addition to treating osteoarthritis, frankincense may be beneficial to people with asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, cancers, Chron’s disease and collagenous colitis. Myrrh may benefit people with gastric ulcers, tumors and parasites.

Scientist at Cardiff’s University in Wales have been studying frankincense for its medicinal properties for some time. Apparently frankincense contains an ingredient that helps to relieve arthritis as it inhibits the inflammation that breaks down the cartilage tissue, which causes the arthritic pain. It has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy to treat arthritis in many communities in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula where it grows.

A study in 2009 suggests that myrrh may lower cholesterol. Frankincense has also been investigated as a possible treatment for anxiety. Currently there is a great deal of scientific study on each of these tree resins.

Summary

Many people use these resins in the form of essential oils to enjoy their aroma. There are numerous items on Amazon for each of these resins or essential oils.

Now you know the history and purpose of frankincense and myrrh, in case you didn't have this information before. Tis the season, so the topic seemed appropriate.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)