In the Bible, cinnamon signifies sanctification, purification, and divine favor. It’s mentioned as a prized ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:23-25), symbolizing the process of sanctification. Its pleasant aroma, as referenced in Song of Solomon (4:14), is often interpreted as a metaphor for the pleasing nature of our spiritual devotion to God.
Beyond its culinary uses and warm, sweet aroma, cinnamon carries rich spiritual symbolism within the biblical context. This spice, indigenous to Sri Lanka, has permeated diverse cultures, cuisines, and religions, being prized for both its flavor and medicinal properties. However, in this article, our journey explores cinnamon’s sacred essence as depicted in the Bible, leading us to uncover profound layers of its divine significance
Cinnamon in the Bible as a Prized Commodity
Within the pages of the Old Testament, cinnamon emerges as a valuable commodity, particularly noted for its divine associations. Exodus 30:23-25 introduces cinnamon as a constituent of the holy anointing oil, a revered mixture used to sanctify the Tent of Meeting and the Ark of the Testimony. This usage underscores cinnamon’s high esteem, its sacred purpose amplifying the sanctity of religious objects.
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, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. 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 oilExodus 30:23-25 (New King James Version)
Cinnamon’s mention in the book of Proverbs adds another facet to its spiritual significance, implying wisdom and protection. The rich aromaticity of cinnamon, as featured in Proverbs 7:17, signifies the allure of wisdom, urging the seeker to imbibe its sweet essence.
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamonProverbs 7:17 (New King James Version)
Cinnamon also finds a mention in the Song of Solomon, symbolizing the beauty and intoxicating charm of the beloved, marking its use in perfuming the bride’s bed.
Spikenard and saffron, Calamus and cinnamon, With all trees of frankincense, Myrrh and aloes, With all the chief spicesSong of Solomon 4:14 (New King James Version)
Symbolism and Significance of Cinnamon in the Bible
In the biblical narrative, cinnamon serves as more than just a prized commodity—it embodies spiritual connotations and holds divine symbolism. Its presence in the holy anointing oil, as stated in Exodus, amplifies its role in sanctifying and purifying objects, thereby strengthening their divine connection.
Cinnamon’s perfume, highlighted in both the Song of Solomon and Revelation, underlines the spiritual value of its captivating aroma. Its fragrance is often likened to the pleasing nature of our spiritual devotion to God, illustrating the beauty of righteousness.
Cinnamon’s association with healing and protection also comes to the fore. Notably, the ancient Egyptians used cinnamon as an antidote for poisonous snake bites, embodying divine protection. The fragrance of cinnamon was thought to be pleasing to the gods, highlighting a connection to divine favor and blessings.
Applying Cinnamon’s Spiritual Meaning to Personal Growth
With a deeper understanding of cinnamon’s spiritual implications, we can bring its divine essence into our personal spiritual practices. Using cinnamon essential oil during meditation or prayer can enhance focus and spiritual connectivity, resonating with its biblical significance of sanctification.
Additionally, integrating cinnamon into daily life can pave the way for spiritual well-being. Whether you’re brewing a comforting cup of cinnamon tea or using the spice in a dish, its sweet scent can serve as a reminder of God’s grace, encouraging us to reflect on the divine protection it symbolizes.
From its sacred inclusion in the holy anointing oil to the symbolism of its captivating fragrance, cinnamon holds a distinctive spiritual meaning in the Bible. It serves as a potent reminder of God’s sanctification, protection, and favor. As we journey through life, embracing the spiritual essence of cinnamon can inspire us to reflect on our spiritual devotion and align more closely with divine wisdom and guidance.
Bible References: New King James Version (NKJV)