Proverbs 7:17 - Exposition
I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. The substances mentioned were dissolved in or mixed with water, and then sprinkled on the couch. The love of such things is reckoned as a sign of luxury and vice ( Isaiah 3:20 , etc.). The three perfumes are mentioned together in So Proverbs 4:14 ; "myrrh, aloes, and cassia," in Psalms 45:8 . Septuagint, "I have sprinkled my couch with saffron, and my house with cinnamon." Myrrh is nowadays imported chiefly from Bombay, but it seems to be found in Arabia and on the coasts of the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. It is a gummy substance exuding from the bark of the balsamodendron when wounded, and possessing an aromatic odour not particularly agreeable to modern tastes. It was one of the ingredients of the holy oil ( Exodus 30:28 ), and was used in the purification of women ( Esther 2:12 ), as well as in perfuming persons and things, and, mixed with aloes, in embalming dead bodies ( John 19:39 ). Aloes is the inspissated juice of the leaves of the aloe, a leguminous plant growing in India, Cochin China, Abyssinia, and Socotra. The ancients used the dried root for aromatic purposes. It is mentioned by Balaam ( Numbers 24:6 ). Cinnamon, which is the same word in Hebrew and Greek, is the fragrant bark of a tree growing in Ceylon and India and the east coast of Africa.
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