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Does the Bible speak against the use of perfumes?

Perfumes in the Bible

There are 27 references in the Bible for perfumes. God’s Word does not speak against using perfumes. On the contrary, Proverbs 27:9 say, “Oil and perfume make the heart glad.” The Lord created these natural smells in the flowers and spices for our appreciation. Brides used perfume for ointments (Ruth 3:3).

Frankincense is fragrant when burned as incense. It was used as an ingredient in the sacred incense for the sanctuary (Exodus 30:8, 34). And Myrrh is another aromatic gum highly prized in ancient times. It was an ingredient used in compounding the holy oil (Exodus 30:23–25), for perfume (Esther 2:12; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17), and for embalming (John 19:39).

The apostle John wrote about Mary who brought a box of alabaster filled with lovely aroma to anoint Jesus. When she broke open her alabaster box, “the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (John 12:3). Jesus appreciated her act of devotion and said, “She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial” (Mark 14:8).

Jesus’ body was anointed with spices after his death “When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him” (Mark 16:1). “Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:39-40). Aloes is an aromatic resin from the tree Aquilaria agallocha. The product is mentioned only here in the New Testament. In the Old Testament it is mentioned in Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8; S. of Solomon 4:14.

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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