The wise men brought gold , frankincense and myrrh to the newborn king. Gold , of course, was valuable as currency. Frankincense is a valuable perfume. Myrrh is a precious ointment often used in the burial process.
Melchior represents the Gold brought to Jesus. Balthazar , who has black skin and a black beard (or no beard !) and wears a purple cloak. He is the King of Tarsus/Macedonia and Egypt. Balthazar represents the gift of Myrrh that was brought to Jesus.
As per the Biblical tale, as recounted in Matthew 2:1-12, an infant Jesus of Nazareth was visited in Bethlehem on the eve of his birth by Magi bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh . Frankincense was often burned as an incense, while myrrh made its way into medicine and perfume.
The gifts which the magi bring to Jesus are consistently described as gold , frankincense and myrrh . These three gifts were valuable items traditionally offered to a god in ancient times and symbolize the magi’s beliefs about the Christ child’s identity and his future.
Saint Balthazar; also called Balthasar, Balthassar, and Bithisarea, was according to tradition one of the biblical Magi along with Caspar and Melchior who visited the infant Jesus after he was born. Balthazar is traditionally referred to as the King of Macedonia and gave the gift of myrrh to Jesus.
The three gifts had a spiritual meaning: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) as a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death. This dates back to Origen in Contra Celsum: “gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.”
Myrrh was an ingredient of Ketoret: the consecrated incense used in the First and Second Temples at Jerusalem, as described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. Myrrh is also listed as an ingredient in the holy anointing oil used to anoint the tabernacle, high priests and kings.
Magi (/ˈmeɪdʒaɪ/; singular magus /ˈmeɪɡəs/; from Latin magus) were priests in Zoroastrianism and the earlier religions of the western Iranians. The earliest known use of the word magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great , known as the Behistun Inscription.
By the 6th century CE, they had been named Caspar (or Jaspar), Melchior, and Balthazar . While magi were understood to be wise men from the East, one magus becomes regarded as “black” as early as the 13th century.
It has also been suggested that, In addition to the honor and status implied by the value of the gifts of the magi, scholars think that these three were chosen for their special spiritual symbolism about Jesus himself—gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of
Though perhaps best known for their use in incense and ancient rituals, these substances—both of which boast proven antiseptic and inflammatory properties—were once considered effective remedies for everything from toothaches to leprosy.
It is mentioned 22 times in the Bible . This essential oil comes from the dried and distilled resin of the frankincense tree. Ancient civilizations used it for religious ceremonies, burial rituals, and as part of traditional remedies for a variety of ailments. It was the most popular incense in its day.
In the West, frankincense and myrrh have been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies since ancient times; in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, they are used mainly for the treatment of chronic diseases. The main chemical constituents of frankincense and myrrh are terpenoids and essential oils.
Myrrh is used to make medicine. Myrrh is used for indigestion, ulcers, colds, cough, asthma, lung congestion, arthritis pain, cancer, leprosy, spasms, and syphilis. It is also used as a stimulant and to increase menstrual flow.
Myrrh is a reddish-brown dried sap from a thorny tree — Commiphora myrrha, also known as C. molmol — that is native to northeastern Africa and southwest Asia ( 1 , 2). A steam distillation process is used to extract myrrh essential oil, which is amber to brown in color and has an earthy scent (3).