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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Smell

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( בּשֶֹׁ ם or רְיח , fragrance; בַּוֹשׁ, stench). Jacob said to his sons, after the slaughter of the Shechemites (Genesis 34:30), "Ye have troubled me, to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land" Ye have given me an ill scent, or smell among this people. The Israelites, in a similar manner, complained to Moses and Aaron (Exodus 5:21), "The Lord look upon you, and judge, because you have made our savor to be abhorred in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants." This manner of speaking occurs frequently in the Hebrew. In a contrary sense, Paul says (2 Corinthians 2:15-16), "We are unto God a sweet savor of Christ in them that are saved and in them that perish; to the one we are the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life." In the sacrifices of the old law, the smell of the burned offerings is represented in Scripture as agreeable to God (Genesis 8:21), "And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar; it is a burned offering unto the Lord; it is a sweet savor, an offering made by fire unto the Lord." The same thing, by analogy, is said of prayer (Psalms 141:2), "Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense, and the lifting-up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." So John, in allusion to this service of the Old Test., represents the twenty-four elders with "golden, vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints" (Revelation 5:8).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Smell'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/s/smell.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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