The Spirit and the Body, by Witness Lee

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In typology numbers are significant. Here in Exodus 30 we have one plus four. In typology the number one signifies the unique God. God, signified by the complete unit of a hin of olive oil, is unique and complete. The number four signifies the creatures. In both Ezekiel 1 and in Revelation 4 we read of the four living creatures. Hence, in the Bible the number four always signifies the creatures. Therefore, in this compound ointment we have God signified by the number one and God’s creatures signified by the number four. This indicates that the compound ointment is a matter of God plus His creature, man. This reveals that the ointment is compounded with both God and man. God, the basic element, is signified by the olive oil, and man is represented by the four spices.

Some of the critics condemn the matter of the mingling of God with man. These critics lack knowledge. God and man are not only mingled, but even compounded. In Exodus 30 we have the olive oil compounded with the four spices. When tea is put into water, that is mingling. But when four spices are added to oil to produce an ointment, that is compounding. Compounding involves more than mingling. Compounding implies mingling, but mingling is not as thorough as compounding. Hallelujah, God has been compounded with humanity!


Let us now consider the spices in more detail. Exodus 30:23 says, "Take thou also unto thee finest spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of fragrant cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of fragrant calamus two hundred and fifty shekels" (Heb.). The quantity of the first spice, myrrh, is five hundred shekels. However, the quantity of the second and third spices, cinnamon and calamus, is only two hundred and fifty shekels. Put together, the cinnamon and the calamus make one complete unit of five hundred shekels. Like myrrh, cassia, the fourth spice, is in the quantity of five hundred shekels. These three complete units of five hundred shekels signify the Triune God, and the hin of olive oil signifies the unique God. Hence, in this compound we see the three in one and the one in three.

The second of the three complete units of five hundred shekels was split. This points to the fact that the Son, the second of the Godhead, was split on the cross. The splitting of the second unit of five hundred shekels thus implies the death of Christ. The number four of the four spices indicates Christ’s humanity. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14). This indicates that the Triune God is involved with humanity. When the Word became flesh, the Triune God became involved with humanity. The Triune God was involved with the man Jesus. At a certain time, Christ, the second of the Trinity, was crucified, split, put to death.

Myrrh signifies the sweetness of the death of Christ, and cinnamon signifies the sweetness of the effectiveness of His death. The death of Christ is both sweet and effective. In this compound ointment we have not only divinity and humanity, but also the sweet death of Christ and the effectiveness of the death of Christ. This means that when we get this ointment, within it there is the effectiveness of Christ’s death. Calamus is a type of reed that rises high, even shoots high, into the air out of muddy ground. It surely indicates the power of Christ’s resurrection, for Christ resurrected from the mud of death into the heavenly air. He was the real calamus. Cassia signifies the flavor of the power of the Lord’s resurrection. According to some lexicons, in ancient times cassia was used not only as a spice, but also as a repellent to repel insects and snakes. Satan, the snake, is afraid of the resurrection of Christ.

(The Spirit and the Body, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)