The information contained on this page
primarily relates to the Christian religion though the use of cannabis in
the worship of Shiva in Hindu tradition and the use of cannabis in jewish
mysticism is also very well known.
Most of the information
presented here was borrowed from other sites and collected in a document
for family. I did not save the original web links but I will include them
in the links section as I find them again.Articles
Calamus or Cannabis?
in Ancient Times
the old testament, god instructs Moses to create a special oil which s to
be used to anoint and make holy all the instruments and the things that
are used for burnt offering. The priests were to be anointed directly as
well. Prominent etymologists whose other work is not disputed have found
that the word Kaneh or ?sweet cane? has been falsely translated to Calamus
instead of Cannabis.
22Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
23Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure
myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two
hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred
and fifty shekels,
24And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of
the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin:
25And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an
ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy
26And thou shalt
anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the
27And the table and
all his vessels, and the candlestick and his vessels, and the altar of
28And the altar of
burnt offering with all his vessels, and the laver and his foot.
29And thou shalt
sanctify them, that they may be most holy: whatsoever toucheth them shall
30And thou shalt anoint Aaron and his sons, and
consecrate them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's
when god is angry with Israel for not serving him properly he specifically
mentions cannabis as one of the offerings that have gone
24Thou hast bought me
no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy
sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast
wearied me with thine iniquities.
cane and calamus have been used interchangeably in the King James
translation with both of them originating from the word
oil was also used to anoint kings because of their priestly position
before god. In the New Testament, Jesus anoints the heads of his disciples
and they also anoint all those whom they heal. This practice is very taboo
at the time because it is granting priesthood to the individual. A direct
connection between god and the individual is the symbolism it holds. It is
much like the abolishment of the Leviticus laws.
thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy
they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and
head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet
5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and
let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the
the holy oil was not used but another type was, it is
took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the
feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled
with the odour of the ointment.
is a member of the Valerian family with effects similar to cannabis
Relaxant; Anxiolytic; ) The
extract is called ?nard? and s seen in other bible passages
contains upwards of 75% Asarone. Asarone is a poison which has been shown
to cause cancer, and affect heart, kidney and liver functions. Why would
God specify a poison to be used in the Holy anointing
has shown to treat heart disease, liver disease, cancer, diabetes,
Alzheimer?s, osteoporosis and grows cells in the hippocampus: an area of
the brain that mitigates anxiety and depression.
you accept the Calamus translation for the Holy Oil, then you assume that
God specified in Exodus 30:23 a drug commonly known as Ecstasy. Aserone is
a hallucinogen which is metabolized in the liver as trimethoxyamphetamine
or ecstasy. It
was a common ingredient during the middle ages in European witches "flying
The Middle Eastern version of this plant is far more toxic than it's North
American Cousin. The most common effects of calamus are vomiting, intense
paranoia, stimulant effects and hallucinations or disconnectedness.
soon as ye entered, ye put off your tunic; and this was an image of
putting off the old man with his deeds. Having stripped yourselves, ye
were naked; in this also imitating Christ, who was stripped naked on the
cross. Then when ye were stripped, ye were anointed with exorcized oil,
from the hairs of your head unto your feet. Cyril of
30:23 specifies 250 shekels (6.3lbs) of Cannabis and other herbs be
extracted into 1 hin(1.5 gal) of olive oil. Because psychoactive
substances are easily extracted into fats, the potency of the calamus or
cannabis would be extremely extremely high. Even the smallest amounts
which are easily absorbed through the skin would produce profound effects
and any contact with mucus membranes of the nose, eyes and mouth would
allow large quantities of the active chemicals to enter the
cannabis induces brain-wave states that are indistinguishable from the
meditative or deep prayer state of mind.
was a very large amount of calamus or cannabis extract in the anointing
oil, and you must decide for yourself which one you believe it is. It
seems terribly wrong to believe that god wished to poison his followers
with an anxiety inducing toxin instead of blessing them with a potent
medicine that cures so many maladies and places one in a calm meditative
prayer-like state. In 5000 years of recorded history there has never been
one single death from cannabis overdose yet stimulant deaths and
ecstasy-related deaths abound.
See for yourself
what the Bible says. The WWW Bible Gateway has concordances for the King James, the American
Standard and four or five other translations. It's easy to do word or
And I will
raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed
with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
-- Ezekiel 34:29
"The Lord said unto me, 'I will take my rest and
I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.' " --
is the Word of God on the Cannabis plant?
The hemp plant (scientific name: cannabis,
slang: marijuana) is one of the many useful herbs "yielding seed after its
kind" created and blessed by God on the third day of creation, "and God
saw that it was good." (Genesis 1:12) He gave hemp for people to use with
our free will.
God said, "Behold, I have given you every
herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.?To you it will
be for meat." ? And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it
was very good. (Genesis 1:29-31) The Bible predicts some herb's
prohibition. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times,
some shall ? speak lies in hypocrisy ? commanding to abstain from meats
which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which
believe and know the truth. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-3)
The Bible speaks of a special plant. "I
will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more
consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen
any more." (Ezekiel 34:29) A healing plant. On either side of the river,
was there the tree of life, which bare 12 manner of fruits, and yielding
her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of
the nations. (Revelations 22:1-2) A gift from God.
How was cannabis
used in Biblical times and lands?
Cannabis was used 12 ways: clothing,
paper, cord, sails, fishnet, oil, sealant, incense, food, and in ceremony,
relaxation and medicine. For so the Lord said unto me, "I will take my
rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon
herbs. For afore harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is
ripening in the flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and
take away and cut down the branches." (Isaiah 18:4-5)
Hemp today has thousands of uses. Modern
technology has devised many new uses for the hemp plant; like biomass
energy, building materials, fuel, plastic and so on. Hemp is ecological
and its seed is among the best food crops on Earth. Selected varieties
produce flowers that provide an herbal relaxant and a spiritual tool. Its
herb is used globally as medicine.
Does the Bible
Alcohol is the only drug openly discussed
in the Bible, so it must serve as our reference. Wine is drunk during
religious occasions such as Passover &emdash; the Last Supper of Jesus
and His disciples. It remains a sacrament in modern church
Jesus began his public life by
miraculously turning water into wine at the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-10)
when the reception ran out. The Bible distinguishes between use and
misuse. It says, Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish and
wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. (Proverbs 31:6-7) but Woe unto
them that ? follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine
inflame them! (Isaiah 5:10)
Yet the simple joys of drinking were also
sung. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the
service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine
that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth.
Jesus speak about choice?
He said not to criticize other people for
their habits. "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; that
which cometh out of the mouth defileth a man." (Mat. 15:11) The apostle
Paul wrote, I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is
nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth anything to be
unclean, to him it is unclean. ? For the kingdom of God is not meat and
drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Paul:
Did He speak of
Jesus said to keep church and state apart.
"Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's and unto God
the things which be God's." (Luke 20:25) As we have seen, it was God, not
government, who gave man the herbs to use. And it was government that put
Jesus to death.
He warned us about seizure and forfeiture
laws. "Beware of the scribes which ?devour widows' houses?. The same shall
receive greater damnation." (Luke 20:46-47) Jesus, too, was a victim. The
soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments, and made four
parts, to every soldier a part. (John. 19:33)
What about the
Blessed are the peacemakers. (Matthew
It was God who created cannabis hemp and
told mankind to use "every green herb" on Earth. The Bible speaks of
mercy, healing and a persecution of God's children. They persecute me
wrongfully; help thou me. (Psalms 119:86) Prisons and drug wars do not
save souls. The Lord? hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to
proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them
that are bound. (Isaiah 61:1)
What should the
Teach God's truth. Warn your congregation
that the war on marijuana is unchristian and must be ended. My people are
destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I
will also reject you, that you will be no priest to Me ? for I desired
mercy and not sacrifice. (Hosea 4:6, 6:6)
Remember: Every creature of God is good,
and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving?. If thou
put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good
minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good
doctrine. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:4-6)
analysis of the foregoing discussion
What does the Bible say about marijuana?
The Bible says that God created hemp for people to use "as meat," (ie, to
consume), that its seed oil is to be used as an ointment, and that
cannabis is "to be received with thanks-giving of them which believe and
know the truth." Paul also warned that some people would "speak lies in
hypocrisy" and prohibit us from using it.
It also says that we "shall not bear false
witness" about people who use cannabis, nor judge them because that
judgement is reserved to the Lord. The Lord hates those who speak lies and
sow discord among brethern. For those people harrassed and imprisoned for
using cannabis rightfuly, Jesus offers these words of comfort, "Blessed
are those persecuted for righteousness's sake: For theirs is the Kingdom
What would Jesus
do regarding medical marijuana?
Despite common knowledge and widespread
scientific support, the federal government has for nearly 30 years kept
cannabis in schedule 1 as a deliberate way to deny patients access to
medical marijuana. This includes people suffering from asthma, cancer,
migraine headache, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, and
provides relief for many other conditions. As a result, people at various
locations across the USA have had to risk and suffer years in prison for
providing medical marijuana to patients as an act of compassion and
personal conscience. What would Jesus do? He chose to break the law in
order to heal the sick.
"At that time Jesus went on the sabbath
day through the corn, and his disciples were hungered, and began to pluck
the ears of corn, and to eat. 2) But when the Pharisees saw it, they said
unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the
sabbath day 3) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did,
when he was hungered, and they that were with him? ? 10) And, behold,
there was a man which had his hand withered, And they asked him, saying,
Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 11)
And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have
one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay
hold on it and lift it out? 12) How much then is a man better than a
sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. 13) Then
saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth;
and it was restored whole, like as the other. 14) Then the Pharisees went
out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him. 15) But
when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence, and great multitudes
followed him, and he healed them all; 16) And charged them that they
should not make him known." (Matthew 12: 1-2, 10-16) (also see Mark 3,
Luke 13, John 9)
give blind obedience to government?
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees,
which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2) Why do thy disciple transgress the
tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat
bread." 3) But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress
the commandment of God by your tradition? ? 7) Ye hypocrites! ? 12) Then
came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees
were offended, after they heard this saying? 13) But he answered and said,
Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted
up. 14) Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind, And if the
blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (Matthew 15:1-3, 7,
from the King James Bible that are relevant
to the legal and moral
status of Cannabis sativa, L.
And the earth brought forth grass and herb
yielding seed after its kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was
in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (Genesis
God said, "Behold, I have given you every
herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree
in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for
meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and
to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have
given every green herb for meat: and it was so." And God saw everything
that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the
morning were the sixth day. (Gen. 1:29-31)
(No prohibition of cannabis or any other
drug is made in the Ten Commandments: See Ex. 20:1-17)
(Cannabis is mentioned in Ex. 30:23 but
King James mistranslated it as 'sweet calamus') :
Moreover, the Lord
spake unto Moses, saying, 23 Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of
pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even
250 shekels, and of qaneh-bosm [cannabis] 250 shekels, 24 And of
cassia 500 shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an
hin: 25 And thou shalt make it an oil of holy anointment, an ointment
compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing
oil. 26 And thous shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation
therewith, and the ark of the testimony, 27 And the table and all his
vessels, and the candlestick ahd his vessels, and the altar of incense, 28
And the altar of burnt offerings with all his vessels, and the laver and
his foot. 29 And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy:
whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29)
* As one shekel equals approximately 16.37 grams,
this means that the THC from over 9 pounds of flowering cannabis tops were
extracted into a hind, about 6.5 litres of oil. The entheogenic effects of
such a solution -- even when applied topically -would undoubtedly have
He causeth the grass to grow for the
cattle and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out
of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make
his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)
The Lord said unto me, "I will take my
rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon
herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. For afore the
harvest, when the bud is perfect and the sour grape is ripening in the
flower, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and
cut down the branches. (Is. 18:4-5)
And I will raise up for them a plant of
renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land,
neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. (Ezekiel 34:29)
(Jesus:) "Not that which goeth into the
mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this
defileth a man." (Matt. 15:11)
One believeth that he may eat all things.
Another?eateth herbs. ? Let us not, therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to
fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus,
that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth
anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For the kingdom of God is
not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
(Epistle of St. Paul: Romans 14: 2,3,13,14,17)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in
the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to
seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy;
having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and
commanding to abstain from meats which God hath created to be received
with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every
creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with
thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou
put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good
minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good
doctrine, whereupon thou hast attained. (Paul: 1 Timothy 4:1-6)
And he showed me a pure river of
water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and
of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and
yielding her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the
healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)
THE HIDDEN STORY OF CANNABIS IN THE OLD
THEN GOD SAID,
I GIVE YOU EVERY
PLANT ON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE
EARTH, AND EVERY TREE
HAS FRUIT IN IT."
Those words seem
straightforward enough, and yet cannabis and most other psychoactive
medicine plants are outlawed in our society. Those who use these plant
gateways to other states of consciousness are jailed for doing so.
Ironically, the major
force for continuing this plant prohibition is a group referred to as the
Christian Right. They claim to believe in both the Bible and old Yahweh,
yet Yahweh's opinion on the matter is stated quite clearly in the above
This article shows how
the Old Testament Prophets were none other than ancient shamans, and that
cannabis and other entheogens played a very prominent role in ancient
THE ROOTS OF
The first solid
evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis was established in 1936 by Sula
Benet, a little known Polish etymologist from the Institute of
Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw (1).
The word cannabis was
generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a
much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and that it appears
several times throughout the Old Testament. Benet explained that "in the
original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp,
both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and
as an intoxicant (2)."
that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also rendered in
traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannabus. The root kan
in this construction means "reed" or "hemp", while bosm means
"aromatic". This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the
books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
The word kaneh-bosm
has been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with little
monetary value that does not have the qualities or value ascribed to
kaneh-bosm. The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the
Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was
repeated in the many translations that followed (3).
The first mention of
kaneh-bosm in the Old Testament appears with the prophet-shaman Moses. At
the beginning of his shamanic career, Moses discovered the angel of the
Lord in flames of fire from within a bush.
is later in his life however, that a definite reference to cannabis is
made. Sula Benet explains this reference as follows:
The sacred character
of hemp in biblical times is evident from Exodus 30:22-33, where Moses was
instructed by God to anoint the meeting tent and all its furnishings with
specially prepared oil, containing hemp.
set sacred things apart from secular. The anointment of sacred objects was
an ancient tradition in Israel: holy oil was not to be used for secular
all, the anointing oil was used for the installation rites of all Hebrew
kings and priests.
THEN THE LORD SAID TO MOSES, "TAKE THE
FOLLOWING FINE SPICES: 500 SHEKELS OF LIQUID MYRRH, HALF AS MUCH OF
FRAGRANT CINNAMON, 250 SHEKELS OF KANNABOSM, 500 SHEKELS OF CASSIA - ALL
ACCORDING TO THE SANCTUARY SHEKEL - AND A HIND OF OLIVE OIL. MAKE THESE
INTO MAKE THESE INTO A SACRED ANNOITING OIL, A FRAGRANT BLEND, THE WORK OF
A PERFUMER. IT WILL BE THE SACRED ANNOITING OIL.
USE IT TO ANOINT THE TENT OF THE MEETING, THE ARK OF THE TESTIMONY, THE
TABLE AND ALL ITS ARTICLES, THE LAMPSTAND AND ITS ACCESSORIES, THE ALTAR
OF INCENSE, THE ALTAR OF BURNT OFFERING AND ALL ITS UTENSILS, AND THE
BASIN WITH ITS STAND. YOU SHALL CONSECRATE THEM SO THEY WILL BE MOST HOLY,
AND WHATEVER TOUCHES THEM WILL BE HOLY.
AARON AND HIS SONS AND CONSECRATE THEM SO THEY MAY SERVE ME AS PREISTS.
SAY TO THE ISRAELITES, "THIS IS TO BE MY SACRED ANOINTING OIL FOR THE
GENERATIONS TO COME. DO NOT POUR IT ON MEN'S BODIES AND DO NOT MAKE ANY
OIL WITH THE SAME FORMULA. IT IS SACRED, AND YOU ARE TO CONSIDER IT
SACRED. WHOEVER MAKES PERFUME LIKE IT AND WHOEVER PUTS IT ON ANYONE OTHER
THAN A PREIST MUST BE CUT OFF FROM HIS PEOPLE."
THE PRIESTS OF
The above Old
testament passage makes the sacredness of this ointment quite clear. Moses
and the Levite priesthood jealously guarded its use, and enforced this
discriminatory prohibition with God's commandment that any transgressors
be 'cut off from his people'. This law amounted to a death sentence
in the ancient world.
SMOKE IN THE
Lacking the invention
of pipes, it was the practice of some ancient peoples to burn cannabis and
other herbs in tents, so that more smoke could be captured and inhaled. In
the last installment of this column we discussed such a group, the ancient
Scythians. The Scythians were a nomadic people who travelled and settled
extensively throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, Central Asia, and
Russia. They burned cannabis inside small tents and inhaled the fumes for
ritualistic and recreational purposes.
Moses and his priests
burned incense and used the holy ointment in a portable 'tent of meeting',
the famous Tent of the Tabernacle. As cannabis is listed directly
as an incense later in the Bible, it seems likely that Moses and the
Levite priesthood would have burned cannabis flowers and pollen along with
the ointment and incense which God commanded them to make.
AND AARON SHALL BURN INCENSE EVERY
MORNING: WHEN HE DRESSETH THE LAMPS, HE SHALL BURN INCENSE UPON IT. AND
WHEN AARON LIGHTETH THE LAMPS AT EVEN, HE SHALL BURN INCENSE UPON IT, A
PERPETUAL INCENSE BEFORE THE LORD THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS.
Given that the
Scythians and Israelites were involved in a trade of goods and knowledge,
it is not surprising to find the similar technique of using tents to
retain smoke. Benet commented on the often overlooked connections between
these two groups.
participated in both trade and wars alongside the ancient Semites for at
least one millennium before Herodotus encountered them in the fifth
century BC. The reason for the confusion and relative obscurity of the
role played by the Scythians in world history is the fact that they were
known to the Greeks as Scythians but to the Semites as
The earliest reference
to the Ashkenaz people appears in the Bible in Genesis 10:3, where
Ashkenaz, their progenitor, is named the son of Gomer, the great-grandson
The next Biblical
account of cannabis comes under the name kaneh and appears in
relation to King Solomon. In Solomon's Song of Songs, one of the
most beautifully written pieces in the Old Testament, Solomon mentions
kaneh in describing his bride.
COME WITH ME FROM LEBANON, MY BRIDE,
COME WITH ME FROM LEBANON. DESCEND FROM THE CREST OF AMANA, FROM THE TOP
OF SENIR, THE SUMMIT OF HERMON. . .
DELIGHTFUL IS YOUR LOVE, MY SISTER, MY BRIDE! HOW MUCH MORE PLEASING IS
YOUR LOVE THAN WINE, AND THE FRAGRANCE OF YOUR OINTMENT THAN ANY SPICE!. .
FRAGRANCE OF YOUR GARMENTS IS LIKE THAT OF LEBANON. . .
PLANTS ARE AN ORCHARD OF POMEGRANATES WITH CHOICE FRUITS, WITH HENNA AND
NARD, NARD AND SAFFRON, KANEH AND CINNAMON, WITH EVERY KIND OF INCENSE
SONG OF SONGS
The next direct
reference to kaneh-bosm appears in Isaiah, where God is reprim anding the
Israelites for, among other things, not supplying him with his due of the
YOU HAVE NOT BROUGHT ANY KANEH FOR ME,
OR LAVISHED ON ME THE FAT OF YOUR SACRIFICES. BUT YOU HAVE BURDENED ME
WITH YOUR SINS AND WEARIED ME WITH YOUR OFFENCES.
A HOUSEFUL OF
An excerpt from
earlier in Isaiah indicates that God's appetite had previously been
appeased, and "the house was filled with smoke..."
AND THE POSTS OF THE DOOR MOVED AT THE
VOICE OF HIM THAT CRIED, AND THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH SMOKE
SAID I, WOE IS ME, FOR I AM UNDONEL BECAUSE I AM A MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS,
AND I DWELL IN THE MIDST OF A PEOPLE OF UNCLEAN LIPS; FOR MINE EYES HAVE
SEEN THE KING, THE LORD OF HOSTS.
FLEW ONE OF THE SERAPHIMS UNTO ME, HAVING A LIVE COAL IN HIS HAND, WHICH
HE HAD TAKEN WITH THE TONGS FROM OFF THE ALTAR,
LAID IT UPON MY MOUTH AND SAID, LO, THIS HATH TOUCHED THY LIPS; AND THYNE
INIQUITY IS TAKEN AWAY, AND THY SIN PURGED.
DRINKING IN THE HOLY
Seraphim translates as
"smoke drinker," and those of us familiar with hashish know that it burns
in a similar way to both incense and coal. It isn't hard to imagine an
ancient shaman lifting a burning coal of hashish or pressed bud to the
lips of the ancient prophet Isaiah.
Marijuana in Ancient Times
The use of marijuana is as old as the history of
man and dates to the prehistoric period. Marijuana is closely connected
with the history and development of some of the oldest nations on earth.
It has played a significant role in the religions and cultures of Africa,
the Middle East, India, and China.
Richard E. Schultes, a prominent
researcher in the field of psychoactive plants, said in an article he
wrote entitled "Man and Marijuana:"
". . . that early man experimented with all plant
materials that he could chew and could not have avoided discovering the
properties of cannabis (marijuana), for in his quest for seeds and oil, he
certainly ate the sticky tops of the plant. Upon eating hemp the euphoric,
ecstatic and hallucinatory aspects may have introduced man to an
other-worldly plane from which emerged religious beliefs, perhaps even the
concept of deity. The plant became accepted as a special gift of the gods,
a sacred medium for communion with the spiritual world and as such it has
remained in some cultures to the present."
The effects of marijuana was proof to the ancients
that the spirit and power of the god(s) existed in this plant and that it
was literally a messenger (angel) or actually the Flesh and Blood and/or
Bread of the god(s) and was and continues to be a holy sacrament.
Considered to be sacred, marijuana has been used in religious worship from
before recorded history.
According to William A. Embolden in his
book Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L, p. 235:
"Shamanistic traditions of great antiquity in Asia
and the Near East has as one of their most important elements the attempt
to find God without a vale of tears; that cannabis played a role in this,
at least in some areas, is born out in the philology surrounding the
ritualistic use of the plant. Whereas Western religious traditions
generally stress sin, repentance, and mortification of the flesh, certain
older non-Western religious cults seem to have employed Cannabis as a
euphoriant, which allowed the participant a joyous path to the Ultimate;
hence such appellations as "heavenly guide."
According to Licit and Illicit
Drugs by the Consumer
Union, pages 397-398:
"Ashurbanipal lived about 650 B.C., but the
cuneiform descriptions of marijuana in his library "are generally regarded
as obvious copies of much older texts." Says Dr. Robert P. Walton, an
American physician and authority on marijuana, "This evidence serves to
project the origin of hashish back to the earliest beginnings of
The Use of Marijuana
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica:
". . . the ceremonial use of incense in
contemporary ritual is most likely a relic of the time when the
psychoactive properties of incense brought the ancient worshipper in touch
with supernatural forces."
In the temples of the ancient world, the main
sacrifice was the inhalation of incense. Incense is defined as the perfume
or smoke from spices and gums when burned in celebrating religious rites
or as an offering to a deity. Bronze and gold incense burners were cast
very early in history and their forms were often inspired by cosmological
themes representing the harmonious nature of the universe.
The following piece was taken from
Licit and Illicit Drugs, page 31:
"In the Judaic world, the vapors from burnt spices
and aromatic gums were considered part of the pleasurable act of worship.
In proverbs (27:9) it is said that 'Ointment and perfumes rejoice the
heart.' Perfumes were widely used in Egyptian worship. Stone altars have
been unearthed in Babylon and Palestine, which have been used for burning
incense made of aromatic wood and spices. While the casual readers today
may interpret such practices as mere satisfaction of the desire for
pleasant odors, this is almost certainly an error; in many or most cases,
a psychoactive drug was being inhaled. In the islands of the Mediterranean
2,500 years ago and in Africa hundreds of years ago, for example leaves
and flowers of a particular plant were often thrown upon bonfires and the
smoke inhaled; the plant was marijuana." (Edward Preble and Gabriel V.
Laurey, Plastic Cement: The Ten Cent Hallucinogen, International
Journal of the Addictions, 2 (Fall 2967): 271-272.
"The earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia brewed
intoxicating beer of barley more than 5,000 years ago; is it too much to
assume that even earlier cultures experienced euphoria, accidentally or
deliberately, through inhalation of the resinous smoke of Cannabis?"
(Ritual Use of Cannabis Sativa L, p. 216.)
"It is said that the Assyrians used hemp
(marijuana) as incense in the seventh or eighth century before Christ and
called it 'Qunubu', a term apparently borrowed from an old East Iranian
word 'Konaba', the same as the Scythian name 'cannabis'." (Plants of
the Gods - Origin of Hallucinogenic Use, by Richard E. Schultes and
"It is recorded that the Chinese Taoist recommended
the addition of cannabis to their incense burners in the 1st century as a
means of achieving immortality." (Marijuana, the First Twelve Thousand
Years, by Earnest Abel, page 5)
"There is a classic Greek term, cannabeizein, which
means to smoke cannabis. Cannabeizein frequently took the form of inhaling
vapors from an incense burner in which these resins were mixed with other
resins, such as myrrh, balsam, frankincense, and perfumes." (Ritual
Use of Cannabis Sativa L)
"Herodotus in the fifth century B.C. observed the
Scythians throwing hemp on heated stone to create smoke and observed them
inhaling this smoke. Although he does not identify them, Herodotus states
that when they "have parties and sit around a fire, they throw some of it
into the flames. As it burns, it smokes like incense, and the smell of it
makes them drunk, just as wine does us. As more fruit is thrown on, they
get more and more intoxicated until finally they jump up and start dancing
and singing." (Herodotus, Histories 1.202.)
the Semitic Origin of Cannabis
The name cannabis is generally thought to be of
Scythian origin. Sula Benet in Cannabis and Culture argues that
it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, occurring
several times in the Old Testament. He states that in Exodus 30:23 that
God commands Moses to make a holy anointing oil of myrrh, sweet cinnamon,
kaneh bosm, and kassia. He continues that the word kaneh bosm is also
rendered in the traditional Hebrew as kannabos or kannabus and that the
root "kan" in this construction means "reed" or "hemp," while "bosm" means
"aromatic." He states that in the earliest Greek translations of the old
testament "kan" was rendered as "reed," leading to such erroneous English
translations as "sweet calamus" (Exodus 30:23), sweet cane (Isaiah 43:24;
Jeremiah 6:20) and "calamus" (Ezekiel 27:19; Song of Songs 4:14). Benet
argues from the linguistic evidence that cannabis was known in Old
Testament times at least for its aromatic properties and that the word for
it passed from the Semitic language to the Scythians, i.e. the Ashkenaz of
the Old Testament.
Sara Benetowa of the Institute of
Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw is quoted in the Book of Grass
"The astonishing resemblance between the Semitic
'kanbos' and the Scythian 'cannabis' leads me to suppose that the Scythian
word was of Semitic origin. These etymological discussions run parallel to
arguments drawn from history. The Iranian Scythians were probably related
to the Medes, who were neighbors of the semites and could easily have
assimilated the word for hemp. The Semites could also have spread the word
during their migrations through Asia Minor.
"Taking into account the matriarchal element of
Semitic culture, one is led to believe that Asia Minor was the original
point of expansion for both the society based on the matriarchal circle
and the mass use of hashish."
The Ancient Israelites were a Semitic
people. Abraham, the father of the Israelite nation, came from Ur, a city
of Babylonia located in Mesopotamia. The Israelites migrated throughout
Asia Minor and could easily have spread the religious use of marijuana. We
find in the Talmud during 500 CE that the use of cannabis is common: The
Jews of Talmudic times were particularly concerned about certain precepts
which prohibited the mingling of heterogeneous substances, and on at least
one occasion the sages argued over whether hemp seeds could be sown in a
vineyard. The majority opinion was that such intermingling was
permissible, indicating that they recognized a certain similarity between
cannabis and the grape. This similarity could not have been due to the
appearance of the two plants and must have centered around the
intoxication produced by each.
A similar question likewise arose
concerning the purification of wicker mats which were placed over grapes
during wine pressing to keep them from scattering. The decision rendered
by the rabbis was that if the baskets were made of hemp they could be
used, provided they were thoroughly cleaned. However, if they were
made of some other material, the rabbis ruled that they could not be
employed in wine pressing until twelve months had elapsed since the time
they were last used. .
The Israelite Use of
It was said that Moses, at the direction of
Almighty God, first brought in the use of incense in public worship, and
that the other nations of antiquity copied the practice from him. It was
however a practice that began with Adam. The "Book of Jubilees," an
Apocryphal book, (the Apocrypha was considered canonical by the early
church and is to this day by the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church) states that
"on the day when Adam went forth from the Garden of Eden, he offered as a
sweet savour an offering of frankincense, galbanum, and stacte, and
spices, in the morning with the rising of the sun, from the day when he
covered his shame." And of Enoch we read that "he burnt the incense of the
sanctuary, even sweet spices, acceptable before the Lord, on the Mount."
Incense was assigned miraculous powers by
the Israelites. It was burned in golden bowls or cauldrons placed on or
beside the altar. It was also burned in hand-held censers. In the Blessing
of Moses, a poem belonging to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and written
about 760 B.C., the sacrificial smoke is offered to the God of Israel.
Let them teach Jacob thy judgments, and
Israel thy law; Let them offer sacrificial smoke to thy nostrils, and
whole burnt sacrifice upon thy altar.
Throughout the Bible the ancient
patriarchs were brought into communion with God through smoking incense
and at Mt. Sinai God talked to Moses out of a bush that burned with fire
(Exodus 3:1-12). After Moses brought the Israelite people out of Egypt he
returned to Mt. Sinai at which time God made a covenant with Moses in
which the Ten Commandments were revealed. Exodus 19:8 describes the
conditions at the time of this covenant.
Exodus 19:8 "And Mount Sinai was altogether on
smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof
ascended as smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
The Mysterious smoke mentioned in the covenant on
Mt. Sinai is also referred to as a cloud:
Exodus 24:15 "And Moses went up into the mount,
and a cloud covered the mount. 16 And the glory of the Lord abode upon
Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he
called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud."
Scriptures make it abundantly clear that the clouds
and the smoke are related to the burning of incense. Exodus 40:26
describes Moses burning incense, a cloud covering the tent of the
congregation and the glory of the Lord filling the tabernacle. Leviticus
16:2-13 describes how God appeared in a cloud and refers to it as the
clouds of incense. Numbers 16:17-19 describes how every man of the
congregation had a censer full of burning incense and that the glory of
the Lord appeared unto all the congregation. Isaiah 6:4 describes how
Ezekial saw God in a smoke-filled inner court. Numbers 11:25 describes how
God was revealed to Moses and the seventy elders in a cloud; that the
spirit rested upon them and that they prophesied and ceased not.
The Book of Grass by Andrew and
Vinkenoog includes a section on Ancient Scythia and Iran by Mircea Eliade,
one of the foremost experts on the history of religions. On pages 11 and
12 is the following:
"On one document appears to indicate the existence
of a Getic shamanism: It is Straho's account of the Myssian KAPNOBATAI, a
name that has been translated, by analogy with Aristophanes' AEROBATES, as
'those who walk in clouds'; but it should be translated as 'those who walk
in smoke'! Presumably the smoke is hemp smoke, a rudimentary means of
ecstasy known to both the Tracians and the Scythians . . . ."
This passage should be carefully noted. Biblical
passages make it abundantly clear that the ancient Israelites also walked
in clouds and in smoke. In fact it was in the clouds of smoke that God was
revealed to the ancient Israelites. The words "smoke" and "smoking" appear
fifty times in the King James Version of the Bible and two separate times
the Bible says of the Lord, "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils."
II Samuel 22:9, Psalms 18:8.
There are numerous other places in the
Bible that mention the burning of incense, the mysterious cloud, and
smoke. This common thread is found throughout the Bible, including the New
St. Matthew 24:30 "And then shall appear the
sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the
Earth morn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of
heaven, with power and great glory."
Revelations 1:7 "Behold, he cometh with clouds;
and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all the
kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
Revelations 8:3 "And another angel came and
stood at the altar, having a golden censer: and there was given unto him
much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon
the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the
incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God
out of the Angel's hand."
Revelations 15:8 "And the temple was filled
with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power."