FRANKINCENSE: An aromatic substance made of the resin secured from the bark of different trees, particularly Boswellia serrata. The Hebrew term is lebhonah, and the Arabic cognate is luban; the term frankincense means "free (-burning) incense." The gum is a product of South Arabia and was known to commerce as early at least as the seventeenth century B.C.; it was never cultivated in Palestine, and the word for the so-called dark frankincense from Lebanon is usually translated by the word "myrrh." The trade in frankincense was important; there was a deity whose significance was due to his function as a protector of the industry and the growth of the material; it is believed that the name Ethiopia comes from the word meaning "collector of frankincense." The gathering of the raw material was associated with peculiar customs, the product being regarded as the blood of a tree the soul of which was a divinity. The best kind was that known as masculine frankincense (Pliny, Hist. nat., xii. 32). The substance became an article of luxury; wine was spiced with it, it figured in the presents to kings (cf. Matt. ii. 11), and it was burned at their burial (II Chron. xvi. 14, xxi. 19; Jer. xxxiv. 5). It was indispensable at heathen worship (II Kings xxiii. 5; Isa. lxv. 3; Jer. xliv. 17 sqq.). For its employment among the Hebrews see INCENSE.