Calamus is the 3rd ingredient mentioned to be placed in the anointing oil of the priests and furniture in the Tabernacle. Calamus is a sweet cane or reed and in Hebrew is the word “qaw-neh“. It means to stand upright or erect.
Calamus , a chief spice in Song of Songs 4:14, was used in incense and perfumes as aromatic. It also aids digestion, relaxes muscles, reduces inflammation and supports the respiratory system, even cleaning our kidneys, for it is rich in ‘phenylpropanoids’ too!
However, we shall see calamus is not only a spice and holistic aid. We shall see how the calamus or cane reed comes to represent Elohim‘s uprightness and righteousness in this world of sin. The “bruised reed” of Isaiah 53 is raised to forgive sin [John/Yochanan 8:11] and reign as the Sovereign [18:33-37]! We bruised reeds, will be able to stand erect before the Throne through this ‘bruised reed’, Yeshua!
And take for yourself choice spices… [myrrh, cinnamon]… and 250 [shekels, about 6 1/4 pounds] of sweet-smelling cane…[Exodus 30:23]…
Calamus or cane was an important ingredient but half as much as the myrrh! [see note, The Myrrh, Miryam & Yeshua Connection] Calamus which grows in the wetlands, symbolizes the immersion in the purification rites, and the immersion of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as done by Yochanan in the desert.[Isaiah 40:3, Mark 1:2-5]
” And all the country of Yahudah, and those of Yerushalayim, went out to him and were all immersed by him in the Yarden River, confessing their sins. [v.5]
Compare “all immersed” to this in Exodus
18 But Elohim led the people around, through the way of the wilderness of the Sea of Reeds: & the children of Yisrael went up armed out of the land of Mitzrayim. [Exodus 13]
Moshe lifted up his rod, stretched his hand over the Sea of Reeds, and Yahweh caused a strong east wind all that night to divide the waters [Exodus 14:21]. Out of the darkness, the Branch~Yeshua, and the Spirit hover over the waters, [Genesis 1:2], followed by the immersion and cleansing of the Israelites.
- YaHWeH is sovereign and things happen as He speaks! The children of Yisrael are let go from Egypt & slavery, but not to the Gaza strip , land of the giant Philistines! [And Gaza was only 11 miles from Goshen!] YaHWeh knew best: “Lest the people regret…”YHWH leads them around, “through the Way of the wilderness of the Sea of Reeds.
- Why the Sea of Reeds, known also as the Red Sea?
- Elohim led the people away from the enemy
- Elohim led the people through the WAY of wilderness DESERT DRY so they would have to depend on Him for all
- Elohim led the people through the Sea of Reeds or Red Sea
- Reed is qaw-neh in Hebrew : a shaft, rod, tube, stem; radius of an arm, a branch!
- Reed is from qaw-naw : to erect, create, purchase or redeem!
- Cana [ Qanah in Hebrew] was the 1st site in Galilee of a miracle by Yeshua! “On the 3rd day there was a wedding in Qanah [ reediness, full of reeds!] of Galil…[John/Yochanan 2: 1-10]”, turning the cleansing waters used in purification rites, into new wine, ‘good wine’, the best saved for last!
- People are like the reeds, a shaft or tube needing to be filled with the Spirit, erected by a new life in Yeshua! Reediness implies people waiting to be forgiven, washed with cleansing water and filled with His Spirit, the new wine, redeemed, now erect in Him!
- The sea is symbolic of people or unsaved people, reeds, needing to be redeemed & washed in the baptism of the Spirit, and filled!
- People are redeemed through the blood , of Yeshua! A “Red Sea” of people saved by the mighty Hand of YaHWeH!
- The ‘children’ of Yisrael went up after the cleansing; a washing regeneration in the blood, the Red Sea, the people become the children of YHWH! Now they are armed with the Mighty Right Arm of YHWH, who leads them to victory!
- Egypt was a staff of a broken reed to the House of Yisra’el , says Yahweh, in Ezekiel 29: 6-7, “…when they grasped you…you broke and tore their shoulders. When they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins [area of power] shake.”
- A reed is also a measuring rod, as used in Ezekiel’s visions of Elohim, chapters 40 through 42 , to measure the wall and the House of the city, eventually to measure us against the plumb-line [ Amos 7:7-8] :
So He [Elohim] brought me there, and look, a Man whose appearance was like the appearance of bronze, and a line of flax and a measuring qaneh [reed] in His hand, and He stood in the gateway. [Ezekiel 40:3]
- 1 Kings 14:15 ” For YHWH shall smite Yisrael, as a reed shaken in the mayim [waters]…”. quoted in Matthew 11:7 & Luke 7:24, ” A reed shaken with the wind…”!
- Isaiah 36: 6 [ also see 2 Kings 18:21] ” See, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; which is a man leans on , it will go into his hand, and pierce it…”. A reed was placed in Yeshua’s right hand [Matthew 27:29], “they took the reed and struck Him on the head” with it [v. 30]! It was also on a reed that a vinegar soaked sponge was placed and given to Him to drink when He was thirsty[v. 48]!
- Isaiah 42:3 [Quoted in Matthew 12:20] ” A bruised reed shall He not break…”. Messiah would bring justice through gentleness! Are we not all bruised reeds in life waiting to be erected , made new: behold, He makes new creatures, all things new!
This is what He showed me, and see Yahweh stood on a wall made with a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in His hand, and Yahweh said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, ” A plumb-line!” And Yahweh said, “See, I am putting a plumb-line in the midst of My people Yisra’el, no longer do I pardon them. [Amos 7:7-8]
- We must receive Yeshua as LORD & repent for remission of sins. No longer will Yahweh pardon us. According to the plumb-line, in the midst of His people Yisra’el, we are measured now. Yeshua is the Plumb-line ! Yahweh will never again overlook our offenses. The high places will be made desolate, the sanctuaries of abomination will be destroyed; He will right wrong and end evil. [Amos 7:9]
The first miracle of Yeshua was done among the sea of reeds similar to the first miracle of Yahweh after the exodus: changing the waters to cleanse, purify, and turn us , and fill us with new wine, as prophesied by Yo’el [2:19]!
May we remember the 3rd spice, calamus , the reed or cane, and the Righteous One who came to this world of sin to cleanse us from our iniquity and make us right with Him. May we all enter into a right relationship with our Maker and Redeemer, the Holy One of Yisra’el!