Confectionaries Confection(aries)

Y O U N G   P E O P L E ' S   D I C T I O N A R Y   O F   S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S   T E R M S



The word confection means to “put together from a variety of material”. To Confect
something refers to many different processes—from making medicine to baking
bread to inventing a machine. Today, however, we usually think of a confectioner as
one who creates all kinds good things to eat—normally calling them bakers or candy
makers
. One of the main ingredients used in making pastries and candy is called
confectioner’s sugar—a sugar we commonly know as powdered sugar.

The Bible uses the term confection and confectionary in a different way. In Exodus
30:35 we learn that the incense (perfume) that was to be used in the tabernacle and
by the priests when they performed sacrifices and services for Jehovah, was called a
confection. “. . . thou shalt make it a perfume, a confection after the art of the apoth-
ecary, tempered together, pure [and] holy
:” An apothecary is a person (now called a
pharmacist) who uses various substances to create healing medications.

In Moses’ time, the skills of the apothecary were to be used to mix various fragrant
materials together to create the holy incense use by the Children of Israel in wor-
shipping Jehovah. This special incense was only for Jehovah—none in Israel were to
make it for their own personal use: “And [as for] the perfume which thou shalt
make, ye shall not make to yourselves according to the composition thereof: it shall
be unto thee holy for the LORD.
” (Ex 30:37)

The work performed by these confectioners was a very important, highly skilled
craft, often done by women. The prophet and priest Samuel solemnly warned the
rebellious Israelites—who were demanding a king to lead them—that such a king
would take away their sons and daughters to use for his own selfish purposes. “And
he will take your daughters [to be] confectionaries, and [to be] cooks, and [to be]
bakers
.” (1Sam. 8:13) In the JND translation, the word used here for confectionaries
is perfumers.