What Does The Bible Say About Beeswax Candles?

Beeswax candles are referenced numerous times throughout the Bible, both literally and symbolically. They were an important source of light and were used in worship ceremonies in biblical times. The Bible contains rich symbolism related to bees and beeswax, representing Christ, Christian virtues, and the light of the Gospel. Understanding the meaning behind these candles in the scriptures gives insight into their continued significance for Christians today.

This article will provide an overview of how beeswax candles are referenced in the Bible. We’ll explore their practical uses as well as the important symbolic meanings attached to them. Examining relevant passages and analysis will shed light on why beeswax candles remain popular within Christianity.

Bees in the Bible

Bees and honey are referenced numerous times throughout both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. Here are some of the key passages that mention bees:

In the Old Testament, bees and honey are seen as symbols of abundance and blessing. Deuteronomy 1:44 says, “The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees and beat you down from Seir all the way to Hormah.” This passage uses the metaphor of a swarm of bees to represent the onslaught of the Amorites against the Israelites.

Psalm 19:10 declares, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” The psalmist compares the sweetness of God’s Word to the sweetness of honey. Similarly, Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

In the New Testament, John the Baptist lived on “locusts and wild honey” (Matthew 3:4). This passage paints John as an ascetic living in the wilderness, sustained by whatever food he could find, including wild honey produced by bees.

Overall, bees represent industry, wisdom, order, and abundance in the Bible. Their honey is seen as one of God’s blessed provisions for His people.

Symbolism of Beeswax

In the Bible, beeswax carries deep symbolic meaning related to purity, light, and sweetness. Beeswax candles have traditionally been used in worship settings to represent the purity and light of Christ (Source). The wax produced by bees from flower nectar is considered pure and natural, untouched by humans. When beeswax candles are lit, they produce a bright flame and emit a sweet, honey-like aroma. This represents the sweetness and light that Christ brings into the world (Source). The purity and clarity of beeswax is symbolic of a life centered on God’s truth and illumination. Just as beeswax candles spread light through the darkness, Christ shines as a beacon of hope to guide our lives.

Use of Candles in Worship

beeswax candle lit next to an open bible, representing the light and sweetness of christ

Candles have long been used in worship services and religious ceremonies. In the Old Testament, God commanded the Israelites to keep the lamps in the tabernacle continuously lit (Exodus 27:20-21). The lampstand in the tabernacle contained seven candles representing the seven spirits of God (Exodus 25:31-40). Keeping these lamps lit was an act of obedience and reverence.

Candles were also lit in the temple on the Sabbath day. The priests would light the seven-branched menorah each week as a sacred ritual (Exodus 31:13). The menorah served as a symbol of God’s presence shining light into the darkness. Lighting candles for the Sabbath was an offering to God and a reminder for the Israelites to keep the day holy.

In modern Jewish practice, candles are still lit on Friday evenings to usher in the Sabbath day. The woman of the home typically lights two candles representing the two commandments to ‘remember’ and ‘observe’ the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8). These candles remain lit for the 25 hours from before sunset on Friday until after sunset on Saturday.

Catholic and Orthodox churches also make use of candles in their worship services. Candles symbolize Christ as the Light of the World and represent His presence on the altar and among the congregation (John 1:4-9). The candles are often made from pure beeswax which has traditionally been seen as the ideal candle for sacred purposes.

(Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+27%3A20-21&version=ESV)

Parable of the Lost Coin

In the Parable of the Lost Coin found in Luke 15:8-10, Jesus tells the story of a woman who lights a lamp/candle in order to help her find a lost silver coin in her home. The woman had ten silver coins but lost one of them. She then lit a lamp to provide light so she could thoroughly sweep the house and search carefully until she found the lost coin.

In this parable, the lighting of the lamp represents the effort made by the woman to find what was lost. Just as the lamp illuminates what is hidden in darkness, the gospel of Christ brings enlightenment and reveals what is obscured by sin.

The diligent search conducted by the woman also symbolizes the pursuit of lost souls by Jesus. As the woman rejoices when she finds the lost coin, there is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.

Candles Represent Christ

Christ is often referred to as the “light of the world” in the Bible. This refers to Jesus bringing spiritual illumination to those living in darkness and ignorance. Several key verses describe Christ as the light:

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, Biblelyfe)

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14-15, CGG)

When lit, candles give off light that pushes back darkness. In the same way, Christ through his life, death, and resurrection overcame the darkness of sin, death, and ignorance. Lighting a candle can symbolize asking Christ, the light of the world, to illuminate our lives and show us the way forward.

Prayer candles are often used by Christians to represent their prayers rising to heaven. The lit flame represents Christ listening to and receiving their petitions. The candle burning down symbolizes the prayer being offered until fully complete. Christ invites all believers to come to him in prayer, trusting in his light and guidance.

Prayer Candles

The use of candles in prayer has a long history in the Christian tradition. Lighting votive or devotional candles is a common practice to accompany prayer, meditation, or religious ceremonies. The flickering flame of a candle can help focus attention and symbolize the prayer rising to heaven.

Though not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, using candles in prayer can be an aid to worship and does not contradict Scripture. The candles simply serve as a focal point for praying and do not hold any supernatural power in themselves [1]. Some believers find lighting a candle makes their prayers more intentional, calms the mind, or creates a peaceful atmosphere conducive to communion with God.

At the same time, candles should never become the object of worship or veneration. Christians worship God alone and do not pray to candles or imbue them with divine attributes. Candles are simply a traditional tool to accompany heartfelt prayer.

Beeswax vs Other Candles

Beeswax candles have been favored in worship settings for centuries due to the perception of beeswax as a natural, pure substance. Beeswax is secreted by honeybees and formed into honeycomb. It is composed of a complex mixture of over 300 chemical compounds, predominantly esters, hydrocarbons, and fatty acids.

In contrast, most commercial candles today are made from paraffin wax, a petroleum byproduct. Paraffin is a less expensive alternative to natural waxes like beeswax. However, paraffin wax releases compounds like toluene and benzene when burned, which may be toxic. Beeswax, on the other hand, burns cleanly.

The Catholic Church has traditionally required chrism candles to contain at least 65% beeswax. The purity of beeswax candles used in worship settings reinforces spiritual symbolism.

Making Beeswax Candles

Making beeswax candles at home is a satisfying DIY project. The basic steps are:

1. Gather the necessary supplies – beeswax, wick, molds or jars, double boiler or melting pot, thermometer, pouring pot. According to this tutorial, you’ll need 1 pound of beeswax, candle wicks, and 8 ounce jelly jars or tins.

2. Prepare the beeswax by cutting or breaking it into small chunks. This helps it melt faster.

3. Melt the beeswax using a double boiler or melting pot on low heat. The melting point is around 147°F. Avoid overheating.

4. Prepare the wicks by threading them through the molds or jars, leaving a few inches hanging out on top.

5. Once melted, carefully pour the wax into the molds or jars with wicks. Leave some room at the top for the wick.

6. Straighten the wicks as the wax cools and hardens. Trim the wick to 1/4 inch.

7. Allow the candles to cure for 1-2 days before burning. Curing helps the wax finish contracting and the candles burn slower and smoother.

Making beeswax candles requires some equipment, but the end result is well worth the effort. The scent and ambiance of beeswax candles is unparalleled.


Although bees and beeswax candles are not directly discussed in the Bible, they hold deep symbolic meaning for believers. The bee’s honey and wax point to God’s sweet providence and Christ as the light of the world. Throughout Scripture, candles represent prayer, worship, and the light of Christ shining in the darkness. Beeswax candles, made by God’s productive creatures, have been used in churches for centuries during Mass, vespers, and other services. When lit, these natural candles connect us to the past and fill sanctuaries with sweet fragrance as prayers rise to heaven. In this way, the biblical meaning of beeswax candles encompasses illumination, devotion, and the sweet savor of praise to God.

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