394. Verse 4. And the smoke of the incense went with the prayers of the saints, out of the hand of the angel before God, signifies the protection of them by the Lord. By "the smoke of the incense went up before God" is signified what is accepted and grateful; wherefore the like is said by David:
Let my prayers be accepted before Thee as incense (Ps. 141:2).
The reason was, because the smoke of the incense was fragrant from the aromatics of which it was composed, which were stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense (Exodus 30:34); and the fragrance of those aromatics corresponds to such things as are of spiritual love or charity, and thence of faith; for in heaven most fragrant odors are sensibly perceived corresponding to the perceptions of the angels originating from their love. Therefore it is also said in many parts of the Word, that "Jehovah smelled an odor of rest." That protection by the Lord is signified, follows from what was said above (n. 393).