Myrrh: Heb. mor.
1. First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing
(Exodus 30:23) It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise
men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus
It was used in embalming
(John 19:39) also as a perfume
(Esther 2:12; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17) It was a custom of the Jews to give
those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled
with myrrh" to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was
probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman
soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not"
This was the gum or viscid white liquid which flows from a tree
resembling the acacia, found in Africa and Arabia, the
Balsamodendron myrrha of botanists. The "bundle of myrrh" in
(The Song of Solomon 1:13) is rather a "bag" of myrrh or a scent-bag.
2. Another word lot is also translated "myrrh"
(Genesis 37:25; 43:11)
R.V., marg., "or ladanum". What was meant by this word is
uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich,
stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is
probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the
Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or
rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight
degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called
laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.