Myrrh - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Noun,G4666, smurna ]
whence the name Smyrna," a word of Semitic origin, Heb., mor, from a root meaning "bitter," is a gum resin from a shrubby tree, which grows in Yemen and neighboring regions of Africa; the fruit is smooth and somewhat larger than a pea. The color of myrrh varies from pale reddish-yellow to reddish-brown or red. The taste is bitter, and the substance astringent, acting as an antiseptic and a stimulant. It was used as a perfume, Psalms 45:8, where the language is symbolic of the graces of the Messiah; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Songs 1:13; Song of Songs 5:5; it was one of the ingredients of the "holy anointing oil" for the priests, Exodus 30:23 (RV, "flowing myrrh"); it was used also for the purification of women, Esther 2:12; for embalming, John 19:39; as an anodyne See B); it was one of the gifts of the Magi, Matthew 2:11.

[ B-1,Verb,G4669, smurnizo ]
is used transitively in the NT, with the meaning "to mingle or drug with myrrh," Mark 15:23; the mixture was doubtless offered to deaden the pain (Matthew's word "gall" suggests that "myrrh" was not the only ingredient). Christ refused to partake of any such means of alleviation; He would retain all His mental power for the complete fulfillment of the Father's will.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words