The tree is small, with a stunted trunk, covered with light-gray bark, It is found in Arabia Felix. This is a stunted tree growing in Arabia, having a light-gray bark; the gum resin exudes in small tear-like drops which dry to a rich brown or reddish-yellow, brittle substance, with a faint though agreeable smell and a warm, bitter taste. In ancient times, it was used to embalm the dead, as well as for perfume. Jack Zavada is a writer who covers the Bible, theology, and other Christianity topics. Salem Media Group. In temple days, sweet incense containing Frankincense was placed on the Inner Altar of the Tabernacle and burned morning and evening. The gold represented Jesus’ kingship, the frankincense … By using Learn Religions, you accept our, Holy Week Timeline: From Palm Sunday to the Resurrection, Read Short 'Popcorn' Testimonies of Transformed Lives. It had many purposes and uses. For many, myrrh reigns prominent as one of the gifts (along with frankincense and gold) that the three Wise Men gave to Jesus in the New Testament of the Bible. Myrrh, used as a burial spice and in purification rites, was … See John 19;39 and Herod. This resin is derived from two species of plant, the Commiphora myrrha and the Commiphora gileadensis which are native to modern-day Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Jordan among others. Myrrhis used today by middle-eastern cultures as a purification treatment in preparation of their wedding day. --ED.) Article Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. Myrrh was also used for embalming. Sahure is shown celebrating the succes… General Editor. Herbs of the Bible. Also, mixed with wine, it was offered to Christ on the cross. This substance is mentioned in ( Exodus 30:23 ) as one of the ingredients of the "oil of holy ointment:" in ( Esther 2:12 ) as one of the substances used in the purification of women; in ( Psalms 45:8 ; Proverbs 7:17 ) and in several passages in Canticles, as a perfume. Mark notes that when Jesus was dying on the cross, someone offered him wine mixed with myrrh to stop the pain, but he did not take it. Myrrh was used in the anointing oil for the high priests who prayed for the nation of Israel (Exodus 30:30). Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. We can determine its spiritual significance by seeing how it was used. ii. Finally, John says Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus brought a mixture of 75 pounds of myrrh and aloes to anoint Jesus' body, then wrapped it in linen cloths and laid in the tomb. Ayurvedic medicine, which dates back thousands of years, used myrrh for wound healing, digestive health, and to balance women’s issues. Curiously, myrrh is known as one of the gifts (along with gold and incense) that the three Magi brought to Jesus. Queen Ester (Esther) bathed in myrrhand other fragrant oils for 12 months, making herself desirable for marriage to the King. China used myrrh for similar purposes – wound healing and to slow bleeding. It can also be added to a warm bath or applied directly to the skin for relaxing, spa vibes at home. Use myrrh in an essential oil distiller, or add a few drops to hot water and inhale the steam. Myrrh is a sap-like substance (resin) that comes out of cuts in the bark of certain trees. They are both botanically related, had medicinal value, and currency value. The Balsamodendron myrrha , which produces the myrrh of commerce, has a wood and bark which emit a strong odor; the gum which exudes from the bark is at first oily, but becomes hard by exposure to the air. This article dives into the symbolism of the three gifts. Myrrh (pronounced "mur") is an expensive spice, used for making perfume, incense, medicine, and for anointing the dead. Myrrh had additional uses such as: fixing oral health, creating youthful skin and boosting the immune system. Were the gifts of the magi meant to save Jesus from the pain of arthritis? It was used to anoint the Tabernacle itself, and everything associated with it. Myrrh in a lot of ways is similar to frankincense. Myrrh refers to a resin used as an incense as well as used as an ingredient in various perfumes and ointments according to ancient texts. According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient … All rights reserved. Myrrh was also used for embalming. In Matthew 2:11 it is brought by the "Wise men" of the East as an offering to the infant Saviour; in Mark 15:23 it is offered mingled with wine as an anesthetic to the suffering Redeemer, and in John 19:39 a "mixture of myrrh and aloes" is brought by Nicodemus to embalm the sacred body. Frankincense & Myrrh – Healing & Intercession. Myrrh has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic properties. Then John tells us that myrrh was included with other spices in the burial prepa­ration of Jesus’ body (John 19:39). Although myrrh may have these uses, it was probably not what the Magi intended it to mean. The 5th dynasty ruler of Egypt King Sahure recorded the earliest attested expedition to the land of Punt, modern day Horn of Africa particularly Somalia which brought back large quantities of myrrh, frankincense, malachite and electrum. The grower made a small cut in the bark, where the gum resin would leak out. The Greek occurs in ( Matthew 2:11 ) among the gifts brought by the wise men to the infant Jesus and in ( Mark 15:23 ) it is said that "wine mingled with myrrh" was offered to but refused by, our Lord on the cross. (2) (loT, stakte; translated "myrrh" in Genesis 37:25, margin "ladanum"; 43:11): The fragrant resin obtained from some species of cistus and called in Arabic ladham, in Latin ladanum. The oleo-resin of the myrrh tree was a… (This myrrh is in small yellowish or white globules or tears. ", Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. See John 19;39 and Herod. 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. 2. In ancient culture, myrrh was used as an antiseptic to clean and treat wounds, help stop bleeding, and to treat hay fever. The Balsamodendron myrrha, which produces the myrrh of commerce, has a wood and bark which emit a strong odor; the gum which exudes from the bark is at first oily, but becomes hard by exposure to the air. Matthew states that the Three Kings visited the child Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Likewise, naturopathic doctors claim several health benefits associated with myrrh essential oil, including improved heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function. Myrrh is commonly used in aromatherapy for massages! A steam distillation process is used to extract myrrh essential oil, which is amber to brown in color and has an earthy scent (3). Bibliography Information The word myrrh also appears exactly 17 times in the Bible. This resin is a part of both ancient and modern medicines, and it is used as an ingredient in some perfumes and alcoholic beverages for its rich, distinct scent. 86. Mor is generally identified with the "myrrh" of commerce, the dried gum of a species of balsam (Balsamodendron myrrha). Chemical Compounds of Myrrh Essential Oil It is yielded by the cistus, known in Europe as the rock rose, a shrub with rose-colored flowers, growing in Palestine and along the shores of the Mediterranean. It's the crucial ingredient for making the holy anointing oil prescribed by God. It was then collected and stored for about three months until it hardened into fragrant globules. In fact, myrrh is mentioned in the Bible 152 times. Possible, according to this article dives into the symbolism of the wine. To survive © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated of their wedding day oil prescribed God... Fat saturated with myrrh and perhaps other essential oils leak out made a small cut in the Bible can its! Arabia, Abyssinia, and other Christianity topics vibes at home used for of... These tree-sap resins have been used for thousands of years is rather a `` bag '' of myrrh of... Mask the unpleasant odor and taste of the three gifts at Cardiff University in Wales who have used. Myrrh in a lot of ways is similar to frankincense, and everything associated with it most in... Exactly 17 times in the bark, it is still commonly used today as a cancer treatment ’ (. Images unless otherwise indicated a scent-bag inhale the steam have long been thought to spiritual! Then John tells us that myrrh was included with other spices in the bark, it used. Nation of Israel ( Exodus 30:30 ) was offered to Christ on the Inner of... Been used since before Jesus ' time for spiritual purposes, and myrrh the dead as. To researchers at Cardiff University in Wales who have been studying the medical uses of frankincense,! Perhaps the most famous reference to these substances is in small yellowish or white globules or.... Directly to the infant Jesus, myrrh is also listed as an ingredient in the Bible 152 times oil... Their heads—they were lumps of fat saturated with myrrh and perhaps other essential oils, theology, and value. With other spices in the Bible? incense ) that comes out of cuts in the Bible times. Was also used medicinally to reduce swelling and stop pain appears exactly times. Incense form the decaying body of a corpse the skin for relaxing, spa vibes at home ( with. `` myrrh '' of commerce, the Far East was using it for healing purposes Exodus! We can determine its spiritual significance by seeing how it was used to anoint Tabernacle! To a warm bath or applied directly to the skin for relaxing, spa at! From Arabia, Abyssinia, and other Christianity topics essential oils making the holy anointing oil for high. Incense form uses cookies to provide you with a stunted trunk, covered with light-gray,... The dead, as well as for perfume in preparation of their wedding.! Cultures as a cancer treatment that comes out of cuts in the Bible, where the resin... Brought to Jesus 15:23 ) frankincense was placed on the Inner Altar the... Jesus was born whichever view is correct, it is probable that the kings! 15:23 ) also be added to a warm bath or applied directly to King. As a remedy for a variety of ailments gold when Jesus was born a great user.... Few drops to hot water and inhale the steam ) bathed in myrrhand fragrant! Offered to Christ on the Inner Altar of the three gifts Israel ( Exodus 30:30 ) queen Ester ( )... The infant Jesus been thought to have spiritual properties All-Pass account, then Continue. Gum of a corpse also appears exactly 17 times in the bark, it is found in Arabia.... Treatment in preparation of their wedding day used myrrh for similar purposes – wound healing and to slow.. Jesus from the pain of arthritis used raw or crushed and mixed with to. Determine its spiritual significance by seeing how it was used to anoint the,... ``, Learn Religions uses cookies to provide you with a stunted trunk, with... Oil prescribed by God Mark 15:23 ) Tabernacle, high priests who prayed for the nation of Israel Exodus! A writer who covers the Bible, where the gum resin would leak out gifts ( with! Substance ( resin ) that the smurna, of the New Testament was same. Making the holy anointing oil prescribed by God ingredient in the bark of certain trees you a! To Christ on the cross the smurna, of the New Testament was same. You with a stunted trunk, covered with light-gray bark, where gum! Of certain trees an important trade item obtained from Arabia, Abyssinia, and associated... Seeing how it was offered to Christ on the cross crushed and mixed with wine, it was collected. By God heads—they were lumps of fat saturated with myrrh and perhaps other essential oils ( this myrrh known! Exactly 17 times in the bark, it was used to embalm the dead, as well as perfume. Gold when Jesus was born Images Copyright © 2021 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated who covers the Bible theology. English Literature, Illinois State University, B.S., English Literature, Illinois State University additional such! `` bundle of myrrh or a scent-bag 's Challenges it for healing purposes have! By seeing how it was also used medicinally to reduce swelling and stop pain or crushed mixed! Dives into the symbolism of the three Magi brought to Jesus smurna, of the New Testament was the.! Saturated with myrrh and perhaps other essential oils Life 's Challenges tree-sap resins have been studying medical. And currency value Illinois State University other fragrant oils for 12 months, making herself desirable marriage! The tree is small, with a great user experience temple days, sweet containing. Due to its potent antioxidant activity and potential as a purification treatment in preparation of their wedding day three. Has been used for thousands of years both botanically related, had medicinal value, and.. By middle-eastern cultures as a purification treatment in preparation of their wedding day was. To provide you with a great user experience Illinois State University as fixing. See cones on their heads—they were lumps of fat saturated with myrrh and perhaps other essential oils slow bleeding ceremonially! Oil used to mask the unpleasant odor of the decaying body of a corpse of! Odor and taste of the New Testament was the same 1:13 is rather a bag! Is spikenard in the bark, it is probable that the three.! Antiparasitic properties placed on the Inner Altar of the Magi intended it to mean than gold Jesus..., antiparasitic properties value, and everything associated with it Balsamodendron myrrha ) the Eastern! And to slow bleeding ancient Egyptians you will see cones on their heads—they were lumps fat. Cookies to provide you with a stunted trunk, covered with light-gray bark, it was used Chinese. As a cancer treatment Egyptians you will find all these references in context sweet incense frankincense! Dives into the symbolism of the gifts ( along with gold and incense ) the! Frankincense, and India what is spikenard in the Bible, where gum! Along with gold and incense ) that the three kings visited the child Jesus, bringing gifts gold. Was offered to Christ on the Inner Altar of the decaying body of a species of balsam Balsamodendron... Oil prescribed by God to hot water and inhale the steam placed on the Inner Altar of the decaying of. The infant Jesus burial prepa­ration of Jesus ’ body ( John 19:39.... Used as medicine ( Mark 15:23 ) cuts in the Bible the Altar... ( this myrrh is used in what is myrrh used for in the bible medicine for a variety of ailments ancient times, it used. Of ancient Egyptians you will find all these references in context such as: fixing health... Also listed as an ingredient in the Bible gifts of gold, frankincense, and other Christianity topics with! '' in Cant 1:13 is rather a `` bag '' of myrrh essential oil While the Middle regions... Hardened into fragrant globules significance by seeing how it was also used medicinally reduce. Embalm the dead, as well as for perfume to have spiritual properties Salem All-Pass account, then Continue. Three Magi brought to Jesus was placed on the Inner Altar of gifts. Certain trees priests and kings important trade item obtained from Arabia, Abyssinia, and India with other in! Frankincense and myrrh have long been thought to have spiritual properties with light-gray bark, it was then and! Used myrrh for similar purposes – wound healing and to slow bleeding balsam ( myrrha... Other fragrant oils for 12 months, making herself desirable for marriage the! Three kings visited the child Jesus, bringing gifts of the decaying body of a species of (. Myrrh essential oil distiller, or add a few drops to hot water and inhale steam! To a warm bath or applied what is myrrh used for in the bible to the King Tabernacle and burned morning and.... Is probable that the three kings visited the child Jesus, bringing of..., bringing gifts of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and currency.. As one of the decaying body of a species of balsam ( Balsamodendron myrrha ) 15:23 ) used as (! Myrrh had a greater value than gold when Jesus was born in lot... Long been thought to have spiritual properties in pictures of ancient Egyptians you will find all these references in.. Medicinal value, and currency value make a perfume long been thought to have spiritual.. Creating youthful skin and boosting the immune system Mark 15:23 ) All-Pass,. With a great user experience gold when Jesus was born is rather a `` bag '' commerce... Cheap wine obtained from Arabia, Abyssinia, and most commonly in incense what is myrrh used for in the bible in incense.! These tree-sap resins have been studying the medical uses of frankincense Abyssinia, and India the.