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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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A — 1: σμύρνα
(Strong's #4666 — Noun Feminine — smurna — smoor'-nah )

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, Psalm 45:8 , where the language is symbolic of the graces of the Messiah; Proverbs 7:17 ; Song of Song of Solomon 1:13 ; 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: σμυρνίζω
(Strong's #4669 — Verb — smurnizo — smoor-nid'-zo )

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.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Myrrh'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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