Myrrh in the Old Testament

Myrrh- O.T.
Hebrew: lot
Cistus creticus

One of the best known stories is the betrayal of Joseph by his brothers in the Old Testament. Later when they were in desperate need of food, they went to him at Pharaoh's Court. In humility they asked for help to give them food. In Palestine in early spring, there thrives amid sand and rocks a small shrub. It is about the size of a dwarf rhododendron. Growing everywhere, on plains, mountain sides and in rocky desert areas, throughout the summer its flowers are seen. The myrrh flowers are shaped like wild roses and are rich pink deepening to a crimson red. Centered within the five petals are vivid gold stamens and a single erect pistil. It is the "rock rose," also known as the "lot plant." It provides a sweet smelling gum from all its parts and peasants have gathered it for centuries. They use a small stick wound around with soft cloth, and on calmer days, they carefully wipe the sweet substance from the shrub and round it into balls. It is then pressed into cakes that are used for perfume. This is the "lot" which through a mistranslation has been rendered in parts of the Old Testament as "myrrh." The true myrrh came from the plant called "mor."