Plants of the Bible

(Illustrated Manners and Customs of the Bible)

U. Myrrh. The King James Version uses the word myrrh with reference to different plants. One of these was a small tree with bushy branches and three-sectioned leaves, bearing a plum-like fruit, and producing a fragrant gum that had many uses. The Hebrew word for this plant was mor. It was used in anointing oil (Exod. 30:23), in perfume (Psa. 45:8; Prov. 7:17; Song 3:6), and in ceremonial cleansing (Esther 2:12). The magi brought it to the baby Jesus (Matt. 2:11). It was offered to Jesus on the cross (Mark 15:23), and was used to prepare Jesus' body for burial (John 19:39).

The myrrh mentioned in Genesis 37:25 and 43:11 was probably the tree Cistus creticus. The Hebrew word for this plant is lot. This shrub produces pink flowers and is sometimes known as the "rock "rose." It is very fragrant and valued for its perfume.

The tree that produces the myrrh used in modern times is not of the same genus or species as the myrrh of Bible times.
Ladanum (Heb. lot, translated "myrrh" in Gen. xxxvii. 25, xliii. i i), the resinous exudation of Cistus creticus, C. ladaniferus and other species of "rock rose" or "rose of Sharon";