|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
(1.) First mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil (Exodus 30:23). It formed part of the gifts brought by the wise men from the east, who came to worship the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:11). It was used in embalming (John 19:39), also as a perfume (Esther 2:12; Psalm 45:8; Proverbs 7:17). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion "wine mingled with myrrh" to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably partaken of by the two malefactors, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus "he received it not" (Mark 15:23). (see GALL.)
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. The "bundle of myrrh" in Cant. 1:13 is rather a "bag" of myrrh or a scent-bag.
(2.) Another word lot is also translated "myrrh" (Genesis 37:25; 43:11; R.V., marg., "or ladanum"). What was meant by this word is uncertain. It has been thought to be the chestnut, mastich, stacte, balsam, turpentine, pistachio nut, or the lotus. It is probably correctly rendered by the Latin word ladanum, the Arabic ladan, an aromatic juice of a shrub called the Cistus or rock rose, which has the same qualities, though in a slight degree, of opium, whence a decoction of opium is called laudanum. This plant was indigenous to Syria and Arabia.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
(n.) A gum resin, usually of a yellowish brown or amber color, of an aromatic odor, and a bitter, slightly pungent taste. It is valued for its odor and for its medicinal properties. It exudes from the bark of a shrub of Abyssinia and Arabia, the Balsamodendron Myrrha. The myrrh of the Bible is supposed to have been partly the gum above named, and partly the exudation of species of Cistus, or rockrose.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) (mor or mowr; Arabic murr): This substance is mentioned as valuable for its perfume (Psalm 45:8 Proverbs 7:17 Songs 3:6; Songs 4:14), and as one of the constituents of the holy incense (Exodus 30:23; see also Songs 4:6; Songs 5:1, 5, 13). Mor is generally identified with the "myrrh" of commerce, the dried gum of a species of balsam (Balsamodendron myrrha). 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. It is still used as medicine (Mark 15:23). On account, however, of the references to "flowing myrrh" (Exodus 30:23) and "liquid myrrh" (Songs 5:5, 13), Schweinfurth maintains that mor was not a dried gum but the liquid balsam of Balsamodendron opobalsamum.
Whichever view is correct, it is probable that the smurna, of the New Testament was the same. 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.
(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 cistus or "rock rose" is exceedingly common all over the mountains of Palestine (see BOTANY), the usual varieties being the C. villosus with pink petals, and the C. salviaefolius with white petals. No commerce is done now in Palestine in this substance as of old (Genesis 37:25; Genesis 43:11), but it is still gathered from various species of cistus, especially C. creticus in the Greek Isles, where it is collected by threshing the plants by a kind of flail from which the sticky mass is scraped off with a knife and rolled into small black balls. In Cyprus at the present time the gum is collected from the beards of the goats that browse on these shrubs, as was done in the days of Herodotus iii.112).
E. W. G. Masterman
Myrrh (22 Occurrences)
Matthew 2:11 They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (WEB KJV WEY ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 15:23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn't take it. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 7:37 and behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, and knew that he was sitting at meat in the house of the Pharisee, having taken an alabaster box of myrrh, (DBY)
Luke 7:38 and standing at his feet behind him weeping, began to wash his feet with tears; and she wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the myrrh. (DBY)
Luke 7:46 My head with oil thou didst not anoint, but she has anointed my feet with myrrh. (DBY)
John 19:39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Revelation 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls. (See RSV NIV)
Genesis 37:25 They sat down to eat bread, and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites was coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing spices and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt. (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Genesis 43:11 Their father, Israel, said to them, "If it must be so, then do this. Take from the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down a present for the man, a little balm, a little honey, spices and myrrh, nuts, and almonds; (WEB KJV ASV WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Exodus 30:23 "Also take fine spices: of liquid myrrh, five hundred shekels; and of fragrant cinnamon half as much, even two hundred and fifty; and of fragrant cane, two hundred and fifty; (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS NAS RSV NIV)
1 Kings 10:25 They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, and armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. (See RSV)
2 Chronicles 9:24 They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. (See RSV)
Esther 2:12 Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after her purification for twelve months (for so were the days of their purification accomplished, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet fragrances and with preparations for beautifying women). (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 45:8 All your garments smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 7:17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 1:13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh, that lies between my breasts. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 3:6 Who is this who comes up from the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all spices of the merchant? (WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 4:6 Until the day is cool, and the shadows flee away, I will go to the mountain of myrrh, to the hill of frankincense. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 4:14 spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree; myrrh and aloes, with all the best spices, (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 5:1 I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, friends! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, beloved. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 5:5 I rose up to open for my beloved. My hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Song of Songs 5:13 His cheeks are like a bed of spices with towers of perfumes. His lips are like lilies, dropping liquid myrrh. (WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)