What is Myrrh Used For in the Bible?


Throughout the ages, the Bible has mentioned various natural substances that have myrrh-used-for-in-the-bible-wi423/” title=”What is Myrrh Used For in the Bible?”>played significant roles in the lives of the people within its pages. One such substance, myrrh, has held a special place in biblical history. This aromatic resin has been used for a variety of purposes, from religious ceremonies to healing ointments, and has made appearances in some of the most important moments in the Bible. As a valued commodity in ancient times, myrrh continues to captivate the imagination of believers today.

This blog post will explore the uses of myrrh in the Bible, focusing on its spiritual significance, the symbolism it holds, and the lessons we can learn from its various applications. By delving into the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, we will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of myrrh and its role in the biblical narrative. As we uncover the mysteries surrounding this precious substance, may our faith be enriched, and our appreciation for God’s Word deepened.

As we journey through the Bible, we will encounter myrrh in various contexts, from the gifts of the Magi to Jesus’ burial. In each instance, myrrh holds a unique and profound meaning that can enrich our understanding of the biblical narrative. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of myrrh and discover its significance in the story of God’s people.

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myrrh in the Bible

Myrrh in Ancient Times

Myrrh, derived from the Commiphora myrrha tree, is a fragrant resin that has been highly valued for thousands of years. It was a highly sought-after commodity in ancient times and was traded along the famous Incense Route, which stretched from the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean. Myrrh was primarily used for its aromatic properties, but it also had various medicinal and spiritual applications.

In the Bible, myrrh is often mentioned in conjunction with frankincense, another precious resin. Both substances were used in religious ceremonies, as incense, and for anointing purposes. Exodus 30:23-25 describes the recipe for a holy anointing oil, which includes myrrh: “Take for yourself quality spices—five hundred shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much sweet-smelling cinnamon, two hundred and fifty shekels of sweet-smelling cane, five hundred shekels of cassia, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, and a hin of olive oil. And you shall make from these a holy anointing oil.”

Myrrh as a Symbol of Suffering and Death

One of the most well-known mentions of myrrh in the Bible is found in the story of the Magi, who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:11). While gold and frankincense are typically understood to symbolize Jesus’ kingship and divinity, myrrh represents His suffering and death. Myrrh was commonly used in ancient embalming practices, and its inclusion among the gifts foreshadowed Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross.

Later in the New Testament, we see myrrh appear again in the context of Jesus‘ crucifixion. Mark 15:23 recounts that Jesus was offered wine mixed with myrrh before being crucified: “Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.” This mixture was likely intended to dull the pain of crucifixion, but Jesus refused it, choosing to endure the full extent of the suffering.

Myrrh in Jesus’ Burial

Following Jesus’ death on the cross, we see myrrh mentioned once more in the context of His burial. In John 19:39-40, we read about Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus preparing Jesus’ body for burial: “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.” Here, myrrh is used as part of the embalming process, underscoring its connection to death and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for humanity.

Myrrh as a Symbol of Love and Devotion

In addition to its associations with suffering and death, myrrh also symbolizes love and devotion in the Bible. In the Song of Solomon, myrrh is mentioned several times as a fragrance that represents the love between the bride and the bridegroom. For example, Song of Solomon 1:13 states, “A bundle of myrrh is my beloved to me, that lies all night between my breasts.” This verse highlights the close and intimate nature of the relationship between the lovers, with myrrh symbolizing their deep affection and commitment to one another.

Furthermore, Song of Solomon 5:5 mentions myrrh in a similar context: “I arose to open for my beloved, and my hands dripped with myrrh, my fingers with liquid myrrh, on the handles of the lock.” Here, myrrh represents the anticipation and longing for the beloved, as well as the joy of their union.

Myrrh’s Enduring Spiritual Significance

While myrrh may not be as commonly used today as it was in biblical times, its spiritual significance endures. The various appearances of myrrh in the Bible serve to teach us about the depth of Jesus’ love, His willingness to suffer and die for our salvation, and the intimate relationship that He desires to have with each of us.


As we reflect on the many uses of myrrh in the Bible, let us remember its lessons of love, sacrifice, and devotion. May we be inspired by Jesus’ example to live lives marked by selflessness, compassion, and a deep love for God and others.

In conclusion, myrrh is a powerful and evocative symbol throughout the Bible, serving as a reminder of Jesus’ sacrifice, love, and devotion. Its various appearances in Scripture, from the gifts of the Magi to Jesus’ burial, reveal its profound significance in the biblical narrative. As believers, we can draw inspiration from the story of myrrh to deepen our faith, embrace a spirit of sacrifice, and cultivate a loving and devoted relationship with God.

Through understanding the importance of myrrh in the Bible, we can appreciate the richness of God’s Word and the depth of His love for us. May our exploration of myrrh’s biblical significance inspire us to pursue a deeper relationship with Christ, and to live lives marked by love, sacrifice, and devotion. And as we journey through our own spiritual walk, let the fragrance of myrrh remind us of the sweetness of God’s presence, and the beauty of His redeeming love.

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