Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Naves Topical Bible Dictionary

spikenard Summary and Overview

Bible Dictionaries at a GlanceBible Dictionaries at a Glance

spikenard in Easton's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. nerd), a much-valued perfume (Cant. 1:12; 4:13, 14). It was "very precious", i.e., very costly (Mark 14:3; John 12:3,5). It is the root of an Indian plant, the Nardostachys jatamansi, of the family of Valeriance, growing on the Himalaya mountains. It is distinguished by its having many hairy spikes shooting out from one root. It is called by the Arabs sunbul Hindi, "the Indian spike." In the New Testament this word is the rendering of the Greek nardos pistike. The margin of the Revised Version in these passages has "pistic nard," pistic being perhaps a local name. Some take it to mean genuine, and others liquid. The most probable opinion is that the word pistike designates the nard as genuine or faithfully prepared.

spikenard in Smith's Bible Dictionary

(Heb. nerd) is mentioned twice in the Old Testament viz. in #So 1:12; 4:13,14| The ointment with which our Lord was anointed as he sat at meat in Simon's house at Bethany consisted of this precious substance, the costliness of which may be inferred from the indignant surprise manifested by some of the witnesses of the transaction. See #Mr 14:3-5; Joh 12:3,5| (Spikenard,from which the ointment was made, was an aromatic herb of the valerian family (Nardostachys jatamansi). It was imported from an early age from Arabia India and the Far East. The costliness of Mary's offering (300 pence=$45) may beat be seen from the fact that a penny (denarius, 15 to 17 cents) was in those days the day-wages of a laborer. #Mt 20:2| In our day this would equal at least $300 or $400.-ED.)

spikenard in Schaff's Bible Dictionary

SPIKE'NARD , an aromatic plant from which was made the costly ointment poured on Jesus' head and feet. Song 1:12; Song 4:13-14; Mark 14:3; John 12:3. There is little question that the spikenard was the dried stem of an herb of the valerian family (Nardostachys jatamansi), which grows exclusively in India and was once very precious. If the penny (denarius) was Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi). equal to "fifteen cents, the pound with which Mary anointed our Saviour was valued at a sum equal to forty-five dollars. This ointment was evidently enclosed, like other unguents or perfumes, in a slender-necked and closely-sealed flask or bottle of alabaster. It is not agreed whether breaking this box was merely opening the seal or was the fracture of the frail neck, but probably it was the latter.

spikenard in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

nard, meaning "the stalk"; so our "spike-nard", Arabic sunbul. Song of Solomon 1:12; Song of Solomon 4:13-14. Of it the ointment with which Mary anointed Jesus was made; it was so costly that Judas and other disciples murmured at the waste (Mark 14:3-5; John 12:3-5), its worth being 300 denarii, about 9 British pounds 7s. 6d. A valerian, with roots of strong odor, acting on the nerves Nardostachys jatamansi (Sanskrit, "locks of hair," from the shaggy hair on the stem). Brought from distant India it suggested our Lord's declaration, "wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." In lands distant as India, from whence it came, shall her gift of it to her Lord be told.