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Schaff's Bible Dictionary

Definitions in Biblical History

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What are Spices?
        The word occurs in Gen 37:25, and should be the rendering instead of "spices" in Gen 43:11. It is believed to denote gum-tragacanth, the product of several species of Astragalus, shrubby and exceedingly thorny plants very abundant in Palestine. This gum had medicinal value. The term "spices," the translation of two other words, as used by the sacred writers, is much more comprehensive than the modern use of it. With them it includes not only fragrant gums, as myrrh, and also roots and barks, as cassia, cinnamon, cane, etc., but the odors of flowers and various perfumes. Song 4:14. Spices were imported into Judaea chiefly from Southern Arabia. Sweet spices, Mark 16:1, are merely aromatic substances used in embalming. The word "spices" fully expressed the meaning of the original word, without the adjective.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'spices' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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