Time to talk about Spikenard or Nard as they tended to call it in the Bible.
It was Mentioned 7x directly + 10x indirectly = 17x
(Nardostachys jatamansi) Family: Valerianaceae Source: From Plant Roots
Chemistry: Sesquiterpenes-50%, Monoterpenes- 36%, Phenols-2%
Application: Topical, Aromatic, Ingestible
When I got my 12 Oils of Ancient Scripture collection in the mail I HAD to open Spikenard!!! I was so surprised at its smell. I came across a blog where the writer came upon a cluster of spikenard berries and after seeing this, the scent made sense to me. I found it to be a sour sweet smell, say like sour candy.
Lets take a look at the verses that mention spikenard.
Song of Songs 1:12 While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.
Song of Songs 4:13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices.
Matthew 26:6-7 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
Luke 7:37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
Mark 14:3 While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.
John 12:3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
John 12:3 – Jesus Anointed at Bethany
12 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Expensive yes, It still is to make because oils take pounds and pounds of raw material to produce a small vial of oil.
The molecules of essential oils are small allowing them to disperse into the air quickly filling the entire house.
We see where Judas gets upset about the oil being “wasted” but as we all know that wasn’t why he was upset. Her offering to the Lord was an expensive offering but The Lord goes on to say in verse 7 “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. 8 For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”
I can have a lot to say on this passage but I’m wondering what you think about it? Why do you think Mary poured this oil on Jesus’ feet?
Phone credit: makechristtheking.com
More on Jesus’ anointing
“as he sat at meat there came a woman; generally thought to be Mary Magdalene, or Mary the sister of Lazarus:
having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard; or “pure nard”, unmixed and genuine; or liquid nard, which was drinkable, and so easy to be poured out; or Pistic nard, called so, either from “Pista”, the name of a place from whence it was brought, or from “Pistaca”, which, with the Rabbins, signifies “maste”; of which, among other things, this ointment was made. Moreover, ointment of nard was made both of the leaves of nard, and called foliate nard, and of the spikes of it, and called, as here, spikenard. Now ointment made of nard was, as Pliny says (w), the principal among ointments. The Syriac is, by him, said to be the best; this here is said to be
very precious, costly, and valuable:
and she broke the box. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, “she opened it”; and the Persic version, “she opened the head”, or “top of the bottle”, or “vial”:
and poured it on his head; on the head of Christ, as the same version presses it; See Gill on Matthew 26:7.
(w) Nat. Hist. l. 12. c. 12. http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/mark/14.htm
Ancient Uses for Spikenard: Perfumes, medicines, skin tonic, incense, mood enhancer, anxiety reducer, used on scar tissue. It one of the last oils to be received by Jesus before being arrested and going to the cross. (Healing oils of the Bible by Dr. David Stewart)