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Myrrh (smyrna in Greek) is an aromatic, bitter tasting, orange colored resin principally extracted from a 4′ to 20′ thorny tree native to modern-day Turkey and northeast Africa. The ancient city of Smyrna located in western Turkey (and referenced in Revelation) was named after the myrrh tree. In ancient times, myrrh was an expensive ingredient used in perfumes, incense, cosmetics and medicines as well as in some embalming processes. Mark 15:23 reports myrrh, mixed with wine, was offered to Jesus on the cross and John 19:39 says myrrh was used to anoint Jesus’ body for burial. [See, Paul Maier, “First Christmas”” (2001]”

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