Smith's Bible DictionarySpikenard
(Heb. nerd) is mentioned twice in the Old Testament viz. in (Solomon 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 (Mark 14:3-5; John 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=) 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. (Matthew 20:2) In our day this would equal at least or .-ED.)
ATS Bible DictionarySpikenard
So 1:12 4:13,14, a highly perfumed ointment prepared from a plant in India growing in short spikes. It was highly prized by the ancients, and was a favorite perfume at their baths and banquets. Horace represents a small box of it as equivalent to a large vessel of wine, and as a handsome quota for a guest to contribute to an entertainment. It was kept closely sealed, sometimes in alabaster boxes; and to unseal and open it was called breaking the box, Mark 14:3. The evangelists speak of it as diffusing a rich perfume; and as "precious," and "very costly," a pound of it being worth more than three hundred denarii, or over forty dollars, John 12:3-5. See ALABASTER and PENNY.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaSPIKENARD
spik'-nard (nerd; nardos (Songs 1:12; Songs 4:14); neradhim; nardoi (Songs 4:13), "spikenard plants"; nardos pistike (Mark 14:3 John 12:3), "pure nard," margin "liquid nard"; the English word is for "spiked nard," which comes from the Nardus spicatus of the Vulgate): Spikenard is the plant Nardostachys jatamansi (Natural Order, Valerianaceae); in Arabic the name Sunbul hind, "Indian spike," refers, like the English and Latin name, to the "snike"-like shape of the plant from which the perfume comes. The dried plant as sold consists of the "withered stalks and ribs of leaves cohering in a bundle of yellowish-brown capillary fibres and consisting of a spike about the size of a small finger" (Sir W. Jones, As. Res., II, 409); in appearance the whole plant is said to look like the tail of an ermine. It grows in the Himalayas. The extracted perfume is an oil, which was used by the Romans for anointing the head. Its great costliness is mentioned by Pliny.
With regard to the exact meaning of the pistike, in the New Testament, there is much difference of opinion: "pure" and "liquid" are both given in margin, but it has also been suggested among other things that this was a local name, that it comes from the Latin spicita or from pisita, the Sanskrit name of the spikenard plant. The question is an open one: either "genuine" or "pure" is favored by most commentators.
E. W. G. Masterman
Easton's Bible Dictionary
(Hebrews 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.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) An aromatic plant. In the United States it is the Aralia racemosa, often called spignet, and used as a medicine. The spikenard of the ancients is the Nardostachys Jatamansi, a native of the Himalayan region. From its blackish roots a perfume for the hair is still prepared in India.
2. (n.) A fragrant essential oil, as that from the Nardostachys Jatamansi.
Strong's Hebrew5373. nerd -- nard...
plants (1), perfume (1). spikenard
. Of foreign origin; nard, an aromatic -- spikenard
. << 5372, 5373. nerd. 5374 >>. Strong's Numbers. /hebrew/5373.htm - 5k