Mint

MINT (ἡδύοσμος). The herb mentioned in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 is undoubtedly Mentha longifolia, the horse mint.

Dried, powdered mint leaves apparently were assiduously tithed by the Pharisees. This “bitter herb” was eaten at the Passover (Exod 12:8; Num 9:11). It still is eaten at Paschal feasts today.

It grows taller than the usual mint grown in Europe and the USA—often, in fact, three ft. high.

The synagogues in our Lord’s days had sprigs of mint sprinkled on the floor, so that the fragrance arose when they were walked on. Shaw mentions this in Plants in the Missouri Botanical Garden (1884).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

Mentioned (Mt 23:23; Lu 11:42) as one of the small things which were tithed. The cultivated variety (Mentha piperita), "peppermint," was doubtless primarily intended, but the wild Mentha silvestris or horsemint, which flourishes all over the mountains of Palestine, is probably included.

See also

  • Plants