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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Alabaster. What is usually called alabaster is a kind of soft gypsum, properly sulphate of lime. But the alabaster of which jars and vases were usually made was finer grained, opaque, and usually white, but frequently shaded with other soft colors; hence sometimes called onyx marble, which is properly a carbonate of lime. Several vases of alabaster have been found in Egypt, varying in form and size; one of which, bearing the name and title of the queen of Thothmes II., had ointment in it, which had retained its odor for several centuries. In Mark 14:3 the phrase "she brake the box," is simply, "she brake the alabaster," i.e., the vase so called; and merely refers to the breaking of the seal which closed the vase, and kept the perfume from evaporation. Matthew 26:7; Luke 7:37.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Alabaster'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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