July 3, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Meaning of Aloe in Greek


Parts of Speech: Noun Feminine

Aloe Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 1

  1. aloe, aloes

What is the significance of Aloe in Greek in the context of the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the word “Aloe” holds a significant meaning rooted in Greek origins. The term “Aloe” in Greek is linked to the word “alóē,” which is mentioned in the New Testament. Specifically, in the Gospel of John 19:39-40, it is noted that after Jesus was crucified, Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds, to prepare his body for burial.

The Greek word for Aloe, “alóē,” refers to a fragrant substance derived from the resin of the aloe tree. It is believed that this aromatic herb was used for medicinal and burial purposes in ancient times. In the biblical context, the act of anointing Jesus’ body with a mixture of myrrh and aloes signifies a gesture of honor, respect, and preparation for burial according to Jewish customs.

How is Aloe Referenced in the Bible and What Symbolic Meanings Does it Hold?

Aloe, a plant known for its medicinal properties, is referenced in the Bible in the Gospel of John. In John 19:39-40, it is mentioned during the burial of Jesus: “He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs.” This particular passage sheds light on the significance of aloe in the biblical context.

In the Greek language, the word used for aloe in this verse is “alóē” (ἀλόη). In the Bible, aloe is often associated with costly spices and used in burial practices. The mention of aloe in the burial of Jesus signifies honor and reverence for his body, highlighting the sacredness and importance of this act.

Symbolically, aloe in the Bible represents healing and purification. Just as aloe has healing properties when applied to wounds and skin ailments, its presence in the burial of Jesus symbolizes the healing and restoration that his sacrifice brings to humanity. The act of anointing with aloe also signifies a form of purification and preparation for the afterlife, emphasizing the spiritual significance of this plant in biblical rituals.

Can the presence of Aloe in the Bible offer insights into cultural practices and beliefs of that time?

Aloe is a plant that has been mentioned several times in the Bible, often in relation to anointing practices and burials. But what does Aloe mean in Greek in the context of the Bible, and can its presence offer insights into the cultural practices and beliefs of that time?

In the Greek language, the word for Aloe is “aloe,” which is also the word used in the New Testament of the Bible. The Aloe plant, scientifically known as Aloe vera, was highly valued in ancient times for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. It was commonly used for embalming and anointing the dead in the ancient Near East.

One significant mention of Aloe in the Bible can be found in the book of John 19:39-40, where it is said that Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes to prepare the body of Jesus for burial. This act of anointing the body with Aloe was a cultural practice with deep symbolic significance. It demonstrated respect for the deceased and was believed to help prepare the soul for the afterlife.

The use of Aloe for anointing and embalming purposes was not limited to the Judeo-Christian tradition but was a practice that spanned across various ancient cultures. In Egypt, Aloe was also associated with burial rituals and was believed to have protective and purifying properties for the deceased.

The presence of Aloe in the Bible gives us a glimpse into the cultural practices and beliefs of that time. It reflects the importance placed on rituals surrounding death and the afterlife, as well as the significance of honoring the deceased through anointing with precious substances like Aloe.


In conclusion, the Greek word for aloe in the context of the Bible holds a rich and symbolic significance. The mention of aloe in the Scriptures signifies healing, purification, and the anointing of Jesus’ body before his burial. Understanding the cultural and historical context of the word adds depth to our appreciation of the biblical narratives. By delving into the meaning of Greek words like aloe, we can uncover layers of significance that enhance our understanding of the message and teachings of the Bible.

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