Song of Solomon 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.