Anise in the Bible

also known as: dill

This word is found in the King James translation of Matthew 23:23 (Matthew 23:23 KJV; Matthew 23:23 NKJV).

Most other versions say “dill.”

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. —Matthew 23:23 LSB

Compare: Matt. 23:23 NASB; Matt. 23:23 ESV; Matt. 23:23 NIV

It is the plant commonly known by the name of dill, Peucedanum graveolens.

The name dill is derived from a Norse word which means to soothe, the plant can be used as a pain killer.

The common dill, the Anethum graveolens, is an annual growing wild in the cornfields of Spain and Portugal and the south of Europe, generally.

There is also a species of dill cultivated in Middle Eastern countries known by the name of shubit. It was this species of garden plant of which the Pharisees were in the habit of paying tithes.

The Talmud requires that the seeds, leaves, and stem of dill shall pay tithes. It is an umbelliferous plant (a family which includes carrots and parsley), very like the caraway, its leaves, which are aromatic, are used in soups and pickles.

The proper anise is the Pimpinella anisum.

Article Version: September 8, 2021