I read about hyssop in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
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Hyssop is a small, bushy, aromatic plant of the mint family found in the Middle East (among other places). In biblical times, it was used in cooking, herbal medicine, and (due to its brush-like structure) in religious purification rituals (such as in sprinkling people or objects with sacrificial blood (Numbers 19:18)). (It was in connection with its purification function that David referred to it in Psalm 51:7 as part of his repentance for his sin with Bathsheba, when he said to God, "Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.")
Middle eastern concentrated hyssop was a medicinal purgative detergent. In concentration it may have been mixed with vinegar and caused convulsive impulse when dehydrated. This could accelerate death.
The answer to the first part of the question is easy, it is a leafy plant plentiful in Egypt and Israel in Bible times, often used in Jewish ceremonies. I really like the thrust of the second part of this question, as to why it is so significant. Two very, very significant events are depicted in the Bible, one in the Old Testament and one in the New Testament. Hyssop ties these two events together in an amazing way. A key part of what is called a threshold blood covenant ceremony can be to sprinkle the blood of the Sacrificial Lamb on the upright posts and vertical crossmember of the door of a home. Those inside will be protected as they are in this way covered by the blood. We see this the night Moses instructed the Hebrew children to prepare to be delivered from Egypt. Exodus 12:22 "And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin.” This temporal deliverance foreshadows another event when the Messiah would come and provide eternal deliverance to those who choose to be covered by His blood. We know Jesus fulfilled this promise due to prophesies He fulfilled including the specific details of the manner of His death. John 19:29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. While on the cross Jesus placed His blood on the post and crossmember of the cross. Hyssop was used in response to His speaking of His thirst. With all the other discomfort of His crucifixion, why does Jesus only mention His thirst? It is because this will cause them to inevitably get His blood on the hyssop as it is used to raise the wine vinegar to lips. Post, lintel, blood, hyssop. Finally, this mention of His thirst is added to the phrases “Why have you forsaken me?” and “It is finished,” also uttered while on the cross. The other place all three phrases are found is in Psalm 22. Even more details of Jesus' crucifixion can be seen in that Psalm. Because hyssop is another way to draw these two blood covenant making events together, it is indeed very significant.
As Jesus was hanging on the cross, near death, His mother, Mary Magdalene, and the Apostle John were among those who remained with Him. He said, "I am thirsty" and someone lifted up a vinegar-soaked sponge to Him on a stalk of hyssop. John wrote that after Jesus drank, He said, “It is finished,” and died. (Jn 19:30). It has been specially urged that the hyssop suits the conditions of Jn 19:29, it is maintained that a stem of caper would make a good object on which to raise the "sponge full of vinegar" to the Savior's face, the equivalent of the "reed" of Mt 27:48; Mk 15:36. For such a purpose the flexible, prickly stems of the hyssop would be most unsuitable; indeed, it would be no easy matter to find one of sufficient length. It is necessary to suppose either that a bunch of hyssop accompanied the sponge with the vinegar upon the reed, or, as has been proposed by several writers that hussopo is a corruption of husso, "javelin," and that the passage should read "They put a sponge full of vinegar upon a javelin." E. W. G. Masterman
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