Perhaps 'liquid.' The word is only found here and John 12.3, evidently a known kind of nard. It is by no means impossible it may be derived from the Latin spicatae, which was the best kind of nard; hence, doubtless, the English translation 'spikenard.' The sense is plain: that it was of the best and most precious kind. See Note, John 12.3.
Many read, 'received him with buffets.' The sense is the same. Some of the doctors 'began to spit on him;' the officers received him with these insults, another step in the scene of his blessed humiliation: see Note, Matt. 26.67.