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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Balm

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BALM . A product of Gilead ( Genesis 37:25; Genesis 43:11 ), celebrated for its healing properties ( Jeremiah 8:22; Jeremiah 46:11; Jeremiah 51:8 ), and an important article of commerce ( Ezekiel 27:17 ). Nothing is known for certain about the nature of this substance, but it is usually supposed to be some kind of aromatic gum or resin. There is now no plant in Gilead which produces any characteristic product of this nature. Mastich , a resin much used by the Arabs for flavouring coffee, sweets, etc., and as a chewing gum, is considered by many to be the zorî of Genesis 37:25 (so RVm [Note: Revised Version margin.] ). It has been credited with healing properties. It is a product of the Pistacia lentiscus , a plant common in Palestine. The so-called ‘Balm of Gilead’ of commerce, and the substance sold by the monks of Jericho to-day, this latter a product of the zakkûm tree, are neither of them serious claimants to be the genuine article. See also Spice.

E. W. G. Masterman.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Balm'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/b/balm.html. 1909.

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