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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(herb) A bitter, poisonous herb (perhaps Citrullus colocynthis ), the juice of which is thought to be the “hemlock” poison Socrates drank Gall was frequently linked with wormwood (Deuteronomy 29:18 ; Jeremiah 9:15 ; Jeremiah 23:15 ; Lamentations 3:19 ; Amos 6:12 ) to denote bitterness and tragedy. Wormwood and gall were often associated with unfaithfulness to God, either as a picture of the unfaithful (Deuteronomy 29:18 ) or as their punishment. Modern speech translations generally translate the Hebrew word for gall in light of the context of the passage (poisonous growth, Deuteronomy 29:18 NRSV; poisonous water, Jeremiah 8:14 ; Jeremiah 9:5 ; Jeremiah 23:15 NRSV; poison, Amos 6:12 NRSV). Gall is still used at Lamentations 3:19 . On the cross, Jesus was offered sour wine drugged with gall, perhaps opium, which He refused (Matthew 27:34 ; compare Psalm 69:21 ). Simon the magician was described as full of the gall of bitterness (Acts 8:23 ) because he wanted to prostitute the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Gall'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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