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Balm of gilead

any of several plants of the genus Commiphora, especially C. opobalsamum and C. meccanensis, which yield a fragrant oleoresin.
Also called Mecca balsam. the resin itself, a turbid yellow, green, or brownish-red water-insoluble gluey liquid, used chiefly in perfumery.
a hybrid North American poplar, Populus gileadensis, cultivated as a shade tree.
any of several trees of the burseraceous genus Commiphora, esp C. opobalsamum of Africa and W Asia, that yield a fragrant oily resin Compare balm (sense 1), myrrh (sense 1)
the resin exuded by these trees
a North American hybrid female poplar tree, Populus gileadensis (or P. candicans), with broad heart-shaped leaves
a fragrant resin obtained from the balsam fir See also Canada balsam

The region of Gilead abounded in spices and aromatic gums, which were exported to Egypt and Tyre (Gen. 37:25; Jer. 8:22; 46:11; Ezek. 27:17). The word “balm” is a contracted form of “balsam,” a word derived from the Greek _balsamon_, which was adopted as the representative of the Hebrew words _baal shemen_, meaning “lord” or “chief of oils.” The Hebrew name of this balm was _tsori_. The tree yielding this medicinal oil was probably the Balsamodendron opobalsamum of botanists, and the Amyris opobalsamum of Linnaeus. It is an evergreen, rising to the height of about 14 feet. The oil or resin, exuding through an orifice made in its bark in very small quantities, is esteemed of great value for its supposed medicinal qualities. (See BALM.) It may be noted that Coverdale’s version reads in Jer. 8:22, “There is no triacle in Galaad.” The word “triacle” = “treacle” is used in the sense of ointment.


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