The region of Gilead
abounded in spices
and aromatic gums, which were exported to Egypt
; 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
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.