Balm of Gilead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Balm of Gilead (disambiguation).

Balm of Gilead was a rare perfume used medicinally, that was mentioned in the Bible, and named for the region of Gilead where it was produced. [a]


Gilead is a place name in the Bible. It was the mountainous region east of the Jordan River that was divided among the Biblical tribes of Gad and Manasseh, and situated in modern-day Jordan. It is also referred to by the Aramaic name Yegar-Sahadutha, which carries the same meaning as the Hebrew (Genesis 31:47). From its mountainous character, it is called "the mount of Gilead" (Genesis 31:25). It is called also "the land of Gilead" (Numbers 32:1), and sometimes simply "Gilead" (Psalms 60:9; Genesis 37:25)..


The Balm of Gilead is mentioned as having healing properties (Jeremiah 8:22).

See also[edit]



Foot notes[edit]

  1. ^ The identity of the tree that yielded this perfume has been misrepresented in many historical texts, to such an extent that another tree, Commiphora gileadensis the Arabian balsam tree, now bears a misleading botanical name that suggests it was the source of Balm of Gilead.[1] Other historical documents have been interpreted to indicate that the source was "almost certainly a totally different product, possibly resin from the terebinth"[1] and further speculation suggests that the source was Pistacia lentiscus.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Groom, N. (1981). Frankincense and Myrrh: A Study of the Arabian Incense Trade. London and New York: Longman, Librairie de Liban. ISBN 0-582-76476-9.