Balm of Gilead
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).
- 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. Other historical documents have been interpreted to indicate that the source was "almost certainly a totally different product, possibly resin from the terebinth" and further speculation suggests that the source was Pistacia lentiscus.