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Why the Balm of Gilead?

The word Balm is used throughout Scripture, either directly or metaphorically as a remedy for healing. Although it mostly refers to a physical treatment for healing, it can be construed to apply to psychological, physiological, or Spiritual healing as well. Kim Houghton uses this term in her "Effective Series" to describe these kinds of healing!

BALM is often a plant product taking the form of an ointment applied for the purpose of medicinal healing or to provide a pleasant aroma. Some Balms were used to anoint a body for burial.

Uses of these Balms are found throughout the Bible. Here are a few:

“Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, Balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.” (Genesis 37:25, ESV)

“Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little Balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” (Genesis 43:11, ESV)

“Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; wail for her! Take Balm for her pain; perhaps she may be healed.” (Jeremiah 51:8, ESV)

“Judah and the land of Israel traded with you; they exchanged for your merchandise wheat of Minnith, meal, honey, oil, and Balm.” (Ezekiel 27:17, ESV)

BALM OF GILEAD is an ointment used on wounds, referred to metaphorically by Jeremiah in a prophetic oracle.

“Is there no Balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?” (Jeremiah 8:22, ESV)

“Go up to Gilead, and take Balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you.” (Jeremiah 46:11, ESV)

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