Notes Balm of Gilead

[T]hey traded in thy market wheat of Minnith, and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balm.

Ezekiel 27:17 (KJV)

Balm is the gum or thickened juice exuding from the balsam tree, once prolific in Judea, and sometimes called balm of Gilead, an emblem of Palestine. Cultivated shrubs were protected by guards. The tree, native to Yemen, was believed to have been introduced to Palestine by the Queen of Sheba on her famous visit to King Solomon. It was later cultivated in Palestine, mostly around Jericho, where it still existed during the Roman conquest. The soldiers carried balm branches back to Rome as symbols of their having defeated the Hebrews.

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