Notes Desert Date

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?

Jeremiah 8:22 (KJV)

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 (RSV)

Is there no balsam in Gilead? Or is there no healer there? Why is it, then, that the recuperation of the daughter of my people has not not come up?

Jeremiah 8:22 (NWT)

Moldenke and Moldenke note that the Douay Bible of 1609 renders Jeremiah 8:22 to read, "Is there no rosin in Gilead?" resulting in this edition being termed the Rosin Bible. The Bishop's Bible of 1568 reads, "Is there no tryacle in Gilead?" and is termed the Treacle Bible. Should we call the

FIGURE 1.13 Desert Date (Balanites aegyptiacus).

Jehovah's Witness version (NWT) the balsam version, and the KJV and RSV the balm versions? Jericho monks are said to regard Balanites as the balm or balsam, selling an oily gum from the fruit as such to travelers. Both Balanites and Pistacia are common in Palestine and commonly called balm. Balanites is also revered by the Mohammedans in western India. Israeli Zohary rules out Balanites in favor of Commiphora, or myrrh, favoring the assumption that the Queen of Sheba brought it as a gift from Arabia to King Solomon (BIB). But with so many opinions, I include Balanites in case the Jericho monks are right and Zohary wrong. Here in America, the balm of Gilead is yet something else, a poplar with propolis-like resin. Scholars, not me, will probably argue about the Balm of Gilead for millennia. In these days of pharmaceutically inspired allopathic shenanigans, I would worry more about there being no balm in Gilead than there being no physician in Gilead. Physicians kill more people than guns, which kill more people than herbs.

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