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BALM (Heb. tsŏrî). An odoriferous resin perhaps obtained in Gilead (
The tree is evergreen—a straggly grower with few trifoliate leaves. The white flowers are borne three to a cluster. When a cut is made in the trunk or branches of the tree, the sap exudes. The small, sticky globules harden, and then may easily be removed from the bark. One can get this gum from the root as well as from the trunk.
The bdellium mentioned in
Some have said that the balm Melissa officinalis referred to, is a lovely sweet-smelling herb found today in many gardens. This is about two and a half ft. high and has small, white flowers. This plant, however, is not the balm mentioned in the Bible.
Because Jeremiah says in
Silphium was the name given to a plant which produces slightly fragrant gum resin. This grows in Canada and in the United States, where it is given the name of Prairie Dock, a tree not indigenous in Pal. This tree, however, grows near Gilead today, and the Arabs claim that the resin from this tree is invaluable. Josephus mentioned the balm ointment obtained from this tree.
צֳרִי, H7661, could be Balanites aegyptiaca, the Jericho balsam, q.v.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)