What is Balm?
Gen 37:25. One of the articles of merchandise which the Ishmaelites (to whom Joseph was sold) were carrying from Gilead to Egypt. It is worthy of remark that the particulars of this trading company or caravan, their character, course of travel and freight, though referring to a period 1700 years before the Christian era, correspond with wonderful accuracy to those of similar commercial expeditions across the desert at the present day. The balm is supposed to be the production of the balm-of-Gilead tree (Balsamodendron Gileadense), which grows about 12 or 14 feet high, with diverging branches. The resin which it produces is exceedingly odoriferous, and greatly esteemed in the East for its healing properties. It was once an important article of merchandise among the Eastern nations. Eze 27:17. Nothing can exceed the eloquence and tenderness of the language employed by the prophet Jeremiah to express his grief and disappointment that the chosen people of God (the daughter of Zion) should remain spiritually wounded and diseased, when there was a healing Balm of unfailing virtue and a Physician of divine skill to administer it, and both within Balm. Balm. (Balsamodendron Gileadense. After Dr. Birdwood.) (Balsamodendron Opobalsamum. After Dr. Birdwood.) their reach. Jer 8:22; Jer 46:11 and Jer 51:8.