balm of Gilead /ˈɡɪlɪad/


I. noun

1. [ mass noun] a fragrant medicinal resin obtained from certain trees.
2. a tree that yields balm of Gilead, in particular:

● an Arabian tree traditionally of importance in medicine and perfumery ( Commiphora gileadensis, family Burseraceae). ● either of two poplars with sticky aromatic buds ( Populus × gileadensis ) and the balsam poplar, family Salicaceae). ● the balsam fir.
– origin early 16th cent.: balm from a translation in Coverdale’s Bible (Gen. 37:25), rendered ‘resin’ in the Vulgate; Gilead from the assumption that this resin is the substance mentioned in the Bible as coming from Gilead.

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