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What is the balm of Gilead?

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Quick Answer

The association of balm with Gilead comes originally from the Hebrew Scriptures, also called the Old Testament. The term "balm of Gilead" may refer literally or figuratively to the healing balm of biblical accounts, beauty or skincare products using the name, or a tree in the willow family.

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Full Answer

The Hebrew Scriptures mention the region of Gilead in conjunction with its balm only a few times. The African-American Christian spiritual "There Is a Balm in Gilead," which remains popular in churches today, identifies the healing balm with Jesus.

The Balm of Gilead is also the name of a tree found in the United States that produces a resin with antibacterial, antifungal, and pain-killing properties.

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