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Balm or Balsam. The balm mentioned in Genesis 37:25 is an extremely fragrant resinous substance extracted from the balsam tree. This was highly esteemed among the ancients (Jer. 46:11).

We do not know whether the balsam tree native to Arabia is the same one mentioned in Jeremiah 8:22 as the "balm of Gilead." The Hebrew word has a variety of spellings - tzari, sori, and tsori; it literally refers to the fragrance of the plant.

The balsam was a bushy evergreen growing 3.7 to 4.3 m. (12 to 14 ft.) high. The pale yellow gum was used as incense (Exod. 35:28) and dissolved in water as an ointment. The oil obtained from the bark, leaves, and berries was used as medicine. This medicinal "balm" is referred to in Jeremiah 8:22, 51:8 as a symbol of spiritual healing.

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