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  1. Apr 2019
    1. Balm of Mecca[edit] Forskal found the plant occurring between Mecca and Medina. He considered it to be the genuine balsam-plant and named it Amyris opobalsamum Forsk. (together with two other varieties, A. kataf Forsk. and A. kafal Forsk.).[4] Its Arabic name is abusham or basham, which is identical with the Hebrew bosem or beshem.[6] Bruce found the plant occurring in Abyssinia.[3] In the 19th century it was discovered in the East Indies also.[4] Linnaeus distinguished two varieties: Amyris gileadensis L. (= Amyris opobalsamum Forsk.), and Amyris opobalsamum L., the variant found by Belon in a garden near Cairo, brought there from Arabia Felix. More recent naturalists (Lindley, Wight and Walker) have included the species Amyris gileadensis L. in the genus Protium.[4] Botanists enumerate sixteen balsamic plants of this genus, each exhibiting some peculiarity.[6] There is little reason to doubt that the plants of the Jericho balsam gardens were stocked with Amyris gileadensis L., or Amyris opobalsamum, which was found by Bruce in Abyssinia, the fragrant resin of which is known in commerce as the "balsam of Mecca".[3] According to De Sacy, the true balm of Gilead (or Jericho) has long been lost, and there is only "balm of Mecca".[6] Newer designations of the balsam plant are Commiphora gileadensis (L.) Christ., Balsamodendron meccansis Gled. and Commiphora opobalsamum.
    2. Cancamon[edit] The lexicographer Bar Seroshewai considered the Arabic dseru (ﺿﺮﻭ), a tree of Yemen known as kamkam (ﮐﻤﮑﺎﻡ) or kankam (ﮐﻨﮑﺎﻡ), Syriac qazqamun (ܩܙܩܡܘܢ), Greek κάγκαμον, Latin cancamum, mentioned by Dioscorides (De materia medica 1.32) and Pliny (Hist. Nat. 12.44; 12.98).[28][30][31] Cancamon has been held for Balsamodendron kataf,[31] but also as Aleurites laccifera (Euphorbiaceae), Ficus spec. (Artocarpeae), and Butea frondosa (Papilionaceae).[32] Sanskrit kunkuma (कुनकुम) is saffron (Crocus sativus).
    3. Pine[edit] The Greek word ῥητίνη, used in the Septuagint for translating tsori, denotes a resin of the pine, especially Pinus maritima (πεύκη).[26][27] The Aramaic tserua (ܨܪܘܐ) has been described as the fruit of Pinus pinea L., but it has also been held for stacte or storax.[28] The Greek ῥητίνη ξηρά is a species of Abietineae Rich
    4. Terebinth[edit] Bochart strongly contended that the balm mentioned in Jer. 8:22 could not possibly be that of Gilead, and considered it as the resin drawn from the terebinth or turpentine tree.[6] The Biblical terebinth is Hebrew eloh (אֵלׇה), Pistacia terebinthus L.[24] or P. palaestina Boiss
    5. Zukum[edit] Ödmann and Rosenmüller thought that the pressed juice of the fruit of the zukum-tree (Eleagnus angustifolius L.) or the myrobalanus of the ancients, is the substance denoted; but Rosenmüller, in another place, mentioned the balsam of Mecca (Amyris opobalsamum L.) as being probably the tsori. Zukum oil was in very high esteem among the Arabs, who even preferred it to the balm of Mecca, as being more efficacious in wounds and bruises. Maundrell found zukum-trees near the Dead Sea. Hasselquist and Pococke found them especially in the environs of Jericho. In the 19th century, the only product in the region of Gilead which had any affinity to balm or balsam was a species of Eleagnus
    6. Mastic[edit] Celsius (in Hierobotanicon) identified the tsori with the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus L. The Arabic name of this plant is dseri or dseru, which is identical with the Hebrew tsori. Rauwolf and Pococke found the plant occurring at Joppa


      Assuming that the 'tsori' was a plant product, several plants haven been proposed as its source.

    7. Tsori[edit] In the Hebrew Bible, the balm of Gilead is tsori or tseri (צֳרִי or צְרִי). It is a merchandise in Gen. 37:28 and Ez. 27:17, a gift in Gen. 43:11, and a medicament (for national disaster, in fig.) in Jer. 8:22, 46:11, 51:8.[11] The Hebrew root z-r-h (צרה) means "run blood, bleed" (of vein), with cognates in Arabic (ﺿﺮﻭ, an odoriferous tree or its gum), Sabaean (צרו), Syriac (ܙܪܘܐ, possibly fructus pini), and Greek (στύραξ, in meaning).[12] The similar word tsori (צֹרִי) denotes the adjective "Tyrean", i. e. from the Phoenician city of Tyre.[13] Many attempts have been made to identify the tsori, but none can be considered conclusive. The Samaritan Pentateuch (Gen. 37:25) and the Syriac bible (Jer. 8:22) translate it as wax (cera). The Septuagint has ῥητίνη, "pine resin". The Arabic version and Castell hold it for theriac. Lee supposes it to be "mastich". Luther and the Swedish version have "salve", "ointment" in the passages in Jer., but in Ezek. 27:17 they read "mastic". Gesenius, Hebrew commentators (Kimchi, Junius, Tremellius, Deodatius), and the Authorized Version (except in Ezek. 27:17, rosin) have balm, balsam, Greek βάλσαμον, Latin opobalsamum.[3