There Is a Balm in Gilead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** There Is a Balm in Gilead **

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*"There Is A Balm in Gilead"* is a traditional United States African
American spiritual.


· 1 History
· 2 Traditional Lyrics
· 3 Alternate Lyrics
· 4 External links


This is a well-known traditional Black-American spiritual. The “balm
in Gilead” is a reference from the Old Testament, but the lyrics of
this spiritual refer to the New Testament concept of salvation through
Jesus Christ. The Balm of Gilead is interpreted as a spiritual medicine
that is able to heal Israel (and sinners in general). In the Old Testament,
the balm of Gilead is taken most directly from Jeremiah chapter 8 v. 22:
"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there
no healing for the wounds of my [God's] people?" (Another allusion can also
be found in Jeremiah chapter 46, v. 2 and 11: “This is the message (of
the Lord) against the army of Pharaoh Neco … Go up to Gilead and get
balm, O Virgin Daughter of Egypt, but you multiply remedies in vain; here
is no healing for you” - see also Jeremiah chapter 22, v. 6.) [1]

The first appearance of the spiritual in something close to its current
form is uncertain. A version of the refrain can be found in Washington
Glass's 1854 hymn "The Sinner's Cure,"(see link below) where it is in
7s.6s.7s.6s rather than the Common Meter of today's refrain. Glass
attributed this hymn to himself, but like several of the hymns so
attributed, it is substantially the work of another. He attached to one of
John Newton's Olney hymns


is there balm in gilead

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