7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Gall


A general name for anything very bitter. In Job 16:13; 20:14,25, it means the animal secretion usually called the bile. In many other places, where a different word is used in the original, it refers to some better and noxious plant, according to some, the poppy. See De 29:18; Jer 9:15; 23:15. In Ho 10:4; Am 6:12, the Hebrew word is translated "hemlock". In Mt 27:34, it is said they gave Jesus to drink, vinegar mixed with gall, which in Mr 15:23, is called wine mingled with myrrh. It was probably the sour wine which the Roman soldiers used to drink, mingled with myrrh and other bitter substances, very much like the "bitters" of modern times, Ps 69:21. The word gall is often used figuratively for great troubles, wickedness, depravity, etc., Jer 8:14; Am 6:12; Ac 8:23.

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(1) Heb mererah, meaning "bitterness" (Job 16:13); i.e., the bile secreted in the liver. This word is also used of the poison of asps (Job 20:14), and of the vitals, the seat of life (25).

(2.) Heb rosh. In De 32:33; Job 20:16 it denotes the poison of serpents. In Ho 10:4 the Hebrew word is rendered "hemlock." The original probably denotes some bitter, poisonous plant, most probably the poppy, which grows up quickly, and is therefore coupled with wormwood (De 29:18; Jer 9:15; La 3:19). Comp. Jer 8:14; 23:15, "water of gall," Gesenius, "poppy juice;" others, "water of hemlock," "bitter water."

(3.) Gr. chole (Mt 27:34), the LXX. translation of the Hebrew rosh in Ps 69:21, which foretells our Lord's sufferings. The drink offered to our Lord was vinegar (made of light wine rendered acid, the common drink of Roman soldiers) "mingled with gall," or, according to Mark (Mr 15:23), "mingled with myrrh;" both expressions meaning the same thing, namely, that the vinegar was made bitter by the infusion of wormwood or some other bitter substance, usually given, according to a merciful custom, as an anodyne to those who were crucified, to render them insensible to pain. Our Lord, knowing this, refuses to drink it. He would take nothing to cloud his faculties or blunt the pain of dying. He chooses to suffer every element of woe in the bitter cup of agony given him by the Father (Joh 18:11).

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1. Mereerah ("bitterness".) Secreted in an animal's gall bladder. Poetically used for a vital part, Job 16:13; 20:25. Job 20:14, "the gall of asps," i.e. their poison, contained in a sac in the mouth; Scripture uses popular language when no moral truth is thereby endangered.

2. Rosh; a bitter and poisonous herb; the poppy (Gesenius). Rosh means "head", so we speak of poppy heads. Jer 8:14, "water of gall," i.e. opium, Jer 9:15; 23:15. Others suggest one of the Euphorbiaceae, distasteful and deadly; the "grapes of gall" answering to the rounded three berried fruit (Imperial Bible Dictionary). De 29:18 (to which Heb 12:15, "root of bitterness," refers; a root whose essence is bitterness), De 32:32. Opium water would suit well for stupefying criminals in the agony of execution (Ps 69:21; Mt 27:34; Ac 8:23).

The vinegar offered to our Lord was mingled with "gall" according to Matthew, with "myrrh" according to Mark (Mr 15:23). The myrrh was the usual seasoning of Roman wine; the gall was added to stupefy, but our Lord would meet His agony in full consciousness. Bengel supposes the gall was added in wantonness. Matthew designated the drink according to the prophetic aspect, Ps 69:21; Mark according to its outward appearance.

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(1) r

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1. merorah, the gall or bile of animals. It is symbolical of 'bitterness:' "he poureth out my gall upon the ground." Job 16:13. It is also used for the 'poison' of asps. Job 20:14,25.

2. rosh, ????, some exceedingly bitter or poisonous plant not definitely identified. This word is used as symbolical of 'bitterness.' To turn to idolatry was like "a root that beareth gall and wormwood." De 29:18. God's judgements were given them as water of gall to drink. Jer 8:14; 9:15; 23:15: cf. De 32:32; La 3:5,19; Am 6:12. Gall, mixed with the sour wine or vinegar drunk by the Roman soldiers, was given to those about to be crucified, for the purpose, as is now supposed, of making them the less sensitive to the torture. It was offered to the Lord, but refused. Ps 69:21; Mt 27:34. In Mr 15:23 myrrh is read instead of gall; the meaning would be the same.

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1. Mereerah, denoting "that which is bitter;" hence the term is applied to the "bile" or "gall" (the fluid secreted by the liver), from its intense bitterness,

Job 16:13; 20:25

it is also used of the "poison" of serpents,

Job 20:14

which the ancients erroneously believed was their gall.

2. Rosh, generally translated "gall" in the English Bible, is in

Ho 10:4

rendered "hemlock:" in

De 32:33

and Job 20:16 rosh denotes the "poison" or "venom" of serpents. From

De 29:18

and Lame 3:19 compared with Hose 10:4 it is evident that the Hebrew term denotes some bitter and perhaps poisonous plant. Other writers have supposed, and with some reason, from

De 32:32

that some berry-bearing plant must be intended. Gesenius understands poppies; in which case the gall mingled with the wine offered to our Lord at his crucifixion, and refused by him, would be an anaesthetic, and tend to diminish the sense of suffering. Dr. Richardson, "Ten Lectures on Alcohol," p. 23, thinks these drinks were given to the crucified to diminish the suffering through their intoxicating effects.

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GALL, ???, something excessively bitter, and supposed to be poisonous, De 29:18; 32:32; Ps 69:21; Jer 8:14; 9:15; 23:15; La 3:19; Ho 10:4; Am 6:12. It is evident from the first-mentioned place, that some herb or plant is meant of a malignant or nauseous kind. It is joined with wormwood, and, in the margin of our Bibles, explained to be "a very poisonful herb." In Ps 69:21, which is justly considered as a prophecy of our Saviour's sufferings, it is said, "They gave me ??? to eat; which the LXX have rendered ?????, gall. And, accordingly, it is recorded in the history, "They gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall," ???? ???? ?????, Mt 27:34. But, in the parallel passage, it is said to be, ???????????? ?????, "wine mingled with myrrh," Mr 15:23, a very bitter ingredient. From whence it is probable that ????, and perhaps ???, may be used as a general name for whatever is exceedingly bitter; and, consequently, where the sense requires it, may be put specially for any bitter herb or plant, the infusion of which may be called ???????.

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