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Smith's Bible Dictionary

Egypt was the earliest home of medical and other skill for the region of the Mediterranean basin, and every Egyptian mummy of the more expensive and elaborate sort involved a process of anatomy. Still we have no trace of any philosophical or rational system of Egyptian origin; still medicine in Egypt was a mere art or profession. Compared with the wild countries around them, however, the Egyptians must have seemed incalculably advanced. Representations of early Egyptian surgery apparently occur on some of the monuments of Beni-Hassan. Those who have assisted at the opening of a mummy have noticed that the teeth exhibited a dentistry not inferior in execution to the work of the best modern experts. This confirms the statement of Herodotus that every part of the body was studied by a distinct practitioner. The reputation of Egypt's practitioners in historical times was such that both Cyrus and Darius sent to that country for physicians or surgeons. Of midwifery we have a distinct notice, (Exodus 1:1) and of women as its Practitioners, which fact may also be verified from the scriptures. The scrupulous attention paid to the dead was favorable to the health of the living. The practice of physic was not among the Jews a privilege of the priesthood. Any one might practice it, and this publicity must have kept it pure. Rank and honor are said to be the portion of the physician, and his office to be from the Lord. Ecclus. 38:1,3,12. To bring down the subject to the period of the New Testament, St. Luke, "the beloved physician," who practiced at Antioch whilst the body was his care, could hardly have failed to be convenient with all the leading opinions current down to his own time. Among special diseases named in the Old Testament is ophthalmia, (Genesis 29:17) which is perhaps more common in Syria and Egypt than anywhere else in the world; especially in the fig season, the juice of the newly-ripe fruit having the power of giving it. It may occasion partial or total blindness. (2 Kings 6:18) The "burning boil," (Leviticus 13:23) is merely marked by the notion of an effect resembling that of fire, like our "carbuncle." The diseases rendered "scab" and "scurvy" in (Leviticus 21:20; 22:22; 28:27) may be almost any skin disease. Some of these may be said to approach the type of leprosy. The "botch (shechin) of Egypt," (28:27) is so vague a term as to yield a most uncertain sense. In (28:35) is mentioned a disease attacking the "knees and legs," consisting in a "sore botch which cannot be healed," but extended, in the sequel of the verse, from the "sole of the foot to the top of the head." The Elephantiasis gracorum is what now passes under the name of "leprosy;" the lepers, e.g., of the: huts near the Zion gate of modern Jerusalem are elephantissiacs. [LEPER, LEPROSY] The disease of King Antiochus, 2 Macc. 9:5-10, etc., was that of a boil breeding worms. The case of the widow's son restored by Elisha, (2 Kings 4:19) was probably one of sunstroke. The palsy meets us in the New Testament only, and in features too familiar to need special remark. palsy, gangrene and cancer were common in all the countries familiar to the scriptural writers, and neither differs from the modern disease of the same name. Mention is also made of the bites and stings of poisonous reptiles. (Numbers 21:6) Among surgical instruments or pieces of apparatus the following only are alluded to in Scripture: A cutting instrument, supposed a "sharp stone," (Exodus 4:25) the "knife" of (Joshua 5:2) The "awl" of (Exodus 21:6) was probably a surgical instrument. The "roller to bind" of (Ezekiel 30:21) was for a broken limb, and is still used. A scraper, for which the "potsherd" of Job was a substitute. (Job 2:8; Exodus 30:23-25) is a prescription in form. An occasional trace occurs of some chemical knowledge, e.g. the calcination of the gold by Moses, (Exodus 32:20) the effect of "vinegar upon natron," (Proverbs 25:20); comp. Jere 2:22 The mention of "the apothecary," (Exodus 30:35; Ecclesiastes 10:1) and of the merchant in "powders," (Solomon 3:6) shows that a distinct and important branch of trade was set up in these wares, in which, as at a modern druggist's, articles of luxury, etc., are combined with the remedies of sickness. Among the most favorite of external remedies has always been the bath. There were special occasions on which the bath was ceremonially enjoined. The Pharisees and Essenes aimed at scrupulous strictness in all such rules. (Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:5; Luke 11:38) River-bathing was common but houses soon began to include a bathroom. (Leviticus 15:13; 2 Samuel 11:2; 2 Kings 5:10)

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) The science which relates to the prevention, cure, or alleviation of disease.

2. (n.) Any substance administered in the treatment of disease; a remedial agent; a remedy; physic.

3. (n.) A philter or love potion.

4. (n.) A physician.

5. (v. t.) To give medicine to; to affect as a medicine does; to remedy; to cure.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

med'-i-sin, med'-i-s'-n (gehah, teruphah, rephu'ah): These words are used in the sense of a remedy or remedies for disease. In Proverbs 17:22 the King James Version, a merry heart is said to do good "like a medicine." There is an alternative reading in the King James Version margin, "to a medicine," the Revised Version (British and American) "is a good medicine"; the Revised Version margin gives another rendering, "causeth good healing," which is the form that occurs in the Septuagint and which was adopted by Kimchi and others. Some of the Targums, substituting a waw for the first h in gehah, read here "doeth good to the body," thus making this clause antithetic to the latter half of the verse. In any case the meaning is that a cheerful disposition is a powerful remedial agent.

In the figurative account of the evil case of Judah and Israel because of their backsliding (Jeremiah 30:13), the prophet says they have had no rephu'ah, or "healing medicines." Later on (Jeremiah 46:11), when pronouncing the futility of the contest of Neco against Nebuchadrezzar, Jeremiah compares Egypt to an incurably sick woman going up to Gilead to take balm as a medicine, without any benefit. In Ezekiel's vision of the trees of life, the leaves are said (the King James Version) to be for medicine, the Revised Version (British and American) reads "healing," thereby assimilating the language to that in Revelation 22:2, "leaves of the tree.... for the healing of the nations" (compare Ezekiel 47:12).

Very few specific remedies are mentioned in the Bible. "Balm of Gilead" is said to be an anodyne (Jeremiah 8:22; compare Jeremiah 51:8). The love-fruits, "mandrakes" (Genesis 30:14) and "caperberry" (Ecclesiastes 12:5 margin), myrrh, anise, rue, cummin, the "oil and wine" of the Good Samaritan, soap and sodic carbonate ("natron," called by mistake "nitre") as cleansers, and Hezekiah's "fig poultice" nearly exhaust the catalogue. In the Apocrypha we have the heart, liver and gall of Tobit's fish (Tobit 6:7). In the Egyptian pharmacopoeia are the names of many plants which cannot be identified, but most of the remedies used by them were dietetic, such as honey, milk, meal, oil, vinegar, wine. The Babylonian medicines, as far as they can be identified, are similar. In the Mishna we have references to wormwood, poppy, hemlock, aconite and other drugs. The apothecary mentioned in the King James Version (Exodus 30:25, etc.) was a maker of perfumes, not of medicines. Among the fellahin many common plants are used as folk-remedies, but they put most confidence in amulets or charms, which are worn by most Palestinian peasants to ward off or to heal diseases.

Alexander Macalister

5331. pharmakeia -- the use of medicine, drugs or spells
... the use of medicine, drugs or spells. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration:
pharmakeia Phonetic Spelling: (far-mak-i'-ah) Short Definition: magic ...
// - 7k
Strong's Hebrew
7499. rephuah -- remedy, medicine
... 7498b, 7499. rephuah. 7500 . remedy, medicine. Transliteration: rephuah Phonetic
Spelling: (ref-oo-aw') Short Definition: healing. ... healed, medicine. ...
/hebrew/7499.htm - 6k

1456. gehah -- a healing, cure
... gehah. 1457 . a healing, cure. Transliteration: gehah Phonetic Spelling:
(gay-haw') Short Definition: medicine. ... medicine. From gahah; a cure -- medicine. ...
/hebrew/1456.htm - 6k

8644. teruphah -- a healing
... medicine. From ruwph in the sense of its congener rapha'; a remedy -- medicine.
see HEBREW ruwph. see HEBREW rapha'. 8643, 8644. teruphah. 8645 . ...
/hebrew/8644.htm - 6k

4832. marpe -- a healing, cure, health
... From rapha'; properly, curative, ie Literally (concretely) a medicine, or (abstractly)
a cure; figuratively (concretely) deliverance, or (abstractly) placidity ...
/hebrew/4832.htm - 6k


The Best Strengthening Medicine
... The Best Strengthening Medicine. A Sermon (No.2209). Intended for Reading
on Lord's-Day, June 21st, 1891,. Delivered by. CH SPURGEON,. ...
/.../spurgeon/spurgeons sermons volume 37 1891/the best strengthening medicine.htm

A Prayer Before Taking of Medicine.
... THE PRACTICE OF PIETY. A Prayer before taking of Medicine. O Merciful Father,
who art the Lord of health and of sickness, of life ...
/.../bayly/the practice of piety/a prayer before taking of.htm

April 8. "A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like a Medicine" (Prov. xvii. ...
... APRIL 8. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Prov. xvii. 22). "A
merry heart doeth good like a medicine" (Proverbs 17:22). ...
/.../simpson/days of heaven upon earth /april 8 a merry heart.htm

But this was Already Being Laid up in his Memory to be a Medicine ...
... Book VI Chapter IX But this was already being laid up in his memory to
be a medicine hereafter.� But this was already being laid ...
/.../augustine/the confessions of saint augustine/chapter ix but this was.htm

"You Know Me, Moody. "
... I was given up by the physicians to die, but I took this medicine and it cured me,
I am perfectly well"look at me;" I say that it is a very strange case. ...
/.../moody/moodys anecdotes and illustrations/you know me moody.htm

Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren.
... For it is spiritual, and sets right, not fleshly wounds, but errors of the mind,
[769] and of these errors and wounds the medicine is the word. ...
/.../chrysostom/on the priesthood/against publishing the errors of.htm

On God.
... There are many persons who take a part in the science [1940] or art of medicine:
are we therefore to suppose that those who do so take to themselves the ...
// de principiis/chapter i on god.htm

In the Next Place, Since He Reproaches us with the Existence of ...
... For since the science of medicine is useful and necessary to the human race, and
many are the points of dispute in it respecting the manner of curing bodies ...
/.../origen/origen against celsus/chapter xii in the next 2.htm

Whether the Sinner Sins in Receiving Christ's Body Sacramentally?
... Objection 2: Further, this sacrament, like the others, is a spiritual medicine.
But medicine is given to the sick for their recovery ...
/...// theologica/whether the sinner sins in.htm

Our Friends Take it Amiss that I have Spoken of the Origenists as ...
... as I was saying just now, falsehood is disgraceful and useless to God, to men it
is sometimes useful, if only it is used as a stimulant or a medicine; for no ...
/.../18 our friends take it.htm

Medicine (4 Occurrences)
... 4. (n.) A physician. 5. (vt) To give medicine to; to affect as a medicine does;
to remedy; to cure. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. MEDICINE. ...
/m/medicine.htm - 11k

Medical (10 Occurrences)
... 1. (a.) Of, pertaining to, or having to do with, the art of healing disease, or
the science of medicine; as, the medical profession; medical services; a ...
/m/medical.htm - 9k

Practice (71 Occurrences)
... 6. (n.) Application of science to the wants of men; the exercise of any profession;
professional business; as, the practice of medicine or law; a large or ...
/p/practice.htm - 28k

Gifts (144 Occurrences)
... and scientific there can be little doubt, though they have usually combined it with
what we regard as a mistaken hostility to the ordinary practice of medicine...
/g/gifts.htm - 61k

Wise (422 Occurrences)
... soothsayers. The word in the original (hakamim) probably means "medicine
men. In Chaldea medicine was only a branch of magic. The ...
/w/wise.htm - 40k

Dill (3 Occurrences)
... An herb (Peucedanum graveolens), the seeds of which are moderately warming, pungent,
and aromatic, and were formerly used as a soothing medicine for children ...
/d/dill.htm - 8k

Doctor (5 Occurrences)
... highest degree conferred by a university or college, or has received a diploma of
the highest degree; as, a doctor of divinity, of law, of medicine, of music ...
/d/doctor.htm - 10k

Purge (35 Occurrences)
... 2. (vt) To operate on as, or by means of, a cathartic medicine, or in a similar
manner. 3. (vt) To clarify; to defecate, as liquors. ...
/p/purge.htm - 22k

... in effect a library. Among primitive peoples the medicine-man was literally
a library of tribal traditions. The priests of India ...
/l/libraries.htm - 38k

Evangelist (2 Occurrences)
... He was a medical missionary, and probably kept up his general practice of medicine
in connection with his work in Rome (compare Zahn, Intro, III, 1). He ...
/e/evangelist.htm - 23k

Bible Concordance
Medicine (4 Occurrences)

Revelation 22:2 On either side of the river, midway between it and the main street of the city, was the Tree of Life. It produced twelve kinds of fruit, yielding a fresh crop month by month, and the leaves of the tree served as medicine for the nations.

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart makes good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Jeremiah 30:13 There is none to plead your cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines.

Ezekiel 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.




Medicine: General Scriptures Concerning

Related Terms

Medical (10 Occurrences)

Practice (71 Occurrences)

Gifts (144 Occurrences)

Wise (422 Occurrences)

Dill (3 Occurrences)

Doctor (5 Occurrences)

Purge (35 Occurrences)


Evangelist (2 Occurrences)

Oil (281 Occurrences)

Luke (4 Occurrences)

Healing (60 Occurrences)

Quantity (18 Occurrences)

Virtue (21 Occurrences)

Vial (12 Occurrences)

Knees (47 Occurrences)

Or (15123 Occurrences)

Official (45 Occurrences)

License (3 Occurrences)

Leech (1 Occurrence)

Laodicea (6 Occurrences)

Weak (102 Occurrences)

Incurable (13 Occurrences)

Innocent (97 Occurrences)

Improper (3 Occurrences)

Fruit-tree (4 Occurrences)

Fresh (41 Occurrences)

Faculty (1 Occurrence)

Flux (26 Occurrences)

Feeble (147 Occurrences)

Fadeth (9 Occurrences)

Tragacanth (2 Occurrences)

Tolerance (2 Occurrences)

Rue (1 Occurrence)

Remedy (6 Occurrences)

Regular (95 Occurrences)

Epileptic (2 Occurrences)

Efficacy (3 Occurrences)

Drieth (6 Occurrences)

Disease (213 Occurrences)

Drop (32 Occurrences)

Dries (10 Occurrences)

Drench (4 Occurrences)

Diseases (38 Occurrences)

Manna (19 Occurrences)

Mandrakes (4 Occurrences)

Myrrh (22 Occurrences)

Mint (2 Occurrences)

Medicines (3 Occurrences)

Midway (3 Occurrences)

Main (17 Occurrences)

Mixture (16 Occurrences)

Medicated (1 Occurrence)

Mild (2 Occurrences)


Prove (83 Occurrences)

Practically (2 Occurrences)

Physical (7 Occurrences)

Pergamos (1 Occurrence)

Produced (39 Occurrences)

Pergamum (2 Occurrences)

Pomegranate (11 Occurrences)

Potent (1 Occurrence)

Physician (6 Occurrences)

Physically (2 Occurrences)

Bitter (203 Occurrences)

Bloody (19 Occurrences)

Ball (2 Occurrences)

Cassia (3 Occurrences)

Crops (48 Occurrences)

Course (87 Occurrences)

Cos (1 Occurrence)

Cures (3 Occurrences)

Caraway (2 Occurrences)

Calamus (5 Occurrences)

Compound (3 Occurrences)

Cure (28 Occurrences)

Camphor (2 Occurrences)

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