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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Medicine

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The physicians in Genesis 1 were Egyptian embalmers. Physic was often associated with superstition; this was Asa's fault, "he sought not unto Jehovah but to the physicians" (2 Chronicles 16:12). Luke "the beloved physician" practiced at Antioch, the center between the schools of Cilicia (Tarsus) and Alexandria. Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 12:6) uses language which under the Spirit (whatever Solomon knew or did not know) expresses scientific truth: "the silver cord" is the spinal marrow, white and precious as silver, attached to the brain which is "the golden bowl." The "fountain" may mean the right ventricle of the heart, the "cistern" the left, the "pitcher" the veins, the "wheel" the aorta or great artery. The "wheel"' however may mean life in its rapid motion, as James 3:6, "the wheel of nature." The circulation of the blood is apparently expressed.

The washing's, the restriction in diet to clean animals and the prohibition of pork, the separation of lepers, the laws of marriage and married intercourse (Leviticus 15), the cleanliness of the camp (Deuteronomy 23:12-14), and the comprehension of all varieties of healthful climate in Palestine, account for Israel's general exemption from epidemics and remarkable healthiness. The healing art in the Old Testament seems mainly to consist in external applications for wounds, etc. balm abounded in Gilead, and therefore many physicians settled there. Jeremiah 8:22, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health (lengthening out) of the daughter of my people gone up (Hebrew)?" i.e., why is not the long bandage applied? or why is not the health come up again, as skin coming up over a wound in healing? (See BALM.)

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Medicine'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/m/medicine.html. 1949.

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