A Land Prized for Bdellium Gum
◆ Gold and onyx you may know, but do you know what bdellium gum is? The land of Havilah had all three. (Gen. 2:11, 12) It was obviously precious, being mentioned with the onyx stone and gold. It must have been known to the Israelites, because Moses compared the appearance of manna to bdellium gum. (Num. 11:7) This aromatic gum was very much prized in antiquity, being held in high esteem by both Jews and Gentiles. The gum came from a tree, and, according to Pliny, was transparent, waxy, and oily to the touch. It was fragrant to a considerable distance around, having an aroma and taste like that of myrrh but weaker. When burned, bdellium gum diffuses a balsamic odor. The ancients used it like myrrh—in perfumes, incense and medicine.