Gall: 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
(Job 20:14) and of the vitals, the seat of life
2. Heb. rosh. In
(Deuteronomy 32:33; Job 20:16) it denotes the poison of
(Hosea 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
(Deuteronomy 29:18; Jeremiah 9:15; Lamentations 3:19) Comp.
(Jeremiah 23:15) "water of gall," Gesenius, "poppy juice;" others, "water
of hemlock," "bitter water."
3. Gr. chole
(Matthew 27:34) the LXX. translation of the Hebrew rosh in
(Psalms 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
(Mark 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