Medicine From the Earth – The Bible Verses

Medicine from Earth

When God created the earth, he included certain plants with medicinal qualities for our use. While there is nothing wrong with using synthetic medication as needed, it’s worth also considering the natural medicine that God built into creation. Let’s examine each Bible verse about medicine from the earth, and see what scripture has to say on this subject. In particular, we’ll take a look at the healing properties of cannabis.

On the second day of creation, after separating the waters from the dry land, God created plants:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day. Genesis 1:11–13, KJV

And on the sixth day of creation, after creating land animals and then humans, God spoke several blessings to his newly-created humans, including the following:

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:29–31, KJV

Of particular note in these verses is the “green herb.” The King James Version says these herbs are all “for meat,” which is just an old-fashioned way of saying that they are for our consumption. In some cases, that can mean simply eating them (and cannabis leaves do make an incredibly healthy salad<, by the way), but it can also mean consuming them as medicine for healing benefits. We should also note how God sees that each part of his creation is “good,” and the whole of it is “very good.” This must certainly include cannabis, which God created for human consumption. This theme is repeated several more times in the Old Testament:

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. Genesis 9:3, KJV

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,
And herb for the service of man:
That he may bring forth food out of the earth;
Psalm 104:14, KJV

So what are the healing benefits of cannabis? Kevin Loria, in an article for Business Insider, explains:

There are at least two active chemicals… that researchers think have medicinal applications. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving properties and is largely responsible for the high.Business Insider

The article goes on to describe quite a number of ways that cannabis may be used for healing:

  • Treating chronic pain
  • Helping with muscle spasms
  • Improving lung capacity
  • Treating glaucoma
  • Helping control epileptic seizures
  • Decreasing the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome
  • Preventing cancer from spreading
  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Easing the pain of multiple sclerosis
  • Aiding the treatment of hepatitis C
  • Helping with inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Relieving arthritis discomfort
  • Decreasing obesity
  • Spurring creativity
  • Soothing Parkinsonian tremors
  • Treating PTSD
  • Protecting the brain after a stroke
  • Protecting the brain from concussions and trauma
  • Preventing nightmares
  • Reducing the side effects of chemotherapy
  • Helping curb the drinking of alcohol
  • Reducing deaths from opioid overdose

And Chip Whitley, in an article for Green Flower, describes even more benefits of cannabis:

  • Regulating and preventing diabetes
  • Helping with depression
  • Treating autism
  • Helping to heal broken bones
  • Treating ADHD
  • Helping people with AIDS/HIV
  • Treating nausea
  • Relieving headaches
  • Treating certain STDs, including herpes and chlamydia
  • Improving skin conditions
  • Regulating OCD
  • Calming asthma attacks
  • Overcoming erectile dysfunction
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Calming panic attacks
  • Increasing energy
  • Aiding sleep
  • Improving productivity

With all of these benefits, is it any wonder that cannabis oil was likely one of the ingredients prescribed by God to Moses for the Israelites’ holy anointing oil?

Moreover the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil. Exodus 30:22–25, KJV

The word here translated as “calamus” is the Hebrew kaneh-bosm. Here’s what Chris Bennett says about it in his article, “Kaneh Bosm: Cannabis in the Old Testament.

The first solid evidence of the Hebrew use of cannabis was established in 1936 by Sula Benet, a little known Polish etymologist from the Institute of Anthropological Sciences in Warsaw.

The word cannabis was generally thought to be of Scythian origin, but Benet showed that it has a much earlier origin in Semitic languages like Hebrew, and that it appears several times throughout the Old Testament. Benet explained that “in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament there are references to hemp, both as incense, which was an integral part of religious celebration, and as an intoxicant.

Benet demonstrated that the word for cannabis is kaneh-bosm, also rendered in traditional Hebrew as kaneh or kannabus. The root kan in this construction means “reed” or “hemp”, while bosm means “aromatic”. This word appears five times in the Old Testament; in the books of Exodus, the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The word kaneh-bosm has been mistranslated as calamus, a common marsh plant with little monetary value that does not have the qualities or value ascribed to kaneh-bosm. The error occurred in the oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint in the third century BC, and was repeated in the many translations that followed.

And this holy anointing oil, which probably included cannabis, may even have been the oil used by Jesus and his disciples during their ministry:

And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. Mark 6:13, KJV

Finally, we should consider the belief of some that the tree of life, found at the beginning of Genesis and at the end of Revelation, may refer to cannabis:

And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8–9, KJV

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Revelation 22:1–2, KJV

I’m hesitant to say that the tree of life actually is cannabis in a literal sense, if for no other reason than the fact that cannabis plants are not bearing fruit of twelve different kinds (nor are any existing fruit trees that we know of). But symbolically speaking, it just might be a good fit. After all, the leaves of the cannabis plant certainly exist “for the healing of the nations.”

But, one thing we do know is that CBD oil – which is created from cannabis – is “very good” as God deemed it in the book of Genesis, along with every other seed-bearing herb and plant that He created for us to use.

The healing effects of CBD are only now being fully realized, and more research is being done even now to determine just how beneficial and effective it can be to bring healing to thousands, perhaps millions, of people around the world.

That’s cause for celebration.

Carson Mills
Carson Mills
Carson Mills is a freelance writer and editor. He lives with his family in Washington state, where he enjoys the beautiful scenery, as well as the freedom afforded by Initiative 502. When not nose-deep in a book, he’s usually blogging about some controversial point of theology.

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