Ancient Physicians and Their Art

McConvery, Brendan (1998) Ancient Physicians and Their Art. Bible Today, 36 (5). pp. 306-312.

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Comparatively little is known about the practice of medicine in Israel before the Exile. It was probably, for the most part, what might today be called "traditional medicine," or the application of simple remedies tried and tested over generations. The prophet Isaiah describes a manner of treating wounds involving squeezing out infection, softening the skin with oil, and then applying a bandage (Isa 1:6). He later prescribed a fig poultice for Hezekiah with successful results (Isa 38:21). For those who could afford them, imported remedies were available (Jer 8:22). Foreign physicians may have treated members of the royal family or nobility. The Chronicler, for instance, who has little love for King Asa, condemns him because "even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians" (2Chr 16:12)

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ancient Physicians
Academic Unit: St Patrick's College, Maynooth > Faculty of Theology
Item ID: 573
Depositing User: Brendan McConvery
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2007
Journal or Publication Title: Bible Today
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Refereed: Yes

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