Liver bile (Job 16:13
) or venom (“venom of asps,” Job 20:14
). It is used as a metaphor for bitter punishment for evil (Job 20:25
). It is also an herb both bitter (Matt 27:34
) and poisonous (Ps 69:21
). It stood for bitterness (Acts 8:23
) and in (Lam 3:19
) it is paired with wormwood as the extremity of bitter experience. The “poisonous weeds” of (Hos 10:4
) (KJV: “hemlock”) may possibly be Conium maculatum, such as Socrates reportedly drank.
13his archers surround me.
He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy;
he pours out my gall on the ground.
14yet their food is turned in their stomachs;
it is the venom of asps within them.
25It is drawn forth and comes out of their body,
and the glittering point comes out of their gall;
terrors come upon them.
34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
21They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.”
19The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!
4They utter mere words;
with empty oaths they make covenants;
so litigation springs up like poisonous weeds
in the furrows of the field.