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Bible Cities: Gilgal
Ancient Gilgal

Map of Ancient Gilgal


Gilgal in Easton's Bible Dictionary rolling. (1.) From the solemn transaction of the reading of the law in the valley of Shechem between Ebal and Gerizim the Israelites moved forward to Gilgal, and there made a permanent camp (Josh. 9:6; 10:6). It was "beside the oaks of Moreh," near which Abraham erected his first altar (Gen. 12:6, 7). This was one of the three towns to which Samuel resorted for the administration of justice (1 Sam. 7:16), and here also he offered sacrifices when the ark was no longer in the tabernacle at Shiloh (1 Sam. 10:8; 13:7-9). To this place, as to a central sanctuary, all Israel gathered to renew their allegiance to Saul (11:14). At a later period it became the scene of idolatrous worship (Hos. 4:15; 9:15). It has been identified with the ruins of Jiljilieh, about 5 miles south-west of Shiloh and about the same distance from Bethel. (2.) The place in "the plains of Jericho," "in the east border of Jericho," where the Israelites first encamped after crossing the Jordan (Josh. 4:19, 20). Here they kept their first Passover in the land of Canaan (5:10) and renewed the rite of circumcision, and so "rolled away the reproach" of their Egyptian slavery. Here the twelve memorial stones, taken from the bed of the Jordan, were set up; and here also the tabernacle remained till it was removed to Shiloh (18:1). It has been identified with Tell Jiljulieh, about 5 miles from Jordan. (3.) A place, probably in the hill country of Ephraim, where there was a school of the prophets (2 Kings 4:38), and whence Elijah and Elisha, who resided here, "went down" to Bethel (2:1,2). It is mentioned also in Deut. 11:30. It is now known as Jiljilia, a place 8 miles north of Bethel.
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/G/Gilgal/

Gilgal in Fausset's Bible Dictionary 1. Hebrew: "the Gilgal," i.e. rolling. Israel's first encampment W. of Jordan (five miles) where they passed their first night after crossing, and set up the twelve stones taken from the river bed (Joshua 4:3; Joshua 4:19-20). Here they kept the first Passoverin Canaan (Joshua 5:10). On arising ground ("hill," Joshua 5:3; Joshua 5:9) in the hot sunken Ghor between Jericho and the Jordan, one mile and a half E. of Jericho; five miles and a half W. of Jordan (Josephus, Ant. 5:1, 4, 11). On the N. side of wady Kelt, one mile and a third from the tower of modern Jericho (Eriha); toward the E. is a tamarisk, "Shejaret el Ithleh," which tradition makes the site of "the city of brass," whose walls fell on their besiegers marching round them. A pool is 150 yards S.E. of the tree, such as Israel would need in their long encampment at Gilgal; it is built with well packed pebbles without cement. S.E. of this are twelve or more small mounds, Tell ayla't Jiljulieh, eight or ten ft. diameter, and three or four high, possibly remains of Israel's camp (Conder, Israel Exploration). The distances stated by Josephus accord with this site. The Israelites born in the wilderness were here circumcised with stone knives (Joshua 5:2 margin; Exodus 4:25), which "rolling" away of the reproach of uncircumcision gave the name. The sons under 20 years, when at Kadesh in the second year of the wilderness journey the murmuring nation was rejected (Numbers 14), had been already circumcised; those born subsequently needed circumcision. As God abrogated at Kadesh the covenant, the sons of the rejected generation were not to receive the covenant rite. The manna and pillar of cloud were not withdrawn, because God would sustain the rising generation with the prospect of the ban being removed, and of the covenant temporarily suspended being renewed. The sentence was exhausted when they crossed the Zered and entered the Amorites' land (Deuteronomy 2:14; Numbers 21:12-13), when all the sentenced generation was dead (Numbers 26:63-65). Moses, himself under sentence to die, did not venture on the steppes of Moab to direct the circumcision of the younger generation without Jehovah's command. And the rule of divine grace is first to give, then to require; so first He showed His grace to Abraham by leading him to Canaan and giving the promises, then enjoined circumcision; also He did not give the law to Israel at Sinai until first He had redeemed them from Egypt, and thereby made them willing to promise obedience. So now He did not require the renewal of circumcision, the covenant sign of subjection to the law (Galatians 5:3), until He had first showed His grace in giving them victory over Og and Sihon, and in making a way through Jordan, a pledge that He would fulfill all His promises and finally give them the whole land. The circumcision was performed the day after crossing Jordan, i.e. the 11th day of the first month (Galatians 4:19). The Passover was kept on the 14th (verse 10). The objection that all could not have been circumcised in one day is futile. For the males in Israel at the census in Moab shortly before were 601,730 upward of 20 years old, besides 23,000 Levites of a month old and upward; at the outside all the males would be less than one million. Of these about 300,000 were 38 years old, therefore born before the census at Kadesh and circumcised already; so that only 600,000 would remain to be circumcised. The uncircumcised could easily be circumcised in one day with the help of the circumcised; the latter would prepare and kill the Passover lamb for their brethren whose soreness (Genesis 34:25) would be no bar to their joining in the feast.
http://www.bible-history.com/faussets/G/Gilgal/

Gilgal in Hitchcock's Bible Names wheel; rolling; heap
http://www.bible-history.com/hitchcock/G/Gilgal/

Gilgal in Naves Topical Bible 1. Place of the first encampment of the Israelites west of the Jordan River Jos 4:19; 9:6; 10:6,43; 14:6 Monument erected in, to commemorate the passage across the Jordan River by the people of Israel Jos 4:19-24 Circumcision renewed at Jos 5:2-9 Passover kept at Jos 5:10,11 Manna ceased at, after the Passover Jos 5:12 Quarries at Jud 3:19 Eglon, king of Moab, resides and is slain at Jud 3:14-26 A judgment seat, where Israel, in that district, came to be judged by Samuel 1Sa 7:16 Saul proclaimed king over all Israel at 1Sa 11:15 An altar built at, and sacrifice offered 1Sa 11:15; 13:4-15; 15:6-23 Agag, king of the Amalekites, slain at, by Samuel 1Sa 15:33 Tribe of Judah assembles at, to proceed to the east side of the Jordan River to conduct King David back after the defeat of Absalom 2Sa 19:14,15,40-43 A school of the prophets at 2Ki 4:38-40 Prophecies concerning Ho 4:15; 9:15; 12:11; Am 4:4; 5:5 -2. A royal city in Canaan Conquered by Joshua Jos 12:23
http://www.bible-history.com/naves/G/GILGAL/

Gilgal in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a wheel; rolling). 1. The site of the first camp of the Israelites on the west of the Jordan, the place at which they passed the first night after crossing the river, and where the twelve stones were set up which had been taken from the bed of the stream, Jos 4:19,20 comp. Josh 4:3 where also they kept the first passover in the land of Canaan ch. Jos 5:10 It was "in the east border of Jericho," apparently on a hillock or rising ground, Jos 5:3 comp. Josh 5:9 in the Arboth-Jericho (Authorized Version "the plains"), that is, the hot depressed district of the Ghor which lay between the town and the Jordan. ch. Jos 5:10 Here Samuel was judge, and Saul was made king. We again have a glimpse of it, some sixty years later, in the history of David's return to Jerusalem. 2Sa 19:40 A Gilgal is spoken of in Jos 15:7 in describing the north border of Judah. In Jos 18:17 it is given as Geliloth. Gilgal near Jericho is doubtless intended. 2. In 2Ki 2:1,2; 4:38 is named a Gilgal visited by Elijah and Elisha. This could not be the Gilgal of the low plain of the Jordan, for the prophets are said to have gone down to Bethel, which is 3000 feet above the plain. It haa been identified with Jiljilia, about four miles from Bethel and Shiloh respectively. 3. The "king of the nations of Gilgal" or rather perhaps the "king of Goim at Gilgal," is mentioned in the catalogue of the chiefs overthrown bv Joshua. Jos 12:23 Possibly the site of this place is marked by the modern village Jiljulieh, about four miles south of Antipatris, which lies 16 miles northeast of Joppa. But another Gilgal, under the slightly-different form of Kilkilieh, lies about two miles east of Antipatris.
http://www.bible-history.com/smiths/G/Gilgal/

Gilgal in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE gil'-gal (gilgal, "circle"; Galgala): The article is always with the name except in Josh 5:9. There are three places to which the name is attached: (1) The first camp of Israel after crossing the Jordan (Josh 4:19; 5:9,10; 9:6; 10:7; 14:6; 15:7; Dt 11:30). According to Josh 15:7 it lay to the North of the valley of Achor, which formed the border between Judah and Benjamin. Here 12 memorial stones taken from the bed of the river were set up by Joshua, after the miraculous crossing of the Jordan; and here (Josh 5:5 ff) the people were circumcised preparatory to their possession of the land, when it is said in Josh, with a play upon the word, "This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you." Whereupon the Passover was celebrated (Josh 5:10) and the manna ceased (Josh 5:12). To Gilgal the ark returned every day after having compassed the city of Jericho during its siege (Josh 6:11). Hither the Gibeonites came to make their treaty (Josh 9:3 ff), and again (Josh 10:6) to ask aid against the Amorites. Gilgal was still the headquarters of the Israelites after the battle with the Amorites (Josh 10:15); again after Joshua's extensive victorious campaign in the hill country of Judea extending to Kadesh-barnea and Gaza (Josh 10:15 ff); and still later upon his return from the great battle at the Waters of Merom (Josh 14:6). At the conclusion of the conquest (Josh 18:1), the headquarters were transferred to Shiloh on the summit of the mountain ridge to the West. Gilgal reappears frequently in subsequent history. Samuel (1 Sam 7:16) made it one of the three places where he annually held circuit court, the other places being Bethel and Mizpah. The Septuagint text adds that these were holy places. The place continued as one of special resort for sacrifices (1 Sam 10:8; 13:8,9,10; 15:21), while it was here that Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord (1 Sam 15:33), and that Saul was both crowned (1 Sam 11:14,15) and rejected as king. It was at Gilgal, also (2 Sam 19:15), that the people assembled to welcome David as he returned from his exile beyond Jordan during Absalom's rebellion. The early prophets refer to Gilgal as a center of idolatry in their day (Hos 4:15; 9:15; 12:11; Am 4:4; 5:5). Micah (6:5) represents Gilgal as at the other end of the Dead Sea from Shittim. In 1874 Conder recognized the name Gilgal as surviving in Barker Jiljuilieh, a pool beside a tamarisk tree 3 miles East of old Jericho. The pool measures 100 ft. by 84, and is surrounded with a wall of roughly hewn stones. North of the pool Bliss discovered lines of masonry 300 yds. long, representing probably the foundations of an ancient monastery. South of the pool there are numerous mounds scattered over an area of one-third of a square mile, the largest being 50 feet in diameter, and 10 feet in height. On excavation some pottery and glass were found. These ruins are probably those of early Christian occupation, and according to Conder there is nothing against their marking the original site. Up to the Middle Ages the 12 stones of Joshua were referred to by tradition. (2) According to 2 Ki 2:1; 4:38, Elisha for a time made his headquarters at Gilgal, a place in the mountains not far from Bethel identified by Conder as Jiljilia, standing on a high hill on the North side of the Wady el-Jib. It is lower than Bethel, but the phrase in 2 Ki 2:2, "they went down to Beth-el," may refer to their initial descent into the wady. It could not have been said that they went down from Gilgal to Bethel in the Jordan valley. The place seems to be referred to in Neb 12:29 as Beth-gilgal. (3) Gilgal of the nations: In Josh 12:23 Gilgal is mentioned as a royal city associated with Dor, evidently upon the maritime plain. Dor is identified with Tantura, while Conder identifies this Gilgal with Jiljuilieh, 30 miles South of Dor and 4 miles North of Anti-patris.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/G/GILGAL/

Gilgal Scripture - 1 Samuel 10:8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, [and] to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Samuel/10/

Gilgal Scripture - 1 Samuel 13:4 And all Israel heard say [that] Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and [that] Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Samuel/13/

Gilgal Scripture - 1 Samuel 15:12 And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Samuel/15/

Gilgal Scripture - 1 Samuel 15:33 And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/1+Samuel/15/

Gilgal Scripture - 2 Kings 4:38 And Elisha came again to Gilgal: and [there was] a dearth in the land; and the sons of the prophets [were] sitting before him: and he said unto his servant, Set on the great pot, and seethe pottage for the sons of the prophets.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Kings/4/

Gilgal Scripture - 2 Samuel 19:15 So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Samuel/19/

Gilgal Scripture - 2 Samuel 19:40 Then the king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went on with him: and all the people of Judah conducted the king, and also half the people of Israel.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/2+Samuel/19/

Gilgal Scripture - Hosea 9:15 All their wickedness [is] in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes [are] revolters.
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Hosea/9/

Gilgal Scripture - Joshua 12:23 The king of Dor in the coast of Dor, one; the king of the nations of Gilgal, one;
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Joshua/12/

Gilgal Scripture - Joshua 15:7 And the border went up toward Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that [is] before the going up to Adummim, which [is] on the south side of the river: and the border passed toward the waters of Enshemesh, and the goings out thereof were at Enrogel:
http://www.bible-history.com/kjv/Joshua/15/



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