What is Gilgal?
(rolling). 1 . The name of the first station of the Israelites after crossing the Jordan, and "in the east border of Jericho," Josh 4:19-20, the twelve stones were set up, and the tabernacle remained at Gilgal until removed to Shiloh. Josh 18:1. Samuel judged, and Saul was made king there, 1 Sam 7:16; 1 Sam 10:8; 1 Sam 11:14-15; at Gilgal the people gathered for war; there Agag was hewn in pieces. 1 Sam 13:4-7; 1 Sam 15:33. Later on, Gilgal became a seat of idolatry, but whether this one or the Gilgal above Bethel is yet unsettled. Gilgal is not named in the N.T. Josephus places this Gilgal 10 furlongs from Jericho and 50 from the Jordan; Jerome had it pointed out 2 miles from Jericho; Thomson and others locate it near the modern village of Riba; Zschokke, at Tell Jeljal, north of Wady Kelt. Conder favors this, and gives the name Jiljulieh. 1. The Gilgal in Elijah's time was probably in the range of hills beyond Bethel, since the prophet "went down" from that Gilgal to Bethel, 2 Kgs 2:2. As Bethel is 3300 feet above the Jordan plain, it must have been a Gilgal not in that plain, but one higher up than Bethel. It has been identified with Jijilia, 8 miles north of Bethel, where the school of the prophets was probably established. 2. Gilgal of Josh 12:23 is supposed to be at a Jiljulieh, 4 miles south of Antipatris, in the plain of Sharon. There is a Kilkilieh -- another form of Gilgal -- also, 2 miles east of Antipatris.