hill of testimony, (Ge 31:21), a mountainous region east of Jordan. From its mountainous character it is called "the mount of Gilead" (Ge 31:25). It is called also "the land of Gilead" (Nu 32:1), and sometimes simply "Gilead" (Ps 60:7; Ge 37:25). It comprised the possessions of the tribes of Gad and Reuben and the south part of Manasseh (De 3:13; Nu 32:40). It was bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab and Ammon (Ge 31:21; De 3:12-17). "Half Gilead" was possessed by Sihon, and the other half, separated from it by the river Jabbok, by Og, king of Bashan. The deep ravine of the river Hieromax (the modern Sheriat el-Mandhur) separated Bashan from Gilead, which was about 60 miles in length and 20 in breadth, extending from near the south end of the Lake of Gennesaret to the north end of the Dead Sea. Abarim, Pisgah, Nebo, and Peor are its mountains mentioned in Scripture.
("a hard rocky region".) The mountainous range and the region E. of Jordan are meant by "mount Gilead," not some one mountain. Bashan ("soft level soil"), a fertile plateau, bounds it on the N.; the Arabian table land on the E.; Moab and Ammon on the S. (De 3:12-17); Jordan on the W.; Hieromax river (now Sheriat'el Mandhur) divides it from Bashan. The Jabbok divided Og's northern half of Gilead (now Jebel Ajlun) from Sihon's southern half (now Belka.). The valley of Heshbon was probably Gilead's southern bound. Mishor, "a table land," is used to denote the plateau S. and E. of Gilead. Thus Bezer was in the country of the Mishor ("plain country," KJV De 4:43), the smooth downs of Moab contrasting with the higher districts of Bashan northwards and the rugged country W. of the Jordan.
One prominent peak is still called Jebel Jil'ad, "mount Gilead," the probable site of Ramath Mizpeh (Jos 13:26), and the "Mizpeh of Gilead" from whence Jephthah passed over to Ammon (Jg 11:29), an admirable place for assembling forces for war. Es-Salt, a town close by, is on the site of "Ramoth Gilead," the city of refuge in Gad. The mountains of Gilead, 2,000 or 3,000 ft. high, appear still more elevated from the W. owing to the depression of the Jordan valley 1,000 ft., and resemble a massive wall along the horizon; but when ascended they present a" wide table land tossed about in wild confusion of undulating downs, clothed with rich grass and magnificent forests, and broken by three deep defiles, those of the Jarmuk, Jabbok, and Arnon" (Stanley, Sinai and Palestine)
The high Arabian plateau makes them look low from the E. Pasturage abounds in Gilead more than in western Palestine, from whence Reuben and Gad chose it for their numerous flocks and herds (Numbers 32). The physical nature of the country affected the character of its people, who ever retained nomadic pastoral habits. Gad, which lay S. and W. by Jordan, stretching N. as far as the sea of Galilee.) (See GAD.) Manasseh lay N. and E., and stretched S. to Mahanaim. Gilead's isolation kept its people in the background in Israel's history. Its aromatic spices and balm were exported to Egypt (Ge 37:25; Jer 8:22). Chedorlaomer attacked the giant Zuzim in Ham, i.e. probably Gilead; having first attacked the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, now the Hauran, afterward the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, the country subsequently of Moab. In Gilead Saul's son at Mahanaim tried to gain his father's throne (2Sa 2:8-9).
Here David found shelter and hospitality while fleeing from Absalom (2Sa 17:22,27-29). Elijah the Tishbite was of Gilead, and in garb, abruptness, and active energy reflected his country's characteristics. Being a border land, it was exposed to the marauding tribes of the desert (Jos 17:1), and Ramoth Gilead was thought the eastern key of Palestine (1Ki 22:3-6). (See RAMOTH GILEAD.) Twice our Lord withdrew to the trans-jordanic hills: after His baptism; again just before His last stay at Jerusalem (Joh 10:39-40). At Pella in the same region the disciples found the refuge from the siege of Jerusalem which their Lord had told them of beforehand; Cestius Gallus having providentially retired, and so given them the opportunity of fleeing (Mt 24:15-16).
1. A person (or personified sept), son of the Manassite Machir (Nu 26:29; 1Ch 2:21), and grandfather of Zelophehad (Nu 27:1). See No. 4 below. 2. A Gadite, son of Michael (1Ch 5:14). 3. A mountain mentioned in Jg 7:3 in an order of Gideon's to his followers, 'Whosoever is fearful
The district on the east of the Jordan, extending from the river Yarmouk, a little south of the Sea of Galilee, to the north corner of the Dead Sea. It fell to the lot of Gad, except its northern part, which, where it joined Bashan, was possessed by Manasseh. It is a mountainous district, which accounts for some part of it being called 'the mount of Gilead' in Ge 31:21-25. Some of the mountains are 2,000 to 3,500 feet high, but from the west they look much higher because of the depression of the Jordan valley. Pasturage abounds in Gilead, and accounts for Gad and the others choosing it for their cattle. The district is divided into north and south by the river Jabbok (Zerka). The northern part is cultivated and has numerous villages; but the southern is mostly held by nomadic tribes, with but little cultivation, and having but one inhabited town now, called es Salt, 32 2' N, 35 42' E.
In the days of Ahab Ramoth-gilead was in possession of the Syrians, which was followed by all Gilead and Moab falling into their hands. 1Ki 22:3; 2Ki 10:32-33. This was followed by Tiglath-pileser conquering the region, and carrying the Israelites into captivity. 2Ki 15:29; 1Ch 5:26. In the restoration of Israel their border eastward will extend to Damascus and Gilead. Eze 47:18. This ancient possession will thus be brought into blessing. The Ishmaelites who bought Joseph were travelling with balm and myrrh from Gilead. Ge 37:25. The balm of Gilead was proverbial for its healing virtues. Jer 8:22; 46:11.
2. Father of Jephthah. Jg 11:1-2.
3. Son of Michael of the family of Gad. 1Ch 5:14.
1. A mountainous region bounded on the west by the Jordan, on the north by Bashan, on the east by the Arabian plateau, and on the south by Moab and Ammon.
Ge 31:21; De 3:12-17
It is sometimes called "Mount Gilead,"
sometimes "the land of Gilead,"
and sometimes simply "Gilead."
The name Gilead, as is usual in Palestine, describes the physical aspect of the country: it signifies "a hard rocky region." The mountains of Gilead, including Pisgah, Abarim and Peor, have a real elevation of from 2000 to 3000 feet; but their apparent elevation on the western side is much greater, owing to the depression of the Jordan valley, which averages about 3000 feet. Their outline is singularly uniform, resembling a massive wall running along the horizon. Gilead was specially noted for its balm collected from "balm of Gilead" trees, and worth twice its weight in silver.
2. Possibly the name of a mountain west of the Jordan, near Jezreel.
We are inclined, however, to think that the true reading in this place should be GILBOA.
3. Son of Machir, grandson of Manasseh.
4. The father of Jephthah.
GILEAD, the name given to the monument erected by Laban and Jacob, in testimony of a mutual covenant and agreement, Ge 31:47-48. Hence the hill upon which it was erected, was called Mount Gilead, Song 4:1; 6:5; Jer 50:19. The mountains of Gilead were part of that ridge of mountains which extend from Mount Lebanon southward, on the east of the Holy land; they gave their name to the whole country which lies on the east of the sea of Galilee, and included the mountainous region called in the New Testament Trachonitis. The Scripture speaks of the balm of Gilead, Jer 8:22; 46:11; 51:8. The merchants who bought Joseph came from Gilead, and were carrying balm into Egypt, Ge 37:25. See BALM.