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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Gilgal

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The first camping-place of the Israelites in the land west of the Jordan (Joshua 4:19); the place to which they could retreat during their struggles for conquest (Joshua 10:6 et seq.); it was also a sanctuary, the origin of which is explained in Joshua 4:3 et seq.; and it is mentioned as a place of sacrifice in 1 Samuel 10:8, 11:15, 15:12; comp. also 2 Samuel 19:16 (A. V. 15). This Gilgal does not seem to be identical with the city visited by Samuel (1 Samuel 7:16), which should rather be identified with Jiljilya, southwest of Shiloh. Nor-even if the reading "they went down" should be accepted as uncertain—does it seem to be the Gilgal mentioned in 2 Kings 2:1 et seq., from which Elijah journeyed to Beth-el and then to Jericho. The "Gilgal" of this passage, where according to 2 Kings 4:38 a company of prophets lived, is usually identified with the Jiljilya mentioned above, or with a Julaijil southeast of Shechem. Deuteronomy 11:30, the passage supporting these identifications, is, however, rather doubtful from a critical standpoint, and hence the question can not be decided with absolute certainty. The Ephraitic sanctuary, so severely condemned by the Prophets (Amos 4:4, 5:5; Hosea 4:15), is probably to be identified with the "Gilgal" of the Joshua narrative. Its name could still be found not many years ago in that of a hill Jaljul, east of Jericho, but even that name seems now to be forgotten.

Bibliography:
  • Zschokke, Beiträge zur Topographie d. Westl. Jordanaue, 1866, pp. 26 et seq.;
  • Palestine Exploration Fund, No. 3, pp. 173 et seq., 181 et seq., 191;
  • Mitteilungen und Nachrichten des Deutschen Palästina-Vereins, 1899, pp. 30 et seq., 97 et seq.;
  • Schlatter, Zur Topographie und Geschichte Palästinas, pp. 246 et seq.;
  • Bertholet, on Deuteronomy 11:30.
E. G. H.
F. Bu.

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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Gilgal'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tje/g/gilgal.html. 1901.

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