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Gilgal
Gilgal
(Hebrew: גִּלְגָּל‬ Gilgāl, "stone circle") is the name of one or more places in the Hebrew Bible. Gilgal
Gilgal
is mentioned 39 times, in particular in the Book of Joshua, as the place where the Israelites
Israelites
camped after crossing the Jordan River
Jordan River
( Joshua
Joshua
4:19 - 5:12).

Contents

1 Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Joshua 2 Gilgal
Gilgal
in Deuteronomy 3 Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Samuel 4 Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Elijah
Elijah
and Elisha 5 References 6 See also 7 External links

Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Joshua[edit] In the biblical narrative, Joshua
Joshua
orders the Israelites
Israelites
on the 10th of the Hebrew month Nisan, to take twelve stones from the river, one for each tribe, and place them there in memory. Israel Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein
claims this is an etiological myth created by the author of the Book of Joshua
Joshua
to explain the neolithic stone circle.[1]

Proposed location of Biblical Gilgal, in the modern-day West Bank

According to the biblical narrative, Joshua
Joshua
then orders the Israelites who had been born during the Exodus to be circumcised. The Bible refers to the place where this occurred as Givat Ha'aralot. Some scholars speculate that the stone circle was the (unnamed) religious sanctuary that was condemned in the Book of Amos
Book of Amos
(Amos 4:4, 5:5) and Book of Hosea
Book of Hosea
(Hosea 4:15).[2]

Gilgal
Gilgal
is said to have been "on the eastern border of Jericho" (Joshua 4:19). "Gilgal" is also mentioned in a list of places to divide the land under the leadership of Joshua
Joshua
( Joshua
Joshua
15:7). It may also have been the place marked by the modern village Jiljulieh, southwest of Antipatris
Antipatris
and northeast of Jaffa. But another Gilgal, under the slightly different form of Kilkilieh, lies about two miles east of Antipatris. Gilgal
Gilgal
in Deuteronomy[edit] In the Book of Deuteronomy
Book of Deuteronomy
11:29-30, Gilgal
Gilgal
is a place across from Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim
and Mount Ebal. Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Samuel[edit] A place named Gilgal
Gilgal
is mentioned in the Books of Samuel
Books of Samuel
as having been included in Samuel's annual circuit, and as the location where he offered sacrifices after Saul
Saul
was anointed as king, and where he renewed Saul's kingship together with the people (1 Samuel
Samuel
chapters 7 and 11). Again it is possible for this to yet another "circle of standing stones" [3] (or the same one as mentioned in relation to Elijah
Elijah
and Elisha, as Bethel
Bethel
is on the circuit with Gilgal, and other assumed locations show Gilgal
Gilgal
to be far further away than the other two locations), and significant that it is treated as a holy place by the biblical text, rather than as a heathen one. Gilgal
Gilgal
is the place where Samuel
Samuel
hewed King Agag
Agag
in pieces as Saul refused to obey the Word of the Lord and utterly destroy the Amalekites,[4] and on his return to Jerusalem after the death of his son Absalom, King David
King David
travels to Gilgal. From there he is escorted to Jerusalem by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.[5] Gilgal
Gilgal
associated with Elijah
Elijah
and Elisha[edit] In the Books of Kings, "Gilgal" is mentioned as the home of a company of prophets. The text states that Elijah
Elijah
and Elisha
Elisha
came from Gilgal to Bethel, and then onward to Jericho
Jericho
and to the Jordan,[6] suggesting that the place was in the vicinity of Bethel, and hence in a mountainous region, which is somewhat different from the place associated with Joshua. Since "Gilgal" means a "circle of standing stones", it is quite plausible for there to have been more than one place named Gilgal, and although there are dissenting opinions, it is commonly held to be a different place from the one involved with Joshua; it has been identified with the village Jaljulia, about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) north of Bethel. It is significant that the Books of Kings
Books of Kings
treat it as a place of holiness, suggesting that stone circles still had a positive religious value at the time the source text of the passages in question was written, rather than having been condemned as heathen by religious reforms. Another opinion is that it is not different from the Book of Joshua, as it locates it near Bethel
Bethel
as does the Books of Chronicles.[citation needed] References[edit]

^ Israel Finkelstein, The Bible Unearthed ^ Jewish Encyclopedia, Book of Joshua; Gilgal ^ Strong's Concordance: Gilgal ^ 1 Samuel
Samuel
15:32-33 ^ 2 Samuel
Samuel
19:15 ^ 2 Kings 2:1-6

See also[edit]

Ancient underground quarry, Jordan Valley, possibly associated by the Byzantines with Gilgal
Gilgal
and the "twelve stones"

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Gilgal.

Dror Eydar, In the footsteps of ancient Israelite kings, September 18, 2013

v t e

Ark of the Covenant
Ark of the Covenant
topics

People

Moses Kohanim High Priest of Israel Israelites Levites Bezalel Tribe of Judah Oholiab Kehath Tribe of Levi Jeremiah Joshua Samuel Solomon Menelik I

Contents

Tablets of Stone Ten Commandments Manna Aaron's rod Cherub

Locations

Mount Sinai Jericho Jordan River Holy of Holies Tabernacle Ai Shiloh Gibeah Gilgal Eben-Ezer Philistia Beth Shemesh Kiriath-Jearim Temple Mount Dome of the Rock Well of Souls Cathedral of Chartres Tana Qirqos Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion

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Coordinates: 32°01′59″N 35°28′33″E / 32.0330°N 35.4757°E

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