The Gershonites were one of the four main divisions among the Levites in Biblical times. The Bible claims that the Gershonites were all descended from the eponymous Gershon, a son of Levi, although biblical scholars regard this as a postdictional metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the clan to others in the Israelite confederation; according to biblical scholars, Levite was originally just a job title, deriving from the Minaean word lawi'u meaning priest, rather than the name of a tribe.
The Bible ascribes a specific religious function to the Gershonites, namely care of the curtains, hangings, and ropes of the sanctuary. This differentiation of religious activity between the Gershonites and other Levites, in particular the Aaronids, is found only in the Priestly Code, and not in passages that textual scholars attribute to other authors.
- in the territory of Manasseh: Golan, and Beeshterah
- in the territory of Issachar: Kishon, Dabareh, Jarmuth, and En-gannim
- in the territory of Asher: Mishal, Abdon, Helkath, and Rehob
- in the territory of Naphtali: Kedesh, Hammoth-dor, and Kartan