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For other uses, see Gilead (disambiguation).
The hills of Gilead (current day Jalʻād), Jordan

Gilead or Gilaad (Hebrew: גִּלְעָד), (/ˈɡɪl.i.əd/[1]), is the name of three persons and two geographic places In the Bible.


Gilead was a mountainous region east of the Jordan River divided among the tribes of Gad and Manasseh, and situated in modern-day Jordan. It is also referred to by the Aramaic name Yegar-Sahadutha, which carries the same meaning as the Hebrew (Genesis 31:47). From its mountainous character, it is called the mount of Gilead (Genesis 31:25).

It is called also the land of Gilead (Numbers 32:1), and sometimes simply Gilead (Psalm 60:9; Genesis 37:25). As a whole, it included the tribal territories of Gad, Reuben, and the eastern half of Manasseh (Deut 3:13; Num 32:40). In the Book of Chronicles, Segub controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead.1 Chronicles 2:21-22 It was bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab and Ammon (Genesis 31:21; Deut 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 miles 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.

"Gilead" mentioned in the Book of Hosea may refer to Ramoth-Gilead, Jabesh-Gilead, or the whole region Gilead.

The name Gilead first appears in the biblical account of the last meeting of Jacob and Laban (Genesis 31:21-22). After king Sihon was defeated, the Tribe of Reuben, Tribe of Gad, and half the Tribe of Manasseh were assigned to the area. Ammon and Moab sometimes expanded to include southern Gilead. King David fled to Mahanaim in Gilead during the rebellion of Absalom. Gilead is later mentioned as the homeplace of the prophet Elijah. King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria says he established the province of Gal'azu (Gilead).

Gilead (Arabic: جلعاد Ǧalʻād‎) is also used to refer to the mountainous land extending north and south of Jabbok. It is used more generally for the entire region east of the Jordan River. It corresponds today to the northwestern part of the Kingdom of Jordan.


Gilead may also refer to:

  • A grandson of Manasseh, ancestor of the Iezerites and Helekites. (1 Chronicles 2:21-23)
  • The son of Michael and father of Jaroah, in the Gadite genealogies. (1 Chronicles 5:11-14)
  • The father of Jephthah.
  • In Hebrew, Gilead can mean a memorial site, and is used to name boys, while "Gil" means joy in Hebrew and "ad" means forever, or eternity. Further, the word "Gil" in Hebrew can also be derived from the word for a "round" (stone); therefore, Gilead can also mean a round (memorial) for eternity.

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «gĭl´ē-ud»