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Gilgal is the place where Joshua and the Israelites landed after they crossed the Jordan River into the promised land, the land that would become known as Israel. Gilgal is located on the east side of Jericho.[1]

Joshua set up 12 stones there to commemorate the crossing of the Jordan. All the male children born in the wilderness were circumcised there, and God had Joshua name the place Gilgal, meaning "Rolled away", as God had rolled away from them the disgrace of their earlier life as slaves in Egypt.[2]

The Gibeonites met Joshua at Gilgal and made a treaty with the Israelites. The judge, Samuel, spent time in Gilgal each year when he was serving as the Judge of Israel. Saul was made king there, becoming the first king to rule over Israel.

The people of Judah met King David at Gilgal, to bring him over the Jordan after Absalom died. The prophets Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal shortly before Elijah was taken up to Heaven. The exact site of Gilgal is not known today, but it is in the vicinity of Jericho.


  1. Joshua 4:19-20 (Link)
  2. Joshua 5:8-9 (Link)