Gilead or Gilaad (Hebrew: גִּלְעָד), (/ˈɡɪl.i.əd/[4]), 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 (). From its mountainous character, it is called the mount of Gilead ().

It is called also the land of Gilead (), and sometimes simply Gilead (; ). As a whole, it included the tribal territories of Gad, Reuben, and the eastern half of Manasseh (; ). In the Book of Chronicles, Segub controlled twenty-three towns in Gilead. It was bounded on the north by Bashan, and on the south by Moab and Ammon (; ).

"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 (). 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. ()
  • The son of Michael and father of Jaroah, in the Gadite genealogies. ()
  • The father of Jephthah.
  • In Hebrew, is used to name boys, while "Gil" means joy in Hebrew and "ad" means forever, or eternity. Sometimes, the word "Gil" in Hebrew is mistakenly confused with the word for a "round" (stone)(gal) as it is mostly writen with no vowels; therefore, Gilead is mistakenly confused with galed which means a round (memorial) for eternity.

In popular culture