Gilead or Gilaad (Hebrew: גִּלְעָד), (English: /ˈɡɪl.i.əd/), is the name of three persons and two geographic places in the Hebrew 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 additionally 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 ().

The name Gilead first appears in the biblical account of the last meeting of Jacob and Laban ().

It is called additionally the land of Gilead (, ) in a large number of translations, and at times simply Gilead (; ; ). As a whole, it included the tribal territories of Gad, Reuben, and the eastern half of Manasseh (; ). In the Book of Judges, the thirty sons of the biblical judge Jair controlled the thirty towns of Gilead (), and in the First 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 additional 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 (97 km) in length and 20 miles (32 km) 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 might refer to Ramoth-Gilead, Jabesh-Gilead, or the whole region Gilead.

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 at times expanded to include southern Gilead. King David fled to Mahanaim in Gilead throughout 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 additionally 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 might additionally 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 Israeli Hebrew, גלעד (transcribed Gilad or Ghil'ad) is used as a male given name and is often analysed as deriving from גיל (gil) "happiness, joy" and עד (ad) "eternity, forever"; i.e. "eternal happiness".