GELILOTH (gē-lī'lŏth). The name of a place on the border of Benjamin and Judah, east of Jerusalem (Josh.18.17); perhaps the same as the Gilgal of Josh.15.7, whose name has a similar meaning (“circuit”). It cannot be the Gilgal near Jericho in the Jordan Valley.
GELILOTH gĭ lī’ lŏth
), a difficult feminine pl. form of the familiar place name, Gilgal (q.v.). It appears only in Joshua 18:17
, “...and thence goes to Geliloth, which is opposite the ascent of Adummim.” An almost identical reference occurs in Joshua 15:7
“...looking toward Gilgal, that is opposite the ascent of Adummim” (JPS, modified). Obviously with such a close similarity a number of evident emendations have been suggested. It is necessary to note that the description in 15:7
deals with the boundaries of Judah after the conquest was begun while the description in 18:17
deals with the borders of the tribes of Benjamin. Therefore it is highly possible that for purposes of such identification, two different terms are meant. The word Gilgal simply means a “circle,” most likely “a circle of stones,” and so there are a number of separate Gilgals mentioned in the text. It is probable that the Geliloth was an area, not simply the one location specifically mentioned in 15:7
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
This word is used for "districts" or "circuits" perhaps indicating the different parts subject to the several lords of the Philistines (Jos 13:2, the King James Version "borders," the Revised Version (British and American) "regions"); for the quarter of the Jordan valley where the eastern tribes built the altar of Ed (Jos 22:10 f; the King James Version "border of," the Revised Version (British and American) "region about," Jordan); and apparently, for the whole of Philistia (Joe 3:4, the King James Version "coasts of Palestine," the Revised Version (British and American) "regions of Philistia"). But in Jos 18:17, it is clearly used as a place-name. Geliloth lay on the boundary between Judah and Benjamin which passed En-shemesh (probably `Ain el-Chod, about 2 miles East of Jerusalem), "and went out to Geliloth, which is over against the ascent of Adummim." From this point it "went down" toward the plain. The place cannot therefore be identified with Gilgal in the Jordan valley. Some point on the road leading from Jericho to Tal`at ed-Dumm, about 6 miles from Jerusalem, was probably intended, but no identification is possible.