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Gilead (gĭlˈēăd) [key], in the Bible. 1 Eponym of the Gileadites, grandson of Manasseh. 2 Gadite. 3 Jephthah's father. 4 City near Mizpah, denounced by Hosea. 5 Fertile, mountainous region, NE of the Dead Sea. In the Bible, it was allotted to Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh and was noted for its spices, myrrh, and balm. It was the home of Jair, Jephthah, and Elijah, and here Jacob met Laban; Ishbosheth was once its king, and in it David found refuge from Absalom. After the partition of Israel it became part of the northern kingdom. It was captured by Assyria. Hosea denounced it. It has been called variously Mt. Gilead, Land of Gilead, and Gilead.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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