Gilead (Hebrew גלעד, Gil'ad ) refers to a biblical land, said to have been named after his ancestor so. It is east of the Jordan River between the River Yarmuk in the north on the border of Damascus, and the river Nahr ez- Zarqa ( Jabbok ) to the south on the border of Ammon. From Aramaic King Hazael of Damascus, it was incorporated in the 8th century BC in his sphere. Later, it was one of the main areas of the Decapolis.

Administrative city was Ramoth - Gilead (Tell Rumeith ).

Biblical testimony

The Bible tells of the conquest of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh in Gilead sharing. The father of Gilead was then Machir the son of Manasseh ancestor.

Jacob fled from Laban to Gilead (Gen. 31.21 EU). There, God commanded Laban, Jacob inflict no harm.

Gilead was the home of the seer Balaam, son of Beor, who, except in the Bileamtext from the settlement mound Tell Deir Alla at Penuel, in an Aramaic text shows up and influences the biblical narrative has (Num 22-24 EU).

According to Deuteronomy 34.1 EU it was the promised land. However, Moses did not know if he was already in the promised land.

Around 1000 BC Saul makes the inhabitants of the town of Jabesh Gilead military aid (1 Sam 11 EU).

Gilead was also as rich in medicinal herbs.

Literary adaptation

The name " Gilead " is also in the dystopian novel, The Report of the maid ( original title: " The Handmaid's Tale" ) used by Margaret Atwood, where it denotes a detaching in the future the U.S. military dictatorship whose ideology officially allegedly on the Bible builds or on the Old Testament, but in reality on twisted and taken out of context Bible verses. Volker Schlöndorff filmed this topic in The Handmaid's Tale.

Likewise, a place called " Gilead " in Stephen King's Dark Tower saga is back. It is to the original Abstammungsort of the protagonist, Roland Deschain.

In Edgar Allan Poe's poem The Raven the protagonist asks: " ... is there balm in Gilead? " ( Jer 8,22 EU; ger " ... there is a cure in Gilead ?")

Finally, Christopher Paolini Eragon names in his books a place Gil'ead.

Marilynne Robinson, an American writer, in 2005, also published a novel Gilead.


There Is A Balm In Gilead is a traditional spiritual song.

The American singer and composer Rickie Lee Jones named her 2009 released album Balm in Gilead.

The German singer-songwriter Rainald Grebe sings in his concert stage and on the released album to " The Rainald Grebe Concert 2012 " a mental hospital called " Gilead ".