A mountainous region bounded on the west by the Jordan, on the north by Bashan, on the east by the Arabian plateau, and on the south by Moab and Ammon. (Genesis 31:21; 3:12-17) It is sometimes called "Mount Gilead," (Genesis 31:25) sometimes "the land of Gilead," (Numbers 32:1) and sometimes simply "Gilead." (Psalms 60:7; Genesis 37:25) The name Gilead, as is usual in Palestine, describes the physical aspect of the country: it signifies "a hard rocky region." The mountains of Gilead, including Pisgah, Abarim and Peor, have a real elevation of from 2000 to 3000 feet; but their apparent elevation on the western side is much greater, owing to the depression of the Jordan valley, which averages about 3000 feet, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Their outline is singularly uniform, resembling a massive wall running along the horizon. Gilead was specially noted for its balm collected from "balm of Gilead" trees, and worth twice its weight in silver.
* See other occurrences of the same term: Gilead.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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