The first camp of Israel
In the book of Joshua , Gilgal is mentioned in 4:19–20 EU as the first deposit of the Israelites after entering the promised land. In Joshua 9.6 EU and 10,6ff EU is there Joshua fixed quarters. This place was located five kilometers east-south-east of Jericho at the end of the 19th century . However, the Byzantine tradition locates this Gilgal two kilometers northeast of Jericho.
The place of worship
For the place of worship Gilgal, which is often mentioned in the stories of Saul , Samuel and Elijah as well as by the prophets Amos and Hosea , a different location was proposed - in addition to the same location as for Joshua's camp - twelve kilometers north of Bet-El and 5 km east -south-east of Shechem .
“In Gilgal Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been taken from the Jordan.” ( Joshua 4.20 EU ) These should always remind the Israelites how YHWH led them dry-footed through the Red Sea and the Jordan ( Joshua 4.21-23 EU ).
The early scriptural prophets Amos and Hosea, however, criticized the places of worship:
“But don't go to Bet-El, don't go to Gilgal, don't move to Beersheba! Because Gilgal is threatened with banishment and Bet-El with its downfall. "
- Article Gilgal. In: Stuttgart Biblical Reference Work. Württemberg Bible Institute, Stuttgart 1955, p. 522.
- corruption of Bet-El (= house of God): Bet-Awen = "house of iniquity"