Restoring The Ancient Pathways: Gilgal

Restoring The Ancient Pathways: Gilgal

Location: There are two locations for Gilgal.


1. Tel Gilgal is situated in the Yorden (Jordan) Valley plain at the place of the modern city of Gilgal, which is located about 8 miles (12 km.) north of Yericho (Jericho) on Hwy. 90.


2. Camp Gilgal is located on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho) on Hwy. 90.

Historical Background


1. The late Professor Adam Zertal (University of Haifa), did much research on the biblical location of Gilgal and discovered that it’s possible it wasn’t necessarily a specific location but a common name for a camp or religious site in its early period.


2. In Zertal’s research, he discovered 5 potential sites where the Yashar’elites could have camped after crossing the Yorden (Jordan) into the Promised Land. Each place is uniquely shaped like a human right footprint. This is likely attributed to the promise given to them in Deuteronomy 11:24: Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours; your border will be from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the river, the river Euphrates, as far as the western sea.


3. Yahusha (Joshua) 4:19, places Gilgal on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho): Now the people came up from the Yorden (Jordan) on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho). The place of Tel Gilgal (modern-day Gilgal) doesn’t seem to fit the qualifications found in Yahusha (Joshua) 4:19.


4. If Zertal’s claims are true, then it’s possible Tel Gilgal (located at modern Gilgal) was the more permanent Gilgal that is referred to 35 times in Scripture, and the place on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho) was a temporary place where the Yashar’elites camped. This seems reasonable as there are no remains of a permanent city on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho).


5. Tel Gilgal became a central meeting place throughout the rest of the Old Testament and appears to have been a small city.

Places of Interest


1. Tel Gilgal

2. Tower

3. Heel part of the footprint shape of Tel Gilgal.

4. Center part of the footprint shape of Tel Gilgal.

5. Tabernacle

6. 12 Stone Monument (it appears it was moved from Camp Gilgal to Tel Gilgal as a permanent monument at a later date).

7. Altar

8. Toe part of the footprint shape of Tel Gilgal.

9. Modern Gilgal

10. Yericho (Jericho)

11. Yorden (Jordan) River

12. Camp Gilgal on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho).


Gilgal in the Scriptures


1. Camp Gilgal is the first place the Yashar’elites camped after crossing the Yorden (Jordan) River and entering the Promised Land.

Yahusha (Joshua) 4:19: Now the people came up from the Yorden (Jordan) on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho).


2. At Camp Gilgal, Yahusha (Joshua) erected 12 stones taken from the Yorden (Jordan) River as a monument of remembrance.

Yahusha (Joshua) 4:18–20: It came about when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of יהוה had come up from the middle of the Yorden (Jordan), and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, that the waters of the Yorden (Jordan) returned to their place, and went over all its banks as before. 19 Now the people came up from the Yorden (Jordan) on the tenth of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern edge of Yericho (Jericho). 20 Those twelve stones which they had taken from the Yorden (Jordan), Yahusha (Joshua) set up at Gilgal. 21 He said to the sons of Yashar’el, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ 22 then you shall inform your children, saying, ‘Yashar’el crossed this Yorden (Jordan) on dry ground.’ 23 For יהוה your Elohim dried up the waters of the Yorden (Jordan) before you until you had crossed, just as יהוה your Elohim had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of יהוה is mighty, so that you may fear יהוה your Elohim forever.”


3. Camp Gilgal was the first place the Yashar’elites celebrated the Passover after entering the Promised Land.

Yahusha (Joshua) 5:10: While the sons of Yashar’el camped at Gilgal, they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Yericho (Jericho).


4. It was at Gilgal that the Gibeonites tricked the Yashar’elites into making a covenant with them so they wouldn’t be destroyed.

Yahusha (Joshua) 9:3–6: When the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Yahusha (Joshua) had done to Yericho (Jericho) and to Ai, 4 they also acted craftily and set out as envoys, and took worn-out sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins worn-out and torn and mended, 5 and worn-out and patched sandals on their feet, and worn-out clothes on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and had become crumbled. 6 They went to Yahusha (Joshua) to the camp at Gilgal and said to him and to the men of Yashar’el, “We have come from a far country; now, therefore, make a covenant with us.”


5. Gilgal was the place from which Caleb, one of the two faithful spies Moshe sent to spy out the Promised Land, asked Yahusha (Joshua) for his portion of the land.

Yahusha (Joshua) 14:6–9: Then the sons of Yahudah drew near to Yahusha (Joshua) in Gilgal, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite said to him, “You know the word which יהוה spoke to Moses the man of Elohim concerning you and me in Kadesh-barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of יהוה sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart. 8 Nevertheless, my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed יהוה my Elohim fully.” 9 So Moses swore on that day, saying, “Surely the land on which your foot has trodden will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you have followed יהוה my Elohim fully.”

Yahusha (Joshua) 14:13: So Yahusha (Joshua) blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance.


6. The Prophet Samuel visited and taught the Word of Elohim regularly at Tel Gilgal.

1 Samuel 7:15–16: Now Samuel judged Yashar’el all the days of his life. 16 He used to go annually on circuit to Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpah, and he judged Yashar’el in all these places.


7. Saul, the first king of Yashar’el, was made king at Tel Gilgal.

1 Samuel 11:14–15: Then Samuel said to the people, “Come and let us go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” 15 So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before יהוה in Gilgal. There they also offered sacrifices of peace offerings before יהוה; and there Saul and all the men of Yashar’el rejoiced greatly.


8. Tel Gilgal was a central gathering place for the Yashar’elites.

1 Samuel 13:4: All Yashar’el heard the news that Saul had smitten the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Yashar’el had become odious to the Philistines. The people were then summoned to Saul at Gilgal.


9. King Saul’s reign over Yashar’el came to an end at Tel Gilgal because of his disobedience.

1 Samuel 13:8–14: Now he waited seven days, according to the appointed time set by Samuel, but Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring to me the burnt offering and the peace offerings.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he finished offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him and to greet him. 11 But Samuel said, “What have you done?” And Saul said, “Because I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the appointed days, and that the Philistines were assembling at Michmash, 12 therefore I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not asked the favor of יהוה.’ So I forced myself and offered the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have acted foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of יהוה your Elohim, which He commanded you, for now יהוה would have established your kingdom over Yashar’el forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and יהוה has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what יהוה commanded you.”


10. Elohim pronounced judgment upon Yashar’el at Tel Gilgal because of their disobedience to Him.

Hosea 9:15: All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.

Amos 5:4–6: For thus says יהוה to the house of Yashar’el, “Seek Me that you may live. 5 But do not resort to Bethel and do not come to Gilgal, nor cross over to Beersheba; for Gilgal will certainly go into captivity and Bethel will come to trouble.”


Faith Lesson from Gilgal


1. Like the Yashar’elites who took 12 stones out of the Yorden (Jordan) River to mark the fulfillment of Elohim’s miracle in bringing them into the Promised Land, we too should set up remembrances to help us remember what Elohim has done in our lives.

2. Like Caleb, who was faithful in trusting Elohim, we should emulate his faith and strength.

3. Unlike Yahusha (Joshua), who failed to pray and seek יהוה regarding the trickery of the Gibeonites, we should bring our cares and decisions to יהוה.

4. We should heed the warnings from the life of King Saul, who presumed upon Elohim’s grace and disobeyed יהוה regularly.

5. Lastly, we should not be like the Yashar’elites, who slowly turned away from יהוה and were disciplined by Elohim.


Isaiah 58:11-14 “And יהוה shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the qadosh of יהוה, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in יהוה; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Yacob thy father: for the mouth of יהוה hath spoken it.



About The Author

Peter Michael Martinez

Released into Ministry in 1995, Apostle Peter Michael is an Emissary of the New Kingdom of YHWH, Elohim of Israel.