1. Exposition

Where was Gilgal?

Joshua 5:9 (ESV)

9 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.

Gilgal was next to the Jordan River, a few kilometres east of Jericho. This was a very strategic location with water providing protection from one side and open plains preventing an attack from the other. It also had an abundant fresh water supply and it seemed to serve as Israel’s base of operations for some time (Joshua 10:15, Joshua 10:43; Joshua 14:6).1 This location would remain a holy site into the days of the judges and the monarchy (1 Samuel 7:16; 1 Samuel 10:8; 1 Samuel 11:14–15). During the period of the divided kingdom, the site became associated with false worship (Hosea 9:15; Hosea 12:11; Amos 4:4; Amos 5:5).