In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we are told that the children of Machir went to a PLACE called Gilaad and conquered it. Moshe subsequently gives the Gilaad to Machir's children. Is this just a strange coincidence?

2 Answers 2


See Rashi, Sifsei Chachamim and Ramba"n on Breishit 31:48-50 who explain a reference to why in Sefer Shoftim, Har Gil'ad is called "Mitzpeh" over there.

In this verse, Rashi makes a reference to the word "Mitzpah" which means "look-out". Rashi on v 49 starts by explaining "The 'Mitzpah' that is in Mt. Gil'ad" prior to referring to the verse in Shoftim. In Shoftim it is pronounced "Gil'ad"; In Breishit, it is pronounced Gal'ed". It seems to be the same place.

I do not know why or how the pronunciation was changed.

  • 1
    Wow. I never made that connection. I just checked up the chapter in shoftim that your rashi mentions, it seems you are correct. This is the same place. So they conquered an area that had been called gil'ad or gal'eid for hundreds of years by that time. And it 'happened' to be that one of the conquerors name was also Gil'ad.
    – user6591
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:03
  • @user6591 - I didn't connect the two, either, until I went to a Shiur in Shoftim, when my rav mentioned this. The connection is not that obvious. In short, you can indirectly thank my rav. Sorry, I'd rather leave his name anonymous.
    – DanF
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:10
  • Ha. I was about to ask who he is. Although the list of rabbanim who teach nach is probably short enough to try to figure it out.....
    – user6591
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:27
  • Saying something in the name of the one who said it brings moshiach. I've heard two pshatim. One is the pashut accreditation. One is its just enough to say 'its not my chidush'. That itself is worthy of bringing Moshiach. We'll go with pshat #2 for now:)
    – user6591
    Jul 22, 2014 at 15:30
  • 1
    @user6591 - main reason is to keep my location anonymous. Revealing my rav's name, indirectly, reveals my location.
    – DanF
    Jul 22, 2014 at 16:30

The place called Gilaad was captures by Gilaad, as we see with Novach,another grandson of Menashe.

  • Interesting idea. Can you source it?
    – Double AA
    Jul 22, 2014 at 2:43
  • Novach conquered a place called Knas which he renamed after himself. Nowhere do we find someone walking into a town which just happened to have the same name as the conqueror!
    – user6591
    Jul 22, 2014 at 2:48
  • וילכו בני מכיר בן מנשה גלעדה וילכדה ויורש את האמרי אשר בה.... ויאיר בן מנשה הלך וילכד את חותיהם ויקרא אתהן חות יאיר. ונבח הלך וילכד את קנת ואת בנתיה ויקרא לה נבח בשמו.so perhaps also Gilaad is after the name of Gilaad [במדבר לב]
    – user160823
    Jul 22, 2014 at 2:52
  • @user6591 that is exatly why it looks like it was called renamed after Gilaad
    – user160823
    Jul 22, 2014 at 3:13
  • I understood that Gil'ad - the place - was a change in pronunciation of Gal'ed - a reference to the heap of stones that Ya'akov and his sons built as a peace treaty between his family and Lavan's family.
    – DanF
    Jul 22, 2014 at 13:00

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