But certainly by that Gilgal, of which Moses in those words speaks, "Are not Gerizim and Ebal over-against Gilgal?" is to be understood some other than that which Joshua named by that name, Joshua 5:9. For when Moses spoke those words, the name of that Gilgal, near Jericho, was not at all: nor can that which is spoke in the book of Joshua concerning the nations of Gilgal, Joshua 12:23, be applied to that Gilgal, when it had obtained that name. Therefore, in both places, by Gilgal seems to be understood Galilee; and that as well from the nearness of the words, -- for Gilgal, and Galil, are of the same root and etymology, -- as from the very sense of the places. For when, in Joshua, some kings of certain particular cities in Galilee -- Kedesh, Jokneam, Dor, &c. -- are reckoned up, the king of the nations of Gilgal, or Galilee, is also added, who ruled over many cities and countries in Galilee.
So also the words of Moses may very well be rendered in the like sense, 'Are not those mountains, Gerizim and Ebal, beyond Jordan, over-against Gilgal, or Galilee?'
These things following strengthen our conjecture: -- I. The version of the LXX, who render The nations of Gilgal, by Gei of Galilee. II. The comparing Josephus with the book of the Maccabees, in the story of Demetrius. "He pitched his tent (saith Josephus), 'in Arbel, a city of Galilee'"; but, 1 Maccabees 9:2, "They went forth the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Mesaloth, which is in Arbel." In one Arbel is in Galgala or Gilgal, in the other it is in Galilee.