🔼The name Galeed: Summary
- Heap Of Witness
- From (1) the verb גלל (galal), to roll or heap, and (2) the noun עד ('ed), witness.
🔼The name Galeed in the Bible
There's only one Galeed mentioned in the Bible. The name Galeed occurs in Genesis 31:47, where Jacob (not yet named Israel) and his father-in-law Laban cut a covenant of peace and manifest this covenant in the erection of a monument. Jacob takes one stone and sets it vertical like a pillar, and tells his people to gather stones and pile them up. Laban calls the resulting heap Jegar-sahadutha but Jacob calls it Galeed.
"And Laban said, "This גל (heap) is a witness between you and me this day". Therefore it was named Galeed" (Genesis 31:48).
We don't precisely know where Galeed was located but right after meeting Laban, Jacob crossed the Jabbok, which is an eastern tributary of the Jordan, which drains off the mountains of Gilead. The name גלעד (Galeed) is strikingly similar to the name גלעד (Gilead), and Gilead possibly came from Galeed.
🔼Etymology of the name Galeed
The name Galeed consists of two parts. The first part is the word גל (gal), meaning heap, from the verb גלל (galal), meaning to roll:
The verb גלל (galal) primarily expresses rolling, whirling or heaping and may also denote a broad sweep (of land or time). Noun גל (gal) means heap or pile; גיל (gel), a heap specifically of dung; גלל (galal), dung; גלול (gillul), idols. Noun גלה (gulla) means bowl, basin or spring; noun גלילה (gelila), circuit, boundary or territory. Noun גליל (galil) denotes a supporting cylinder or rod; adjective גליל (galil), probably describes a cylindrical hinge column, noun מגלה (megilla) means scroll. Noun גלגל (gilgal) means wheel; noun גלגל (galgal), wheel or whirlwind. Noun גלגלת (gulgoleth) means skull or head. In cognate languages verb גלל (galal) extends to also describe the nobility of someone who rules a region.
The parallel verb גיל (gil) expresses a circular motion as is mostly associated with expressions of joy and celebration (dance). Nouns גיל (gil) and גילה (gila) mean a rejoicing. Noun גיל (gil) describes a circle or time: an age.
The second part of the name Galeed is the word עד ('ed), meaning witness, which comes from the verb עוד ('ud), meaning to return, repeat or testify:
Root עדד ('adad) describes a repeated passing by or over, or a repeated encountering. Noun עדה ('idda) describes any well-worn item.
Verb עדה ('ada I) means to advance or pass on. Nouns עד ('ad) and ועד (w'ad) describe the difficult concept of a future era advancing upon the now, or else the prey or booty upon which a predator advances. The conjunction עד ('ad) or עדי ('ady) means "as far as" or until.
The same verb, namely עדה ('ada II) is used to mean to adorn or ornament oneself — that is: to have items approach the canvas of one's bulk in order to testify of some social rank or perhaps the trade or order one belongs to. Noun עדי ('adi) means ornamentation: fancy or declarative things worn on one's body or clothes.
Verb יעד (ya'ad) means to meet, habitually and repeatedly rather than incidentally. Noun עדה ('eda) means congregation or some other joint collective. Nouns מועד (mo'ed), מועד (mo'ad) and מועדה (mu'ada) describe a place (or time) of meeting.
Verb עוד ('ud) means to return and repeat. Noun עוד ('od) denotes an addition, repetition or continuance. Nouns עד ('ed), עדה ('eda), עדה ('eda), עדת ('edut), עדות ('edut) and תעודה (te'uda) all mean witness or testimony in various nuances, and verb עוד ('ud) means to bear witness.
For a meaning of the name Galeed, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Hill Of Witness. NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Heap Of Witness.