🔼The name Giloh: Summary
- Exile, Exposed
- A Basin, A Rejoicing
- From the verb גלה (gala), to uncover, expose, exile.
- From the verb גלל (galal), to roll.
🔼The name Giloh in the Bible
The name Giloh belongs to a village in the hill country of Judah (Joshua 15:51). Its brief rise to fame came when Ahithophel the Gilonite (a Gilonite — גילני or גלני — is someone from Giloh) became king David's most trusted advisor (2 Samuel 15:12). Its fall from grace doubtlessly coincided with Ahithophel's betrayal of his monarch in favor of prince Absalom, and subsequent suicide.
🔼Etymology of the name Giloh
The name Giloh may come from the verb גלה (gala), which means to uncover, or the derived noun גולה (golah), meaning captive or exile:
The verb גלה (gala) means to expose, uncover, remove or to go into exile. Noun גליון (gillayon) means table or tablet. Noun גולה (gola) means captivity or captive one. Noun גלות (gallut) refers to captives as a group.
But the name Giloh is also spelled the same as the noun גלה (gulla), meaning bowl, basin or spring, from the root גלל I (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.
For a meaning of the name Giloh, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the verb גלה (gala) and reads Exile. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names follows the same root and reads the overly elaborate Exodus Of A Great Multitude.
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate our name but disagrees with both NOBSE and Jones and derives our name from the verb גיל (gil), which expresses joy or celebration, see above. According to BDB, the name Giloh would mean A Rejoicing.