Gilgal: More Scriptural Evidence for Reincarnation

by Joshua Tilghman on July 23, 2013

Wheel of ReincarnationSince my last post mentioned reincarnation, I thought I would continue with that subject, specifically how it relates to the word “Gilgal” mentioned in the Bible.

The word “Gilgal” appears in the Old Testament about 40 times. It’s most prevalent in the book of Joshua. When the Biblical narratives are read literally, the term designates a specific place in Palestine; it was at Gilgal that Joshua pitched the famous 12 stones drawn from the river Jordan.

Jewish mystics believe that the meaning of Gilgal implies reincarnation. I agree, especially when you look beyond the veil of literalism. Let’s begin by breaking down the meaning of Gilgal.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary states it means “rolling.” Smith’s Bible Dictionary states in means, “wheel.” Other study aids and different scholars may give slightly different variations of the above meanings, but they all seem to agree that Gilgal means one or the other or a combination of the two. If this is the case, it would seem that Gilgal denotes an ongoing circle or wheel. From the context of Joshua’s actions with the twelve stones from the river Jordan, the most literal translation would probably be “circle of standing stones.” Such imagery reminds us of Stonehenge, but it also reminds me of two other terms in mystic lore: the “wheel of existence” or the “wheel of birth and death.”

Both terms are symbols for the incarnation of personalities into the lower planes and their subsequent rise. We incarnate, we experience and grow, and we die physically. This process continues until perfection is attained. The great R.J. Campbell once stated, “God, our dwelling place before time began, brought forth the material universe to be a school of discipline for us, a necessary means to the realization of certain qualities of our nature.”

The above information begins a strong case for Gilgal being linked with reincarnation, but it is in the esoteric setting of the Israelite journey itself that the case is solidified. Let’s review a few important Biblical terms esoterically first.

Israelite: Called God’s chosen people simply because an Israelite is a symbol of the lower mental qualities of man ready to be further refined and joined to the higher divine nature of God.

Joshua: Like Jesus, Joshua is a symbol of the indwelling Higher Self within all of us, spiritually evolving towards completion by a total manifestation in the here and now. In other words, it is the spiritual ego or personality that is almost completed its journey.

Wilderness: A symbol for the arena of life in the lower planes, where the soul must journey in order to experience, grow, and mature. The hardships and conflicts experienced in the wilderness pit the ego against the Christ within. After many trials and tribulations (reincarnation), man begins to yearn for the truth.

Promised Land: A symbol for a state of consciousness of the higher mental plane. It is not as high as heaven (state of consciousness above the mental plane).


Jordan River: A symbol for the “river of life,” which is the divine light above flowing down and permeating the lower planes.

Egypt: A symbol of the lower mind and it’s attachment to things of desire.

Now that we have reviewed the above terms, let’s plug in a few scriptures about Gilgal keeping in mind what the above terms signify overall. Remember, the Israelite exodus of Egypt and their subsequent journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land represents the journey of us all through many incarnations.

Gilgal in Scripture

Although there are over 40 appearances of Gilgal in scripture, we’re going to focus on a few key verses from the Book of Joshua. In those scriptures we’ll see patterns that show how Gilgal is connected with reincarnation.

Joshua 4:19: And the people came up out of Jordan (the river) on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.”

As we briefly discuss the next scenes in the narrative, remember that they take place at Gilgal. It is in the next scenes of the narrative, here at Gilgal, that the natural cycle and benefits of reincarnation evolve the soul.

As we have already seen, the Jordan River is a symbol for God’s divine essence permeating the planes of existence. As the Israelites cross over the Jordan they are symbolically entering a new plane of consciousness. After crossing the Jordan, the LORD has Joshua circumcise (symbolic of cutting off the lower nature) all the generation of men that rose up after the first generation died out. The LORD let the first generation die out in the wilderness because it is symbolic of disobedience to the Christ within—i.e., their continual succumbing to their own lower nature and desires. Now the author of Joshua gets us to focus on the new generation of Israelites. This new generation represents a more refined spiritual people, and as such, are ready to enter the Promised Land.

Now let’s focus on why the LORD calls their campsite on the other side of the Jordan “Gilgal.”

“And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places at the camp, till they were whole. And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of this place is called Gilgal unto this day” (Joshua 5:8-9).

Gilgal is designated as such because it represents the place where God has “rolled away the reproach from Egypt.” What is the esoteric significance of this name?  I want you to consider that it is because Gilgal represents that natural law of God (reincarnation) providing the opportunity through which the reproach of Egypt (the ego) is transcended.

Through the process of reincarnation, the Israelite (any spiritual person) has been able to shed the lower mental nature and continue its spiritual evolution towards that state of consciousness known as the Promised Land. The rolling wheel, or the circle of 12 stones, each one representing a different tribe an aspect of the soul, is continually evolving towards perfection.

Below are just a few other scriptures that hint at Gilgal’s esoteric meaning:

“So Joshua ascended from Gilgal…” (Jos. 10:7)

“Joshua therefore came into them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night.” (Jos. 10:9).

“And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp of Gilgal” (Jos. 10:15).

“And Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, unto the camp of Gilgal” (Jos. 10:43).

“And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh” (1 Sam. 7:16) – please see Anny’s second comment below for a great explanation of this above verse!


As you can see Joshua, the Israelites and Samuel are continually going up from and returning to Gilgal. This is the great “wheel of existence,” wherein the soul has the opportunity for spiritual evolution towards manifesting the Christ within. This is the reason for the narratives of the Exodus and the entering of the Promised Land.

Closing thoughts

Reincarnation seems so foreign to many Christians because they have been taught God is a personal being who immediately judges a person’s soul upon physical death. That soul is then placed by God in either heaven or hell. This really doesn’t make much sense nor does it align with other scriptures. In reality the soul is judged on a continual basis, moment to moment. Every thought, deed, and action judge us. This is why we must reap what we sow, and hopefully, through the process of reaping, we learn to judge ourselves and become higher-functioning conscious beings.

Reincarnation is the only rational way to explain the spiritual development of our souls. To believe in traditional Christian doctrine as it relates to life and death is absurd and contradictory on so many levels. How can we reconcile the fact that a moral, conscious being knowingly and willingly created billions upon billions of souls with the foreknowledge that only a select few would ever have the blessings of eternal life while most of those souls would experience eternal damnation? To even try to reconcile such notions defies rational thought.

The writers of the Bible never emphasize reincarnation because the greatest of the spiritual ancients accepted it as natural law of God just as we accept the idea that we need to breathe oxygen to live. People who use individual Bible scriptures to deny reincarnation do so because of doctrine. Most doctrines throw common sense and rational thought out the window, and if you trace any doctrine to its root you inevitably will end with an answer of, “I don’t know why God does it that way. He just says so in the Bible.”

In the next post we’ll look a little closer at the spiritual development of the Israelites entering the Promised Land through a specific story in the Book of Joshua.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Icarus Flyte July 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Hi Josh

Another great article and again full of great insights. I have a question for you and its related to this but slightly off track. I was always curious about it as a child (in my previous church going life) and since becoming more esoterically minded the curiosity is even more heightened.

What is your interpretation of the separation of the 12 tribes of Israel into the 10 and 2 tribe kingdoms. Do you feel there is some deep significance here regarding that separation?

Thank you again for this site and your prolific writings across the entire breadth of scripture

love and light

Icarus F


Joshua Tilghman July 24, 2013 at 8:05 am


I have never thought about this point before, but yes, I do believe it is significant. Each of the tribes stands for a different mental quality of the soul, as well as the disciples. Hints as to what kind of quality can be found in Jacob’s blessing over the twelve in Egypt before his passing. I have been meaning to do a post on this but I am still thinking about what qualities each tribe stands for. Judah is obviously the spirit of insight and understanding (intuition), but I have not looked toO deeply into the meanings of the others. I will continue to think about this and do a post on it sometime in the future.

If I remember the literal story correctly (I have not read it in some time), the split happened when the new King Rehoboam told Israel he would make their burdens heavier than Solomon did. Although this was the act the provoked the northern tribes to split, the LORD prophesied it would happen because of Solomon’s sins. Since I have not studied this story esoterically yet, I am going to be vague and just say that there are certain mental qualities within us that undergo profound change on our spiritual evolutionary journey as they become disciplined by the moral nature. Overall, the narrative reveals this process within each of us.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I will be thinking about it in the future, and, hopefully, can do a post on it when I feel I have a good grasp on the esoteric meaning of the story.


Arlene June 4, 2014 at 6:31 pm

Great discussion!

When the separation of the 12 Tribes was spoken of, it reminded me of an article written by J. Preston Eby about our progression through each of the tribes, as seen in Revelation chapter 7.

The first part (in the link below) begins with Judah, and there is a reason that this list does not begin with Reuben (as in the OT).

The other tribes continue if you click on “to be continued” at the bottom of each page. The series show how we begin our journey with “Judah”, and we continue through all the tribes mentioned until we come to our place as “son of the right hand”, which is Benjamin.

Eby explains this very well….

Piece of the link article:

The central truth in the sealing of the tribe of Judah is just this. The sealing bespeaks a knowing, an experiencing, and putting on of Christ in a deeper, fuller, and more powerful measure. It is here that we meet JESUS, no longer merely as our Saviour, Healer, Baptizer, and Blesser, but as the SON OF GOD with power! As we are sealed in the tribe of Judah the revelation of HIS SONSHIP and OUR SONSHIP IN HIM breaks with wonder within our illumined consciousness in the power of the Holy Spirit. In that blessed moment we behold Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of Israel, the Prince of the kings of the earth, and the Lord of the universe! We see Him upon the throne of His Father! When we are spiritually birthed or sealed as a member of the elect of the tribe of Judah, we are quickened to the reality and the realm of sonship, to see as we have never seen, to hear as we have never heard, to understand as we have never understood the Father’s purpose for us, receiving within ourselves the witness of the spirit in the call to sonship! I’m sure that all who read these lines who have received the call to sonship, remember the day or the time or the season when each was initiated by the dealing of the Father into this NEW REALM IN CHRIST. From that time forward we knew and understood with great clarity and deep conviction that we are no longer merely believers, or disciples, or Christians, but indeed SONS OF THE LIVING GOD!




anny July 24, 2013 at 2:07 am

Hi Joshua,

You can find those meanings of the name Gilgal even in today’s Hebrew words, with even more implications! They all hang together somehow.

gilgoel – turn, metamorphosis
gilgoel-neshamoth – reincarnation (turning around of souls)
gilgel – to turn, to roll
galgal – wheel
galgal-hamazzaloth – the zodiac
gulgoleth – skull (yes, Golgotha)

Related are also

igul – circle
gal – wave
galuth – exile, banishment
Galil – Galilee

The root ‘gl’ (vowels are not written in Hebrew) equals the master number 33, which we see return in christian tradition as the age of Jesus at the time of crucifixion (Golgotha) and resurrection.

So Gilgal equals 66, two thirds of the 666 which signify man. 666 you can reduce to 18, which is chai in Hebrew, life. You grow through life in all these incarnations. Even further reduced you get 9, completion and birth. End of the process on earth. 66 you might reduce to 12 (12 disciples), so it can also be seen as the aspect of learning. It results in the divine number 3, which is the final reduction.


Joshua Tilghman July 24, 2013 at 8:11 am


Your knowledge of numerology and Hebrew words continues to add so much esoteric meaning to these posts. Thanks a million for adding this. It just goes to show that the deeper meanings of our Bibles simply cannot be understood without esoteric knowledge! Blessings.


anny July 24, 2013 at 9:50 am

Hi Joshua,

Your closing thought:

Reincarnation seems so foreign to many Christians because they have been taught God is a personal being who immediately judges a person’s soul upon physical death. That soul is then placed by God in either heaven or hell. This really doesn’t make much sense nor does it align with other scriptures. In reality the soul is judged on a continual basis, moment to moment. Every thought, deed, and action judge us. This is why we must reap what we sow, and hopefully, through the process of reaping, we learn to judge ourselves and become higher-functioning conscious beings.

I believe this is what is meant by this text underneath too:

“And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh” (1 Sam. 7:16).

Bethel means House of God, and is not that the human body?
Gilgal, the process of reincarnating
Mitzpeh, this is word you will often see in Israel. It is a high place from where you have a beautiful view over the surroundings. Of course watch posts for soldiers are also placed on such places. So Mitzpeh is the point of higher awareness after you die where you look at your life and judge it in the sense of what can I improve of next time or shall I do this once again, in order to prepare for your next incarnation. But of course also on a daily basis in meditation.

This text is written about Samuel, whose name is Shmuel, shemo El. His Name, his identity is God. It also means shamo El, his ‘there’, his destination is God.

Samuel is Man, humankind.

As is the Son of Man in the Gospels, I believe. Son of man is ben adam in Hebrew and that term just means human being. Jesus came to tell us and show us Who we really are and how to manifest that elevated state of being.


Joshua Tilghman July 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm


Another excellent notation! I am going to make a side note in the post next to that verse from Samuel to encourage people to read this comment.


Lance July 26, 2013 at 11:50 am

I agree reincarnation is hinted at through out the Bible.
BUT! Jesus is our Saviour and short cut to our rest that Yaweh promised..
That has been my enlightenment and who knows I might be right or wrong but my faith is very strong.
Bless you in Yeshuah


Joshua Tilghman July 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm


I respect your beliefs, my friend. I also believe Jesus is the savior, although we may see how this is accomplished a little differently. To me Jesus Christ serves as the archetype for every human soul. His story is our story. We all must become a Christ, either in this lifetime or another to come. Blessings.


Shawn August 1, 2013 at 2:18 am

I also believe that we go on unto perfection. The kingdom of God is within us, and comes without observation. Sad that todays churches are always wanting,or looking for a sign. What impedes most I believe is inexcusable, law judging, as Paul said. When we see all,as one, then we don’t judge, but rather say as paul did in his holy kiss great. grace unto you and peace. Anyway I love the site and look forward to reading everything on here.


Bernhardt Adjedi Cadbury September 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm

That was so enlightened, but my problem is how can today Christians (church goers) understand the message of reincarnation and consciously like an Israelite in order to evolve / empower their souls. I spoke to some friends about a scripture that settles “hell” not as a place to go after death, but a state of existence and since this cannot be understood by non renewed minds they refused its reality. The scripture is Proverbs 15:24 – The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. This is where the issue of unpardonable sin continue in one soul.


Joshua Tilghman September 14, 2013 at 9:11 pm


This is the great dilemma…how can we reach all people with the higher message? The ego always stands in the way. A person is only ready when they are willing to drop the ego.


Paula Kempf October 16, 2013 at 4:42 pm

The word “Gilgal” appears in the Old Testament about 40 times.

Could the number 40 be the number of times that we are reincarnated to become the Perfection that God is creating us to be? 😀


Joshua Tilghman October 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm


Esoteric wisdom teaches that man reincarnates much more than 40 times before he steps into wholeness and balance, but the number 40 is Biblically very important. You can find one such article explaining it entitled, “Jesus, 40 Days in the Desert, and the Ego.”


Vernon McVety Jr. March 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm

How do you fair with Geoffrey Hodson’s Hidden Wisdom?


Albert Drinkwater January 20, 2015 at 1:54 pm

Hi Joshua.
I have been involved with in a personal hobby for decades now. I study all types of information theory’s in relation to metaphysics and philosophy’s and theory’s explaining consciousness. I have dabbled a little with systems related around an exegetical theory. But I have stayed from the studying of the scriptures. Why? Because! I could not understand or would I be forced to understand in a way that I could not conceive unto myself and with in myself. So I have tried to understand by reading but could not relate to the analogy,s and analogues. I saw only confusions of the personal understandings in relation too the said or the spoken words. Dogma and the sheeple effect and the expected prana that could be attained within the doctrine. Then I found your site and I was elated finally, I had found a explanation to my dilemma of understanding. It fits. I now bring up your site frequently for reference of thought. I believe that science and spirit are culminating and as time moves on the understanding of a meme consciousness will become evident to all in a unified manner. However still at this period of time we have the pogroms that are evident around the globe. I Resonate: Thank You.


Joshua Tilghman January 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm

Thanks for your Comment, Albert. I appreciate the thoughts. Blessings.


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