Mount Gilead; not that famous Mount Gilead which was beyond Jordan; for it is apparent that both the camps of the Israelites and of the Midianites were on this side Jordan: but another Mount Gilead in the tribe of Manasseh; which might be so called, either for some resemblance it had with the other Mount Gilead, or in remembrance of their father Gilead; or that this might be a memorial of their near relation to their brethren, notwithstanding their being divided one from another by Jordan; or for some other reason now unknown at this distance of time and place. Or, the words may be rendered towards Mount Gilead; for the Hebrew particle mid, or mere, is sometimes rendered towards, of which see Gen_11:2 13:11 Deu_32:22Sa_6:2. And so it may be understood of the famous Mount Gilead beyond Jordan, which he may mention here, either,
1. Because many of his soldiers were of that half tribe of Manasseh which dwelt there, and so it was most proper for them to return thither; or,
2. Because that was their safest course, to get furthest from the danger which they feared; or,
3. Because though he would remove them from danger, yet he would not have them dispersed, but kept together in a body about Mount Gilead; knowing that they who had not courage enough to fight their enemies, might have valour enough to pursue them when they were beaten by others; and suspecting that the Midianites, if beaten, would probably flee that way.
Twenty and two thousand; who finding their whole army to be very small in comparison of their enemy’s, who were a hundred and thirty-live thousand, Jud_8:10, and they, no doubt, well armed and disciplined, and encouraged by long success; whereas the Israelites were dispirited with long servitude, and many of them unfurnished with arms and provisions, lost the courage which in the beginning they seemed to have.