Area of ancient Palestine, east of the Jordan River. Now northwestern Jordan, it was bounded to the north by the Yarmuk River and to the southwest by what were known then as the plains of Moab. Sometimes the name is used in a more general sense to describe all the regions east of the Jordan River. The name first appears in the biblical account of the last meeting of Jacob and Laban (Gen. 31:21–22). The scene of the battle between Gideon and the Midianites, it was also the home of the prophet Elijah.