Jacob’s seventh son, by Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid, and the brother of Asher (Genesis 30:11-13; 46:16, 18).
In the Authorized Version of 30:11 the words, “A troop cometh: and she called,” etc., should rather be rendered, “In fortune [Revised Version, 'Fortunate']: and she called,” etc., or “Fortune cometh,” etc.
The tribe of Gad during the march through the wilderness had their place with Simeon and Reuben on the south side of the tabernacle (Numbers 2:14). The tribes of Reuben and Gad continued all through their history to follow the pastoral pursuits of the patriarchs (Numbers 32:1-5).
The portion allotted to the tribe of Gad was on the east of Jordan, and comprehended the half of Gilead, a region of great beauty and fertility (Deuteronomy 3:12), bounded on the east by the Arabian desert, on the west by the Jordan (Joshua 13:27), and on the north by the river Jabbok. It thus included the whole of the Jordan valley as far north as to the Sea of Galilee, where it narrowed almost to a point.
This tribe was fierce and warlike; they were “strong men of might, men of war for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, their faces the faces of lions, and like roes upon the mountains for swiftness” (1 Chronicles 12:8; 5:19-22). Barzillai (2 Samuel 17:27) and Elijah (1 Kings 17:1) were of this tribe. It was carried into captivity at the same time as the other tribes of the northern kingdom by Tiglath-pileser (1 Chronicles 5:26), and in the time of Jeremiah (49:1) their cities were inhabited by the Ammonites.