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Gad

Meaning: good fortune; good luck

This was the name of two biblical men and a tribe of Israel.

  1. Gad, the 7th son of the patriarch Jacob, and the 1st son of Zilpah—originally Leah’s handmaid (Genesis 30:9, 11)

    Gad was the full-brother of Asher (Genesis 30:11-13; 46:16, 18). Jacob had 4 wives: Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah.

    Then Leah said, “How fortunate!” So she named him Gad. —Genesis 30:11 NASB

    The King James Version translates this verse as…

    And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad. —Genesis 30:11

  2. Tribe of Gad

    During the march through the wilderness, the tribe of Gad 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.

  3. Gad, a prophet, a seer (1 Chronicles 29:29; 2 Chronicles 29:25; 1 Samuel 22:5)

    He bore the title of “the king’s seer” (2 Samuel 24:11, 13; 1 Chronicles 21:9).

    He is also mentioned in connection with the punishment inflicted for David’s disobedient and prideful numbering the people (a census) (2 Samuel 24:11-19; 1 Chronicles 21:9-19).

    The Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I offer you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.” ’” So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Take for yourself either three years of famine, or three months to be swept away before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you, or else three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’… —1 Chronicles 21:9-12 NASB

    He wrote a book called the “Acts of David” (1 Chronicles 29:29), and assisted in the arrangements for the musical services of the “house of God” (2 Chronicles 29:25).

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