Who and what is…

Hebrew: גָּד —transliteration: Gad —meaning: fortune; good fortune; good luck

This was the name of 2 biblical men, a tribe of Israel, and a false god.

  1. Gad, the 7th son of the patriarch Jacob/Israel

    Gad was the 1st son of Zilpah—originally Leah’s handmaid (Genesis 30:9, Gen. 30:11).

    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

    This Israelite tribe took its name from the above son of Jacob. They are called Gadites.

    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).

    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.

    Territory of the Tribe of Gad

    Map of the ancient Israelite tribal territories in the Promised Land. CC BY-SA 3.0
    Gad is shaded in green and laying immediately east of the Jordan river.

    This map shows the approximate location and boundaries of the 12 Israelite tribes, based on records in the Book of Joshua. This, and more, was The Promised Land given by God to the descendants of Israel, the grandson of Abraham. The full extent of the Canaanite land promised was never acquired, due to the repeated disobedience of the Israelites during the their commanded conquest of this very idolatrous, heathen land, after the Exodus from slavery in Egypt and the following 40 years of Divine punishment wandering in the wilderness, before Joshua and the living descendants were allowed to enter the land, following the death of Moses.

    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.

    Captivity and dispersal

    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.

    Prophecy in the book of Revelation

    Revelation 7:4–8 mentions that people from the 12 tribes of Israel will be sealed by an angel of God. Gadites will be a part of the 144-thousand Israelite evangelists for Christ during The Great Tribulation.

    And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:

    of the tribe of Judah twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand were sealed;
    of tribe of Simeon twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand were sealed;
    of the tribe of Benjamin twelve thousand were sealed.

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  3. Gad, a prophet and 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 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).

    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

  4. Gad, the god of fortune —a Babylonian diety

    Gad was the name of the pan-Semitic god of fortune, usually depicted as a male but sometimes as a female. and is attested in ancient records of Aram and Arabia. Gad is also mentioned in the Bible as a deity in the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 65:11 NKJV — some translations simply call him Fortune), as having been worshipped by a number of Hebrews during the Babylonian captivity.

  5. Compare:

    • “Fortune” —Isaiah 65:11 NASB; Isaiah 65:11 ESV; Isaiah 65:11 NIV
    • No name included in KJV translation —Isaiah 65:11 KJV

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Article Version: July 27, 2021