Who was Gad in the Bible?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Gad is associated with the tribe of Gad—one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Bible provides references to this person, shedding light on his origins, descendants, and the role of his tribe in the history of Israel.

1. Genealogy:

Gad is introduced as the seventh son of Jacob and the first son born to Zilpah, who was Leah’s handmaid.

Genesis 30:9-11 (NKJV): “When Leah saw that she had stopped bearing, she took Zilpah her maid and gave her to Jacob as wife. And Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. Then Leah said, ‘A troop comes!’ So she called his name Gad.”

2. Jacob’s Blessing:

When Jacob is on his deathbed, he blesses each of his sons, including Gad. The blessing acknowledges Gad’s future military prowess.

Genesis 49:19 (NKJV): “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, But he shall triumph at last.”

3. Inheritance:

As the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land, Moses allocates territories to each of the twelve tribes. The tribe of Gad receives its inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

Numbers 32:1-5 (NKJV): “Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of livestock; and when they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, that indeed the region was a place for livestock, the children of Gad and the children of Reuben came and spoke to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying, ‘Ataroth, Dibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Shebam, Nebo, and Beon, the country which the Lord defeated before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.’ Therefore they said, ‘If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants as a possession. Do not take us over the Jordan.'”

Numbers 32:6-8 (NKJV): “And Moses said to the children of Gad and to the children of Reuben: ‘Shall your brethren go to war while you sit here? Now why will you discourage the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the Lord has given them?’ Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Kadesh Barnea to see the land.”

Numbers 32:16-19 (NKJV): “Then they came near to him and said: ‘We will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, but we ourselves will be armed, ready to go before the children of Israel until we have brought them to their place; and our little ones will dwell in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. We will not return to our homes until every one of the children of Israel has received his inheritance.'”

Numbers 32:33-34 (NKJV): “So Moses gave to the children of Gad, to the children of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land with its cities within the borders, the cities of the surrounding country.”

Joshua 22:9-10 (NKJV): “So the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they had obtained according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”

4. Participation in the Division of the Promised Land:

Gad’s representatives play a role in the division of the Promised Land under Joshua.

Joshua 14:1-2 (NKJV): “These are the areas which the children of Israel inherited in the land of Canaan, which Eleazar the priest, Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel distributed as an inheritance to them. Their inheritance was by lot, as the Lord had commanded by the hand of Moses, for the nine tribes and the half-tribe.”

5. The Tribe’s Warriors:

The tribe of Gad is recognized for producing valiant warriors who fight alongside their fellow Israelites.

1 Chronicles 5:18-22 (NKJV): “The sons of Reuben, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh had forty-four thousand seven hundred and sixty valiant men, men able to bear shield and sword, to shoot with the bow, and skillful in war, who went to war. They made war with the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. And they were helped against them, and the Hagrites were delivered into their hand, and all who were with them, for they cried out to God in the battle. He heeded their prayer because they put their trust in Him.”

1 Chronicles 12:8 (NKJV): “Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains.”

6. Role in David’s Reign:

During David’s reign, Gad’s warriors join him, demonstrating their loyalty and military prowess.

1 Chronicles 12:14 (NKJV): “These were from the sons of Gad, captains of the army; the least was over a hundred, and the greatest was over a thousand.”

1 Chronicles 12:37 (NKJV): “from the other side of the Jordan, of the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, with all kinds of weapons of the battle for the war.”

Conclusion: Gad, the seventh son of Jacob and the first son of Zilpah, plays a significant role in the history of Israel as the progenitor of the tribe of Gad. The tribe receives its inheritance on the eastern side of the Jordan River, contributes valiant warriors to Israel’s military efforts, and remains loyal to leaders such as Moses and David.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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