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Holman Bible Dictionary


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(gad) Personal name meaning, “good fortune.” 1. The seventh son of Jacob and the progenitor of the tribe of Gad (Genesis 30:9-11 ). His mother was Leah's maid Zilpah. At the conclusion of the period of wilderness wandering, when the Israelites were preparing to occupy Canaan, the tribe of Gad requested permission, along with the tribe of Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh, to settle east of the Jordan. Their reason was that they owned large numbers of livestock and the territory east of the Jordan was particularly suitable for raising livestock (Numbers 32:1 ). This territory became known as Gad (Jeremiah 49:1 ). Though the exact limits of Gad's tribal territory are difficult to determine, the Gadites generally occupied land to the northeast of the Dead Sea (Joshua 13:24-28 ). See Tribes of Israel. 2. Syrian god known from inscriptions from Phoenicia and Palmyra and used in biblical names such as Baal-gad (Joshua 11:17 ) and Migdal-gad (Joshua 15:37 ). It also apparently is meant in Isaiah 65:11 where the prophet condemned the people for setting “a table for Fortune” (NAS; Hebrew, Gad ). 3. Prophet who advised David as he fled from Saul (1 Samuel 22:5 ) and who brought God's options for punishment after David took a census of Israel (2 Samuel 24:11-14 ). Gad also brought David God's orders to build an altar, apparently on the site of the future Temple (2 Samuel 24:18-19 ). The Chronicler pointed his readers to records of David's reign by Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29 ) and of Gad's assistance in showing David God's plan for Temple worship (2 Chronicles 29:25 ).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Gad'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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