Book of Gad the Seer
The Book of Gad the Seer is a lost text that purports to have been written by the Biblical prophet Gad. It is described at 1 Chronicles 29:29. The passage reads: "Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer." These writings of Nathan and Gad may have been included in 1 and 2 Samuel.
This text is sometimes called Gad the Seer or The Acts of Gad the Seer.
Gad the seer was part of the tribe or group called the Gadites (pronounced God-ites). They lived in the area called Gad near the river Gad in what is present day Jordan in the Middle East. Gadites were one of the 12 tribes of Israel and when the great split occurred they migrated north to present-day Italy on the Adriatic side and present-day Greece on the Adriatic side. Since last names were not in use, people used the first name with the phrase "of Gad," or "of the Gadites," etc., which then became last or surnames. Examples of Gadite last names are Gaditicus, Gadero, Gadaleta, Gadvecchia, Gadollini, Gadi, etc. Names like these were often changed slightly over the years to modern day last names.
The book itself is a manuscript from the Black Jews of Cochin, India. The manuscript now in the Cambridge Library was a relatively recent (19th century) copy, but apparently is copied from a document purportedly in Rome. The language indicates relatively late authorship and the content indicates a substantial acquaintance with Kabbalistic literature (which would make it no earlier than about the 11th century), as well as with some aspects of Christianity. It is, therefore, not regarded as dating back to antiquity.
The book of Gad listed people, events, traditions, marriages, instructions, laws and other valuable information for Gadites to conduct their lives and businesses. An example would be the birth of Yeoshua bar Joseph of Bethlehem (now called Jesus from the Greek translation of his name) to be on September 15 on the modern calendar. What foods could be eaten on what days, when and how to worship Yahweh, how to set up a camp, when a man and a woman could lay down together.
It has been confirmed that the book will be released in full, in one of the upcoming Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures books; It is, unfortunately, not listed in the table of contents for volume 1, so it is likely that it is planned for a future release in volume 2.
- Apologetics Press - The Canon and Extra-Canonical Writings
- Apologetics Press - Are There Lost Books of the Bible?
- Schechter, Solomon, Note on Hebrew Manuscripts in the University Library at Cambridge (Part IV), Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. 6, nr. 1 (Oct. 1893) page 140; Lieberman, Abraham A., Again: The Words of Gad the Seer, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 111, nr. 2 (Summer 1992) pages 313-314; Kimelman, Reuven, Psalm 145: Theme, Structure, and Impact, Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 113, nr. 1 (Spring 1994) page 50.