Gad (son of Jacob)
Gad (Hebrew: גָּד, Modern Gad, Tiberian Gāḏ; "luck") was, according to the Book of Genesis, the first son of Jacob and Zilpah, the seventh of Jacob overall, and the founder of the Israelite Tribe of Gad. However some Biblical scholars view this as postdiction, an eponymous metaphor providing an aetiology of the connectedness of the tribe to others in the Israelite confederation. The text of the Book of Genesis implies that the name of Gad means luck/fortunate, in Hebrew. Classical rabbinical literature argues that the name was a prophetic reference to the manna.
The Biblical account shows Zilpah's status as a handmaid change to an actual wife of Jacob (Genesis 30:9,11). Her handmaid status is regarded by some biblical scholars as indicating that the authors saw the tribe of Gad as being not of entirely Israelite origin; many scholars believe that Gad was a late addition to the Israelite confederation, as implied by the Moabite Stone, which seemingly differentiates between the Israelites and the tribe of Gad. Gad by this theory is assumed to have originally been a northwards-migrating nomadic tribe, at a time when the other tribes were quite settled in Canaan.
According to classical rabbinical literature, Gad was born on 10 Cheshvan, and lived 125 years. These sources go on to state that, unlike his other brothers, Joseph didn't present Gad to the Pharaoh, since Joseph didn't want Gad to become one of Pharaoh's guards, an appointment that would have been likely had the Pharaoh realised that Gad had great strength.
- Peake's commentary on the Bible
- Jewish Encyclopedia