GAD (Heb. גָּד), one of the 12 tribes of Israel, tracing its descent to Gad, a son of Jacob, borne to him by Zilpah, the maidservant of Leah (Gen. 30:10–11). The tribe was comprised of seven large families, the Zephonites, Haggites, Shunites, Oznites, Erites, Arodites, and Arelites, named after the seven sons of Gad (Num. 26:15–17; with slight differences in Gen. 46:16). During the period of the Conquest of Canaan, Gad's fighting men numbered 40,500 (Num. 26:18). According to Jacob's blessing, "Gad shall be raided by raiders; but he shall overcome at last" (Gen. 49:19). Moses declared: "Poised is he like a lion to tear off arm and scalp" (Deut. 33:20), showing that Gad was a tribe of fighting warriors. Indeed, in the era of the monarchy, the Gadites are described as "expert in war," as having faces "like the faces of lions," and as being "as swift as gazelles upon the mountains" (i Chron. 5:18; 12:9).
When Transjordan was conquered by Israel in the time of Moses, the Gadites (together with the Reubenites and half of Manasseh) requested permission to settle in the pasture lands east of the Jordan because of their abundant cattle. Moses acceded to their request, but stipulated that they first cross the Jordan and participate fully with all the tribes in the wars of conquest (Num. 32; Deut. 3:12–20; Josh. 1:12–18; 22:1ff.). Accordingly, the Gadites settled in Gilead, which was in the center of Transjordan, between the territory of Reuben in the south and that of the half tribe of Manasseh in the north. In the east their territory bordered that of the Ammonites and that of various nomadic desert tribes. On the west was the Jordan, from the Sea of Chinnereth to the Dead Sea; in the south, the vicinity of Heshbon and the northern tip of the Dead Sea; in the north the border passed by way of Mahanaim (Khirbet Mahna south of Nahal-Jabesh) and Lidbir (probably Lo-Debar (ii Sam. 9:4), south of Naḥal-Arav) to the edge of the Sea of Chinnereth. The eastern border apparently receded westward to the region of Rabbath-Ammon, and then extended north-eastward to the region of the upper Yarmuk whence it turned to Mahanaim. This description of the territory of Gad in accordance
with the Book of Joshua (13:24–28; 20:8; 21:36–37) certainly reflects the reality of a definite period; however, some hold it to be very early and, like most of the borders of the Book of Joshua, merely theoretical and ideal. Political developments subsequently caused changes in the region of the tribe's settlement, sometimes for the worse (e.g., i Kings 22:3; ii Kings 10:33) and sometimes for the better (e.g., i Chron. 5:11).
The history of the tribe consists of a succession of wars with Ammon and Moab in the south, with the Kedemites, the Hagrites, and nomadic tribes in the east, and with Arameans in the north. During the era of the Judges, the submission of the people of Succoth and Penuel to the Midianites and the Kedemites led them into a fratricidal war with *Gideon (Judg. 8; cf. verse 5; Josh. 13:27). The Gileadites as a whole were saved from the Ammonites by Jephthah (Judg. 11). At this time the Gileadites (= Gad) and the Benjamites entered into marital ties and a fraternal alliance (Judg. 21). In addition, the reign of the Benjamite Saul was a period of relief and respite for the tribes of Transjordan (i Sam. 11; i Chron. 5). Hence, the notable act of loyalty of the Gileadites to the slain Saul (i Sam. 31:11–13) and to his family. The capital of Saul's son Ish-Bosheth was Mahanaim (ii Sam. 2:8–9). Saul's grandson Mephibosheth took refuge in Lo-Debar (ii Sam. 9:4–5), but this, in northern Gilead, was probably not Gadite but Manassite.
David's wars with Aram, Ammon, and Moab greatly strengthened the position of Israelite Transjordan. In consequence the Gileadites supported David, and Mahanaim became his base, in his war against Absalom (ii Sam. 17:24–27; 19:33). Mahanaim later became the station of one of Solomon's 12 commissioners (i Kings 4:14). In the era of the divided kingdom, Gad belonged to the kingdom of Samaria. Elijah the prophet was a native of Gilead (i Kings 17:1). When King Mesha of Moab rebelled against Israel, he dealt harshly with the Gadites of Ataroth (Mesha Stele, 10–13, in: Pritchard, Texts, 320). The Gileadites suffered greatly from the Arameans and the Ammonites during Israel's weakness in the first half of the rule of the House of Jehu (see *Jehu, *Jehoahaz; cf. Amos 1:3, 13); but Gilead was reconquered by Jeroboam ii (cf. Amos 6:13; Lo-Dabar and Karnaim = Lo-Debar and Ashteroth-Karnaim). The reign of Jeroboam son of Joash seems to have been a period of respite in their history (ii Kings 14:28; cf. i Chron. 5:17). There are allusions to some sort of ties between Gilead and the kingdom of Judah during the reign of Jotham king of Judah, on the eve of the destruction of Gilead (i Chron. 5:17; ii Chron. 27:5). In 732 b.c.e. the territory of Gad was laid waste by Tiglath Pileser iii, and most of its inhabitants were exiled from their land (ii Kings 15:29), which was then invaded by the Ammonites (Jer. 49:1). However, there are indications that a remnant of the Gadites remained in southern Gilead, and it is possible that the Tobiads known at the beginning of the Second Temple period derived from them. The Gadite remnant and the Judean refugees in Ammon (Jer. 41) formed the foundation of the Jewish community that developed in Transjordan in the days of the Second Temple.
In the Aggadah
Gad was born on the tenth of Ḥeshvan and lived to the age of 125 (Yal. Ex. 162). He was born circumcised (Rashi to Gen. 30:11). His name "Gad" was a portent of the manna (which was "like coriander seed," Heb. gad, Ex. 16:31; Ex. R. 1:5). He was among the brothers whom Joseph did not present to Pharaoh, lest Pharaoh, when he saw their strength, would enlist them in his bodyguard (Gen. R. 95:4). Gad was ultimately buried in Ramia, in the portion of his tribe, on the east bank of the Jordan (Sefer ha-Yashar, end). According to some, Elijah was a descendant of Gad (Gen. R. 71:8).
A. Bergman, The Israelite Occupation of Eastern Palestine in the Light of Territorial History (1934); A. Alt, in: pjb, 35 (1939), 19ff.; Abel, Geog, 2 (1938), 67, 77, 82, 103, 123, 138; N. Glueck, in: aasor, 18–19 (1939), 150ff.; idem, in: D. Winton Thomas (ed.), Archaeology and Old Testament Study (1967), 429ff.; Albright, Arch Rel, 218; idem, in: Miscellanea Biblica B. Ubach (1954), 131–6; M. Noth, in: mndpv, 58 (1953), 230ff.; idem, in: zdpv, 75 (1959); S. Yeivin, in: em, 2 (1954), 423–9; Y. Kaufmann, The Biblical Account of the Conquest (1954), 26–28, 46–52; Y. Aharoni, Ereẓ Yisrael bi-Tekufat ha-Mikra (1962), 178–9, 228, 304–5; B. Mazar (ed.), in: Historyahshel Am-Yisrael, ha-Avot ve-ha-Shofetim (1967), 191–2, 197; Y. Aharoni, ibid., 214–5; Z. Kallai, Naḥalot Shivtei Yisrael (1967), 221–8.
GAD (Heb. גָּד, "fortune" cf. Gen. 30:11), a deity of fortune, equivalent in function and meaning to the Greek Tyché and Latin Fortuna. In Isaiah 65:11 Gad is mentioned together with Meni as the beneficiary of a food offering: "Who prepare a table for Gad, and who give Meni a full drink offering." Although the name appears here (according to the masoretic pointing) preceded by the definite article, it refers to the deity (and see below). The Septuagint translates "for Gad" as tō daimoniō, "for the demon" while Vulgate renders both Gad and Meni by Fortuna. The rite described has elements in common with the Roman lectisternium in which food was spread on a table before an image of the deity. The Roman ceremony was meant to propitiate gods and repel pestilence and enemies. The rite condemned by the prophet may have served a similar function. This is the only unequivocal mention of the deity in the Bible. There are other references, however, which might be connected with the deity. Thus a place named Baal-Gad, "Lord of fortune," is mentioned as the extreme northern limit of Joshua's conquest (e.g., Josh. 11:17); Migdal-Gad, "Tower of Gad," appears as a place in the southwest lowlands of Judah (Josh. 15:37). The word gad also occurs in proper names, but probably as the appellative meaning "(good) fortune" rather than as the name of a god, e.g., Gaddi (Num. 13:11), Gaddiel (Num. 13:10), and Azgad (Ezra 2:12). This is almost certainly the case in the name Gaddiyo ("yhwh is my fortune"), which occurs on one of the Samaria ostraca. The character of the element gad in the names Gad Melekh and Gad-Marom, on seals from the fifth to fourth centuries b.c.e. and an earlier period respectively, found in Jerusalem, is uncertain.
Gad also appears in other Semitic religions as an element in names. Though the meaning cannot always be determined, in many cases it is possible to interpret the element gad as an appellative meaning "fortune." Thus in a number of Palmyrene inscriptions the word occurs in combinations where the second element is the name of Nabū, Bel, and other Babylonian deities. One Palmyrene inscription found at a sacred spring (Efka), reading "Gadda," clearly points to a deity to whom the spring was sacred. A bilingual inscription of the second century ce equates Palmyrene Gad with Greek Tyché. In Phoenicia the word is found as an element in personal names (e.g., גדי, גדעזיז). A Punic (overseas Phoenician) inscription of the 4th–3rd century b.c.e. from Sardinia reads: lrbt ltnt pn bʿl wgd, "for the Lady, for Tinit Face-of-Baal and Gad." An early second century b.c.e. Punic inscription from Spain (kai 72) reads: lrbt ltnt ʾdrt whgd, "For the Lady, for mighty Tinit and the Gad" (cf. the definite article used with Gad in Isa. 65:11). It appears also as an element in Nabatean (e.g., גדטב), Aramaic e.g., גדיא), and South Arabian (e.g., עמגד) names. As a heterogram, gde survived into Middle Persian, where it is read as xwarrah, "fortune." Babylonian talmudic גדא refers to the god/genius of fortune and serves as well as the common noun "luck."
R. Dussaud, Notes de mythologie syrienne (1905), 73ff.; idem, La pénétration des Arabes en Syrie avant l'Islam (1955), 91, 110ff., 144; J. Hastings (ed.), Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1 (1908), 662; E. Littmann, Thamūd und Ṣafā (1940), 108; O. Eissfeld, in: Der alte Orient, 40 (1941), 94, 123; S. Bottéro, in: S. Moscati (ed.), Le Antiche Divinità Semitiche (1958), 56; H.B. Huffmon, Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts (1965), 179; M. Hoefner in: H.W. Haussig (ed.), Woerterbuch der Mythologie, 1 (1965), 438–9. add. bibliography: S. Ribichini, in: ddd, 339–41; idem, in: dbja, 260; J. Linderski, Oxford Classical Dictionary, 837; J. Blenkinsopp, Isaiah 56–66 (ab; 2003), 274–79.
[Yuval Kamrat /
S. David Sperling (2nd ed.)]
GAD (Heb. גָּד), the seer (Heb. ḥozeh); one of the three prophets during the days of King *David. Gad joined David when the latter fled from Saul to Adullam and he persuaded him to return to Judah (i Sam. 22:5). He also instructed David to purchase the threshing floor of *Araunah the Jebusite and to build an altar there (ii Sam. 24:18ff.); this later became the site of Solomon's Temple (i Chron. 22:1). It is known that he remained in the court of David when the latter reigned in Jerusalem (ii Sam. 24:11–14; i Chron. 21:9–30). He was also one of the organizers of the levitical service in the Temple (ii Chron. 29:25) and, according to Chronicles, one of the chroniclers of the history of David (i Chron. 29:29). An anonymous opinion in the Babylonian Talmud (bb 15a) credits Gad along with the prophet Nathan with completing the Book of Samuel following Samuel's death.
M.Z. Segal, Sifrei Shemu'el (1961), 178; Yeivin, in: vt, 3 (1953), 149–65; O. Eissfeldt, The Old Testament. An Introduction (1965), 55, 533. add. bibliography: S. Japhet, i & ii Chronicles (1993), 516–17.
gad / gad/ • v. (gad·ded , gad·ding ) [intr.] inf. go around from one place to another, in the pursuit of pleasure or entertainment: help out around the house and not be gadding about the countryside. gad2 • interj. archaic an expression of surprise or emphatic assertion.
Gad 1 / gad/ (in the Bible) a Hebrew patriarch, son of Jacob and Zilpah (Gen. 30:9–11). ∎ the tribe of Israel traditionally descended from him.