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The Tribe of Gad

Gad was the seventh son of Jacob and the firstborn of Zilpah, the handmaid of Leah.

Jacob was the second son of Rebekah and Isaac.Jacob loved Rachel, the youngest daughter of Laban. Jacob promised to serve Laban seven years for Rachel. Completing the seven years Jacob expected to marry Rachel, but was tricked to marry Leah, the older daughter. Zilpah was the hand maid sent with Leah. Jacob worked another seven years to marry Rachel and her handmaid Bilah. (Genesis 29:15-30).

Leah said; a troop (01409. fortune) cometh: and she called his name Gad. (Genesis 30:10-11).

The sons of Zilpah, the handmaid of Leah, were Gad, and Asher which were born to him in Padanaram. (Genesis 35:26).

The LORD changed Jacob’s name to Israel after he wrestled with God. Jacob was called Israel because he was a prince and has power with God and with men, and prevailed. (Genesis 32:24-32).

Jacob had taken his family to dwell in the land of Canaan. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob (Israel). Jacob made Joseph a coat of many colors. The brothers of Joseph saw their father loved Joseph more that all of them and they hated him. They plotted against Joseph. The brothers were feeding their father’s flock in Shechem (some 60 miles from Hebron where they lived) when Jacob (Israel) sent Joseph to check on them. Joseph couldn’t find his brothers in Shechem and was found by a man wandering in the fields. The man sent Joseph to Dothan to find his brothers. When the brothers saw him coming they conspired against him to slay him.

Reuben, his oldest brother, delivered Joseph out of the hands of his brothers and suggested not to kill him but to let him be cast into a pit in the wilderness. The brothers stripped Joseph out of his coat of many colors and cast Joseph into a pit without water. There was a company of Ishmaelites that came from Gilead with their camels bearing spices, balm, and myrrh on their way to Egypt. It was Judah who suggested selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. It was the Ishmaelites who carried Joseph to Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, an officer of the Pharaoh, and captain of the guard. The brothers took Joseph’s coat of many colors, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood. They then returned to their father. Jacob, Israel, knew his beloved son had been devoured by an evil beast. Jacob, Israel, rented his clothes and put on sack clothes and mourned for Joseph for many days and could not be comforted. (Genesis 37:1-36).

There were then seven years of famine in all the land of Egypt and over all the face of the earth. Joseph was the governor over the land, and it was his to sell to all the people of the land. When the famine was over all the face of the earth, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians and the other countries that came into Egypt to buy corn. Joseph gathered up all the money that was in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought. All the cattle and all the land, and at last the Egyptians themselves, became the property of Pharaoh.

Jacob (Israel) sent ten of his sons to Egypt to buy corn. Benjamin was kept behind to protect him from harm. The brothers came from Canaan to buy corn. Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. He remembered the dreams which he had dreamed of his brothers, and said unto them, they were spies. Three days later to prove they were not spies Joseph directed his brethren to return to their home and bring the youngest brother, Benjamin. Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man’s money into his sack, and to give them provision for their way Simeon was left behind to make sure they came back.

Once they all returned with Benjamin, Joseph made himself known to all his brothers telling them he was Joseph who they sold into Egypt. Joseph asked if his father was alive and told them to bring him to Egypt. They were afraid but were told to hurry and get his father and tell him his son Joseph is alive. Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

Jacob (Israel) could hardly believe Joseph was alive, and governor over all the land of Egypt. Jacob, Israel went to Egypt to see his son Joseph. Judah was sent ahead to inform Joseph to meet the father at Goshen. Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Jacob, Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. Joseph told Pharaoh, his father, brothers, and their flocks, and herds, and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. Joseph presented his family to the Pharaoh and Jacob, Israel, blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses. That is how the Israelites came into the land of Egypt. (Genesis 39-48).

Gad had seven sons at the time of the descent into Egypt. The sons of Gad were; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. (Genesis 46:16). The children of Gad after their families were of Zephon, the family of the Zephonites: of Haggi, the family of the Haggites: of Shuni, the family of the Shunites: of Ozni, the family of the Oznites: of Eri, the family of the Erites: of Arod, the family of the Arodites: of Areli, the family of the Arelites. These are the families of the children of Gad. (Numbers 26:15-18).

The prophecy concerning Gad which shall befall him in the last days given by his father Jacob was "Gad, a troop (01416. A crowd especially of soldiers: army, band of men) shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last." (Genesis 49:19).

When the wandering in the wilderness was over the tribes divided the land. The children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle. When they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead they knew it was a place for cattle. The children of Reuben and the children of Gad made a covenant with Moses so they could occupy the grazing land of Gilead east of Jordan. Moses said unto them, If the children of Gad and the children of Reuben will pass with you over Jordan, every man armed to battle, before the LORD, and the land shall be subdued before you; then ye shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession. Moses gave unto the children of Gad, the children of Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh, the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon the king of the Amorites, and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land, with the cities thereof in the coasts, even the cities of the country round about. The children of Reuben built Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Kirjathaim. The children of Gad built Dibon, Ataroth, Aroer, Atroth, Shophan, Jaazer, Jogbehah, Bethnimrah, and Bethharan, fenced cities: and folds for sheep. This is where Moses gave the tribe of the children of Gad for their inheritance. (Number 32:1-38).

Moses gave the tribe of Gad their inheritance. Their Coast was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of ammon, to Aroer before Rabbah; From Heshbon to Ramath-mizph, and Betonim; from Mahanaim unto the border of Debir the valley; succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, Jordan and his border even the edge of the Sea of Chinnereth on the other side Jordan eastward. (Joshua 13:24-28).

Moses blessed the children of Israel before his death. The blessing given to Gad was “ Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.21 And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.” (Deuteronomy 33:20-21).

The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, were valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war. They made war with the Hagarites, with Jetur, and Nephish, and Nodab. The Hagarites were delivered into their hand, and all that were with them. Because they trusted in the LORD and cried to Him for help, they defeated their enemies. They took away their cattle, their camels, sheep, asses, and of men. This was because the war was blessed of the LORD.

Then they transgressed against the God of their fathers, and went a whoring after the gods of the people of the land, whom God destroyed before them.The God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, and the spirit of Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, and he carried them away, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, and brought them unto Halah, and Habor, and Hara, and to the river Gozan, unto this day. (1 Chronicles 5:18-26).

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