by Brad Scott
The next son of Ya'aqov (Jacob) is called Gad. An interesting name to say the least. It is actually pronounced the same way we articulate the word God. The Hebrew root this word comes from is more than likely the word gadad (גד). This word means to gather together for the purpose of invading. The family cognates are translated as troops, armies, bands, to cut yourself (penetrating the skin), and to invade a fortune.
This word is made up of a gimel and a dalet. The early pictograph means to gather at the door. The blessing of Ya'aqov on this son seems to indicate his misfortunes and his fortunes.
Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 49:19Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
It seems that Gad is associated with fighting and many times linked with Reuben and his strength and power (Bemidebar (Numbers)32:29, Hitgalut (Revelation) 7:5). One might logically ask if this word is in any way related to our English word God or god. The history of the word god is a tangled one at best. It shoots off in so many directions it is hard to determine which direction should really concern us. Etymologically speaking, it is very possible that the Hebrew idea of invading or pursuing the door of good fortune came through the Teutonic word god which eventually ended up as the English word good and goodbye.
Shalom Alecheim! ◊