To find and understand the tribe of Gad today one must look to and dissect the Mosaic and Jacobic prophecies concerning him in the last days. To which it behooves us to look at the prophecies as rendered in as many translations we can find so as to get a solid understanding of these enigmatic prophecies concerning this Tribe. Then we must look the passages in the Hebrew and exegetically, word for word cypher the true meaning of the verses and see if it be applicable to any peoples we may know of today.
(ASV) Gad, a troop shall press upon him; But he shall press upon their heel.
(BBE) Gad, an army will come against him, but he will come down on them in their flight.
(CEV) Gad, you will be attacked, then attack your attackers.
(Darby) Gad--troops will rush upon him; But he will rush upon the heel.
(DRB) Gad, being girded, shall fight before him: and he himself shall be girded backward.
(ESV) "Raiders shall raid Gad, but he shall raid at their heels.
(GNB) "Gad will be attacked by a band of robbers, But he will turn and pursue them.
(GW) "Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will strike back at their heels.
(JPS) Gad, a troop shall troop upon him; but he shall troop upon their heel.
(KJV) Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
(MKJV) Gad, raiders shall attack him, and he shall attack their heel.
(RV) Gad, a troop shall press upon him: But he shall press upon their heel.
(The Scriptures 1998+) “Gaḏ, a raiding band raids him, but he raids its heel.
(Webster) Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
(YLT) Gad! a troop assaulteth him, But he assaulteth last.
(ASV) And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: He dwelleth as a lioness, And teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head.
(BBE) Of Gad he said, A blessing be on him who makes wide the limits of Gad: he takes his rest like a she-lion, taking for himself the arm and the crown of the head.
(CEV) Tribe of Gad, the LORD will bless you with more land. So shout his praises! Your tribe is like a lion ripping up its victim.
(Darby) And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad! As a lion doth he dwell, and teareth the arm, even the top of the head.
(DRB) And to Gad he said: Blessed be Gad in his breadth: he hath rested as a lion, and hath seized upon the arm and the top of the head.
(ESV) And of Gad he said, "Blessed be he who enlarges Gad! Gad crouches like a lion; he tears off arm and scalp.
(GNB) About the tribe of Gad he said: "Praise God, who made their territory large. Gad waits like a lion To tear off an arm or a scalp.
(GW) About the tribe of Gad he said, "Blessed is the one who gives the people of Gad more land. They wait there like a lion. They can tear off an arm or a head.
(JPS) And of Gad he said: Blessed be He that enlargeth Gad; he dwelleth as a lioness, and teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head.
(KJV) And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.
(MKJV) And of Gad he said, Blessed is He who makes Gad greater. He lives as a lion and tears the arm and the crown of the head.
(RV) And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: He dwelleth as a lioness, And teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head.
(The Scriptures 1998+) And of Gaḏ he said, “Blessed is he who enlarges Gaḏ. He dwells as a lion, and shall tear off the arm, also the crown.
(Webster) And of Gad he said: Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.
(YLT) And of Gad he said: --Blessed of the Enlarger is Gad, As a lioness he doth tabernacle, And hath torn the arm--also the crown!
(ASV) And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; And he came with the heads of the people; He executed the righteousness of Jehovah, And his ordinances with Israel.
(BBE) He kept for himself the first part, for his was the ruler's right: he put in force the righteousness of the Lord, and his decisions for Israel.
(CEV) Your leaders met together and chose the best land for your tribe, but you obeyed the LORD and helped the other tribes.
(Darby) And he provided the first part for himself, For there was reserved the portion of the lawgiver; And he came with the heads of the people; The justice of Jehovah and his judgments Hath he executed with Israel.
(DRB) And he saw his pre-eminence, that in his portion the teacher was laid up: who was with the princes of the people, and did the justices of the Lord, and his judgment with Israel.
(ESV) He chose the best of the land for himself, for there a commander's portion was reserved; and he came with the heads of the people, with Israel he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments for Israel."
(GNB) They took the best of the land for themselves; A leader's share was assigned to them. They obeyed the LORD's commands and laws When the leaders of Israel were gathered together."
(GW) They chose the best land for themselves. Indeed, a commander's piece of land was reserved for them. They were leaders of the people and did for Israel what the LORD considers fair and honorable."
(JPS) And he chose a first part for himself, for there a portion of a ruler was reserved; and there came the heads of the people, he executed the righteousness of the LORD, and His ordinances with Israel.
(KJV) 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.
(MKJV) And he provided the first part for himself, because there was the portion of the lawgiver hidden. And he came with the heads of the people. He executed the justice of Jehovah, and His judgments with Israel.
(RV) And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver’s portion reserved; And he came with the heads of the people, He executed the justice of the LORD, And his judgments with Israel.
(The Scriptures 1998+) “And he chose the best for himself, for there the portion of the lawgiver was hidden. And he came with the heads of the people. The righteousness of יהוה he did, and His right-rulings with Yisra’ĕl.”
(Webster) 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.
(YLT) And he provideth the first part for himself, For there the portion of the lawgiver is covered, And he cometh with the heads of the people; The righteousness of Jehovah he hath done, And His judgments with Israel.
Now, let us dissect the passages and see if we can come to a definitive meaning to these prophetic blessings.
Gen 49:19 (KJV) Gad,H1410 a troopH1416 shall overcomeH1464 him: but heH1931 shall overcomeH1464 at the last.H6119
Gen. 49:19 exegetically dissected:
The Tribe of Gad a troop, (a crowd of soldiers, an army, a company, raiders,) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) him: but he (Gad) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) at the last (track, lie in wait and attack as an army from behind).
Deut. 33:20-21 exegetically dissected:
Deut. 33:20 (KJV) And of GadH1410 he said,H559 BlessedH1288 be he that enlargethH7337 Gad:H1410 he dwellethH7931 as a lion,H3833 and tearethH2963 the armH2220 withH637 the crown of the head.H6936
And (it is said of the Tribe of) Gad, Blessed (kneel in congratulatory adoration) he that enlarges (makes room and broadens and makes wide the way, or place, literally and figuratively for) Gad: Gad dwells (Literally and figuratively makes his home, territory and resting place) as a lion (great, stout, roaring, hunting lioness) and tears (catch, pluck, feeds upon and tear into pieces) the arm (literally the dominate and powerfully outstretched shoulder and forearm or foreleg , and figuratively the force, strength and might) with the crown of the head (top of the head, pate, scalp).
Deut. 33:21 (KJV) And he providedH7200 the first partH7225 for himself, becauseH3588 there,H8033 in a portionH2513 of the lawgiver,H2710 was he seated;H5603 and he cameH857 with the headsH7218 of the people,H5971 he executedH6213 the justiceH6666 of the LORD,H3068 and his judgmentsH4941 withH5973 Israel.H3478
And he (Gad) provided (saw and ceased) the first part (chief, principle, best, firstfruits) for himself, because there, a portion (smooth, flattering allotment and or parcel of land) of the lawgiver (decree carved in stone), seated (covered on the roof) and he came with the heads (chief rulers and leaders) of the people (tribe, nation), he executed (made or done) the justice (moral rightness) of the LORD (YaHuWeH) and his judgements (favorable and proper, rightful laws and verdicts) with (equal with) Israel.
Gen. 49:19, Deut. 33:20-21 exegetically dissected and read as a whole:
Gen. 49:19, Deut. 33:20-21 The Tribe of Gad a troop, (a crowd of soldiers, an army, a company, raiders,) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) him: but he (Gad) shall overcome (invade, crowd, attack) at the last (track, lie in wait and attack as an army from behind)… And (it is said of the Tribe of) Gad, Blessed (kneel in congratulatory adoration) he that enlarges (makes room and broadens and makes wide the way, or place, literally and figuratively for) Gad: Gad dwells (Literally and figuratively makes his home, territory and resting place) as a lion (great, stout, roaring, hunting lioness) and tears (catch, pluck, feeds upon and tear into pieces) the arm (literally the dominate and powerfully outstretched shoulder and forearm or foreleg , and figuratively the force, strength and might) with the crown of the head (top of the head, pate, scalp). And he (Gad) provided (saw and ceased) the first part (chief, principle, best, firstfruits) for himself, because there, a portion (smooth, flattering allotment and or parcel of land) of the lawgiver (decree carved in stone), seated (covered on the roof) and he came with the heads (chief rulers and leaders) of the people (tribe, nation), he executed (made or done) the justice (moral rightness) of the LORD (YaHuWeH) and his judgements (favorable and proper, rightful laws and verdicts) with (equal with) Israel.
The Prophetic Mosaic and Jacobic blessings upon the Tribe of Gad are applicable and have been quite scholastically substantiated in regards to some historical people groups; mainly the Teutonic and Germanic (Gothic) peoples, the Scandinavian Vikings, the Igbo and the Native Americans, mainly but not limited to the Cherokee, Blackfoot and (D)Lakota Indians.
All the above mentioned groups were semi-nomadic, warrior nations with vast and expanding territories. They partially sustained themselves, due to harsh climatic conditions, by raiding other nearby and surrounding and or nomadic people groups. All people groups mentioned above have been at one time or another, either severely persecuted and or conquered by other peoples, yet eventually shook off such oppression to emerge as conquerors in some sense of the word.
Each of these people groups, either by name and or language and culture can be traced back to the Hebraic peoples, specifically the Tribe of Gad. For example, the Goths, their name and various clans are directly traceable back to the Tribe of Gad proper. The Vikings, which were once part of the Germanic peoples, their runes are traceable back to the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet, as well as many of the Native American inscriptions found in various parts of North America.
The Germans almost conquered the world and were defeated only to emerge as the world’s financial and economic hub. The Scandinavian nations rose to recognize global achievements of man with the Nobel Peace Prize. Monetary wealth is like a mighty “arm” and the recognition of the Nobel Peace Prize represents intellect, the “head.”
All such peoples at one time or another have been symbolized by either themselves or others as a lion or one from the big cat family, such as the leopard, cougar or panther or have been likened to a mythological creature with cat-like elements such as the Griffin.
The Native Americans, all but the Blackfoot were officially “conquered” and yet today they have overcome by holding sway over the new age philosophy and issues concerning the environment. Also, monetarily, all that has been taken from them is being gained back by the casinos and entertainment industry. They have raided the pocketbooks as Israel plundered Egypt prior to the Exodus without firing a shot!
The Igbos were conquered by British and now as a part of the independent nation of Nigeria, Igbos have many influential people in political, business, sports, entertainment, scientific, technical and religious mediums and industries.
All these peoples live on and have claim to large swaths of prim real estate. North America rightfully belongs to the Native Americans, the Germans and Scandinavians have a claim to a vast majority of Europe and the Igbos territory is virtually all of southern half of Nigeria.
All such lands are choicest and a vast part of it is relatively untouched and uncultivated and figuratively these peoples are gaining and holding vast uncultivated intellectual territories in business, literature, philosophy and religion.
And just as with the Abrahamic blessing (Gen. 12:1-3) regarding his Children, Israel, those who blesses and helps Gad will in turn be blessed.
Also, though warrior like and militaristic, Gad and her peoples connected with her as mentioned above, had high standards of morality like unto the Mosaic law before they became their modern day incarnations. However, despite their moral imperfection today, these peoples are nonetheless big advocates and leaders of human rights and equal treatment on the world stage.
The Important thing we need to try and identify is; does the linguistic evidence have an uncorrupted base that exists to this day as it does with the Ibo people of Nigeria? Are clans, sons of Gad identifiable in their areas and easily traceable and identified in their Northern Hemisphere settlements such as Eri, Areli and Arodi clearly are in Nigeria? Another thing to keep in mind is that although Eri, Areli and Arodi have been found in Nigeria and knowing that often times sons were named after their fathers, the Eri, Areli and Arodi mentioned as sons of Gad may not have been the ones to end up in Nigeria but were descendants of these sons who were named after them, thus leaving open the possibility of other clans of Eri, Areli and Arodi to be found elsewhere in the world.
I must recall here how that Eri in the Ibo legend is presented by the Eze of Aguleri the custodian of the story of the Ibo, as a lighter skinned man with a pointed nose and is thus reminiscent of traits and attributes of Scandinavian and European people. This shows a possible connection to our Black Gadites in Nigeria and possible Gadites in the place where British Israelitism claims Gad to be.
The claims of many who believe they know who and where the Tribe of Gad is today is vast, including but not limited to: Scandinavia, Sweden, West Germany, Scotland and Ireland, Prussia and Russia as well as Spain and Portugal and even the Cherokee and Lakota Sioux Nation of North America.
All the research I have investigated seem to put much emphasis on the Jacobic and Mosaic prophetic blessings of Gad:
Gen. 49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
Deut. 33:20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.
Steven M. Collins believes these prophecies link Gad to the predatory, militaristic Germans who enlarged territory in WWI and II, and tore the militaristic arm and crown off of Europe. They were raided by English and American forces but overcame as an economic superpower of the E.U. (European Union).
He goes on to say that specifically West Germany is Gad. But as many will contest that if Germany is Gad, how can Gad kill his brother Judah in the Holocaust. Mr. Collins points out that in Judges 19-21 Israel perpetuated a holocaust against Benjamin and almost wiped them out and Manasseh almost wiped out Ephraim. Collins also believes America is Manasseh and he brings up the civil war and how the North and the South was brother versus brother. Mr. Collins does mention that Berlin did most out of all of Germany to harbor and save the Jews more than any other part of Germany. – www.stevenmcollins.com/html/gad.html
I will say this, one of Gad’s sons was named Ezbon but also called Ozni (Num. 26:16) and there is a West German town called Osnabruach which if pronounced in Hebrew would mean, “Blessed be Ozni.”
Abraham Rempel believes a portion of the Mennonites is actually Israelites and especially the ones who settled in Germany to be Gadites:
“The Hebrew origin of our Mennonite people is something that you might want to consider seriously. Whether or not you agree will have profound consequences.
I graduated from Eden Christian College, a Mennonite High School in Ontario, where a course was given on Mennonite history. The text we used has long ago disappeared from my library, but I distinctly remember reading that Mennonites are descendants of the Teutonic tribes in what is now Switzerland, Holland and Germany. A dictionary definition for Teuton is, “A member of a people speaking a language of the German branch of the Indo-European language family.” We should also recall that “Indo” refers to Ancient Persia, the subcontinent of India, and some other portions of the Near East. So just knowing that our past is Teutonic is a valuable clue to our ancient origin.
Late in the sixteenth century, Mennonites of mainly Dutch stock (both Dutch factions, Flemish and Frisian, with a liberal sprinkling of Moravians, Germans and Swiss) were invited to leave Prussia for Southern Russia by Catherine the Great. Catherine needed farmers for her newly acquired land and the Mennonite people needed to leave Prussia to avoid military service. By 1840 about seven hundred and fifty families had located in the Molotschna settlement north of the Black Sea. Little did our people know that their forefathers (before they were called Mennonites) had been in this area before... north of the Black Sea and east of the Caspian. They were actually returning in the direction from which they had come.
The Goths, the Germans and the Saxons are sometimes collectively called the Teutonic people. Their original Teutonic or Indo-European tongue gradually developed into the languages we now call English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. Yet Teutonic or Gothic speech was still recognizable in its original form in the Crimea in the sixteenth century. In the sixteenth century? In the Crimea? The Crimea is that area bounded by the Black Sea on the south and west, and by the Sea of Azov on the east... precisely the area settled by the Dutch Mennonites in that very same century! The implication is that the Mennonite-Teutonic people had been in this area before, in a past long forgotten. It is unlikely they knew that more than a millennia had gone by since their predecessors had been in the Crimea. (1)
As a second witness, in 1404 A.D. Archbishop Johannes de Gabonifontibus reported that two small nations were living along and around the Black Sea, the Thats and a few Goths. The Thats were also a branch of the original Teutons, but most of them had migrated to Northern Germany and Denmark. Some had remained in the area where:
“A section of the Thats by the Black Sea shores of Southern Russia practiced Judaism and... were identified with the Lost Tribes of Israel.” (2)
Here is further evidence that the Teutons came from the territory around the Black Sea - specifically Southern Russia - and then migrated into those areas of Europe later associated with the Mennonite people. However, there were still Teutons living by the Black Sea in the fifteenth century, and a century later when the Dutch Mennonites came there, or in a sense returned.
If we jump much father back into history, another story line was emerging in the first millennium B.C. when the Northern Kingdom of Israel was invaded and taken captive by the Assyrians. The captivity began in approximately 740 B.C. when the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh were carried away. In 721 B.C. the city of Samaria fell and the last of Israel’s ten tribes were deported. The majority of the tribes of Israel were settled in a vast territory east of the Euphrates and west of the Indus. Much of this area would eventually become Ancient Persia, including some of India and other countries in the Near East. It was this territory that became the birthplace of the Indo-European language, the language that would eventually become our modern English, German, Dutch, Swedish and Danish. It would also be the language of the Teutons in the 15th Century.
In Hosea 1:6-10 Yahuah (YHWH) promised that the population of the ten tribes would be multiplied beyond calculation after they were expelled from the Promised Land. In the rise and fall of the nations, Assyria fell to the Medo-Persians, and they in turn fell to the Parthians. In the great Parthian Empire which lasted for five centuries, the ten tribes flourished and were multiplied over and over. The Jewish historian, Josephus, recorded how the tribes of Israel had a huge Asian population by the first century A.D. James wrote to the twelve tribes scattered abroad (James 1:1). Peter wrote from Babylon where he had gone to fulfill the great commission (1 Peter 5:13). According to tradition, Thaddeus, Matthias, Andrew, Bartholomew and Simon the Zealot all evangelized or passed through the Parthian province of Armenia. Both secular history and the Scriptures testify to a large and well established Israelite population within the Parthian Empire.
As the great nations and empires before it, Parthia fell to Persia it 226 A.D. The Persians, however, were not a Semitic people and were also Zoroastrians. Religiously intolerant, the Persians soon began to persecute Christians and to a lesser extent the Jews (this was the time of Esther and Mordechai), and triggered one of the largest population shifts in history. A tidal wave of Semitic people, both Israelite and non-Israelite migrated in the direction of the Christian country of Armenia, the Caucasus Mountains and the Black Sea. This region was a natural refuge because it had been inhabited by a previous wave of Israelites in about 500 B.C. As Steven M. Collins writes:
“When Parthia fell and its people fled into Armenia, the descendants of the ten tribes of Israel in Asia became compressed into a region the shape of a crescent: from Armenia, between the Caspian and Black Seas, around the Black Sea on the north and toward modern Romania and Eastern Hungry. For the first time since the fall of the old kingdom of Israel, the ten tribes of Israel who had scattered into Asia were now mostly together again.”(3)
In a migration that continued for centuries, millions of “Parthian” refugees populated much of Europe. Historians have often acknowledged that most of the nations in Northern, Western and Central Europe are descended from the massive waves of Caucasians who poured into Europe from Asia. Hence the Indo-European language of the Goths, the Germans and the Saxons, known collectively as the Teutonic people. It is from these ancient tribes that the Mennonite people came... the Flemish, the Frisians, the Moravians, the Germans and the Swiss. As a Teutonic people, the ancestors of the Mennonites came with the Parthians from the region around the Tigres-Euphrates.
In a strange twist of history, perhaps unique to the Mennonite people, they returned for a time to the region of the Caucasus, specifically Southern Russia, north of the Black Sea. This is the unusual path that the Mennonite people took as they migrated from Switzerland, Holland and Germany, to Prussia and then to Russia. When these people left the region of the Caucasus, they were known as Teutons. But when they returned, more than a thousand years later, they were called Mennonites.
Strangely, the Mennonite people have twice in their history been associated with that region of the world known as the collecting point for the ancient tribes of Israel. For it was in this very region of the Caucasus that all the tribes of Israel had gathered together as a people before populating most of Europe. There is a persistent rumor that Mennonites are really “Jews” or Israelites. Perhaps some did recall their ancient heritage when the returned to the area north of the Black Sea in the 16th Century.
Hoshea the prophet wrote, “My Elohim rejects them, because they have not obeyed Him, so that they became wanderers among the gentiles” (Hosea 9:17).
So the Mennonites are a people who wandered from Holland to Prussia to the area north of the Black Sea, then to Canada, the United States, South America and elsewhere. Before that, as Israelites, they were expelled from the land of Israel, relocated east of the Euphrates, and then sent westward to the Black Sea region. They have wandered so much that it has become one of their distinguishing characteristics... and a fulfillment of prophecy.The conclusion can only be that the Mennonite people are Israelites, specifically of the ten northern tribes of Israel, and that were scattered throughout the earth because of their disobedience.
Understanding our Hebrew origin has profound consequences.”
(1) Collins, Steven M., ISRAEL’S TRIBES TODAY, page 37-38. (2) Davidiy, Yair, THE TRIBES, page 184. (3) Collins, Steven M., ISRAEL’S TRIBES TODAY, page 24.
A Swiss genetic researcher in 2008 showed that those indigenous to Germany are 45% Celtic, 35% Germanic 20% Slavic and 10% Jewish!
Phil Stone believes that because some translations of the prophecies in question speak of raiding instead of overcoming and that this points to the Spaniards and the Portuguese being conquistadores (raiders). Due to the linguistic similarities of Spain and Italy, Mr. Stone feels some Italians could be Gadites as well.
Steven Coneglan believes that the Viking Raiders of Scandinavia, but especially Sweden are the likely candidates for Gad as the prophecy mentions lions and how Vikings had manes if you will, like lions and they also had a predatory nature. I Chronicles 12:8 does mention that Gadite men had faces like that of lions. Gad and Reuben were known for being shepherds as well as warriors, more than any other tribe, that Vikings as well as the warlike Highland Scots, that this furthers the likelihood that Gad are the Scots and Swedes.
I must interject here with research of my own not related to the claims of British Israelitism which I embarked on my circumstances of curiosity prior to looking into the claims of British Israelitism.