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Biblical Personalities: Gad – Or Hachaim Hakodesh

“Gad, a troop shall troop upon him.” (Genesis 49:19) Jacob links his blessing to his name, interpreting Gad’s name as meaning a troop or camp. The Sefer HaAruch defines Gad as meaning to draw, to lead, and to surround. Accordingly, the meaning is that Gad will surround his enemies.

Jacob continued: Gad will utterly destroy his enemies to the heel, the lowest extremity. Gad will surround the entire camp of Israel and fight on their behalf.

“Eikev,” or heel, may also refer to the fact that Gad will help Israel receive their reward, their inheritance. This is a reference to when the two and a half tribes, led by Gad, undertook to form the vanguard in the conquest of the land of Canaan. (Numbers 32:32)

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