Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gad.—The word Gad, as we have seen (Genesis 30:11), means good fortune, but Jacob connects it with the root gâdad, “to gather in troops.” Thus, then, “A troop” or “throng of plunderers shall throng upon him, but he shall throng upon their heel.” Settling upon the east of the Jordan he shall be exposed to many a sudden incursion of plunderers, but, though ever unready, he shall gather his forces and repel them, and follow with avenging energy upon their rear.Genesis 49:19. Concerning Gad, he alludes to his name, which signifies a troop, foresees the character of that tribe, that it should be a warlike tribe; and so we find, 1 Chronicles 12:8, the Gadites were men of war fit for the battle. He foresees that the situation of that tribe on the other side Jordan would expose it to the incursions of its neighbours, the Moabites and Ammonites; and that they might not be proud of their strength and valour, he foretels that the troops of their enemies should, in many skirmishes, overcome them; yet, that they might not be discouraged by their defeats, he assures them that they should overcome at the last — Which was fulfilled, when in Saul’s time and David’s the Moabites and Ammonites were wholly subdued.1 Chronicles 5:18.Troops of enemies shall frequently invade his country, and for a time conquer and spoil it. And so it came to pass, because the inheritance of that tribe lay beyond Jordan, near to the Ammonites and Moabites, two inveterate enemies of Israel, and to other hostile nations on the east.
But he shall overcome at the last, or, afterward. This was fulfilled, 1 Chronicles 5:18, &c. He shows that the events of the wars should be various, but Gad should one time or other spoil his spoilers. See Deu 33:20. Joshua 1:12 and so Jarchi; but it rather seems to refer to what befell them in their own tribe, which being seated on the other side Jordan was exposed to the incursions and spoils of the Moabites and Amonites; who came upon them like troops of robbers, and seized upon their possessions and retained them for some years; as in the times of the judges, see Judges 10:7 and in after times we find the Ammonites in possession of their country, Jeremiah 49:1 whereby this part of the prophecy had its accomplishment:
but he shall overcome at the last; as the Gadites with the Reubenites and half tribe of Manasseh did overcome the Hagarites and Arabians, the war being of God, and succeeded, and they dwelt in their stead until the captivity of the ten tribes, 1 Chronicles 5:18 and thus it is with the people of God in their present warfare state, who are often foiled with sin, Satan, and the world, their spiritual enemies; but at last they are more than conquerors over them all through Christ that has loved them.Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. a troop] Heb. gedud, “a marauding band.”
shall press] Heb. gad, to press. These words furnish a double play upon the name of the tribe Gad. Gad … gedud yegudennu … yagud ‘ekêbâm = “Gad, raiders shall raid him, but he shall raid their rear (lit. heel).” LXX πειρατήριον πειρατεύσει αὐτόν• αὐτὸς δὲ πειρατεύσει αὐτῷ κατὰ πόδας. This warlike and independent tribe seem to have been successful in repelling the bands of marauders, Ammonites, Moabites, and Aramaeans, who threatened the eastern border of Gilead. Cf. Jdg 10:7-12; 1 Chronicles 5:18-22. Later on, however, the tribe seems to have succumbed. Jeremiah 49:1.
upon their heel] i.e. he will repulse and pursue them closely, and hang upon their rear.Verse 19. - Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. The threefold alliteration of the original, which is lost in the received translation, may be thus expressed: "Gad - a press presses him, but he presses the heel' (Keil); or, "troops shall troop on him, but he shall troop on their retreat' ('Speaker's Commentary'). The language refers to attacks of nomadic tribes which would harass and annoy the Gadites, but which they would successfully repel. Deuteronomy 33:19). So far as the territory allotted to the tribe of Zebulun under Joshua can be ascertained from the boundaries and towns mentioned in Joshua 19:10-16, it neither reached to the Mediterranean, nor touched directly upon Zidon (see my Comm. on Joshua). It really lay between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean, near to both, but separated from the former by Naphtali, from the latter by Asher. So far was this announcement, therefore, from being a vaticinium ex eventu taken from the geographical position of the tribe, that it contains a decided testimony to the fact that Jacob's blessing was not written after the time of Joshua. ימּים denotes, not the two seas mentioned above, but, as Judges 5:17 proves, the Mediterranean, as a great ocean (Genesis 1:10). "The coast of ships:" i.e., where ships are unloaded, and land the treasures of the distant parts of the world for the inhabitants of the maritime and inland provinces (Deuteronomy 33:19). Zidon, as the old capital, stands for Phoenicia itself.
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