Genesis 49:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:19, NIV: Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.

Genesis 49:19, ESV: “Raiders shall raid Gad, but he shall raid at their heels.

Genesis 49:19, KJV: Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Genesis 49:19, NASB: 'As for Gad, a band of raiders shall attack him, But he will attack at their heels.

Genesis 49:19, NLT: 'Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat.

Genesis 49:19, CSB: Gad will be attacked by raiders, but he will attack their heels.

What does Genesis 49:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After a lifetime of struggle (Genesis 47:9), Jacob is very near to the end of his life (Genesis 48:1). He has called his sons to gather around him, pronouncing a series of predictions about the tribes to come from them (Genesis 49:1–2).

This brief remark about Gad (Genesis 30:10–11) is an overt play on words. The Hebrew term geduwd, sometimes transliterated as gadud, refers to raiding or attacking. It can be either a noun, meaning "raiders," or a verb, meaning "to raid." That word sounds very much like the name Gad, which primarily refers to a blessing, but which can also refer to troops. Jacob's phrase uses repeating sounds, literally, "Gād gedūd' yeguden ū w hū' yāgud āqēb'." To English-speaking ears, this would be something like "[Gad-ers] will [gad] Gad, but he will [gad] them back."

As a tribe, Gad would eventually settle (1 Chronicles 5:11–17) in an area prone to border raids by foreign invaders. Gadites became famous for their fighting fierceness and strength (1 Chronicles 5:18–19).