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Gad and Asher

Gad and Asher were the two sons of Zilpah and Jacob. They can be found on the Bible Timeline between 1754-1704 B.C. Zilpah was the maidservant of Leah, Jacob’s first wife. When Leah ceased to bear children, at least temporarily, she gave her maidservant Zilpah to Jacob to have children for her.

This was part of an ongoing competition between Leah and her sister Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife. As Rachel was Jacob’s first choice of the two sisters (Genesis 29:18), Rachel and Leah were continually vying for Jacob’s affection. Bearing children was the way that wives won the favor of their husband in those times.

Though these two are considered minor characters in the Bible, each eventually became a leader of one of the tribes of Israel.

Gad, according to the Hebrew translation, means luck or fortune. Leah named him this because she considered it such good fortune that though she had stopped producing children, her maidservant had been able to bare one for her. Gad’s mother Zilpah acted as a surrogate for Leah (Genesis 30:11). Gad was Jacob’s seventh son and the founder of the tribe of Gad. According to Genesis 46:16, Gad had the following sons: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Iri, Arodi, and Areli.
When Jacob, also known as Israel, was near the end of his life he pronounced a blessing over each of his sons. The words that he spoke over Gad were, “Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.” (Genesis 49:19)
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Asher was Jacob’s eighth son, whose name is believed to mean happiness. The first appearance of Asher in the Bible is found in Genesis 30:13 when Leah was very pleased to have had her maidservant bare yet another son for her to her husband, Jacob. “Then Leah said, ‘How happy I am! The women will call me happy.’ According to Genesis 46:17 Asher was the father of four sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. It also mentions that these boys had a sister Serah.

When Israel was pronouncing his final blessing over his sons, his blessing over Asher went like this: “Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.” (Genesis 49:20)

Gad and Asher along with their brothers traveled to Egypt during a severe famine to find food and were eventually reunited with their long lost brother Joseph. The brothers had played an important role in causing Joseph, Jacob’s favorite son, to be separated from the rest of the family. The result of this journey was that Jacob and all of the tribes of Israel eventually settled in Egypt as can be seen in detail in chapter 47 of the Book of Genesis.

Elsewhere in the World

During this period of the Bible World History time, the following events at various locations around the world are recorded:


  • Middle Kingdom of Egypt reestablished prosperity and stability. This brought about art, literature, and building projects reappearing on the Egyptian scene. Military and political security, agricultural and mineral wealth, and religion all flourished during this time period.
  • Hittites take over the area now covered by Turkey. The Hittites were considered members of the Bronze Age, but forerunners of the Iron Age.
  • Bronze to Iron Age – During this time period making items of bronze seemed to be migrating into the Iron Age. The manufacture of artifacts from iron was noted. Iron became a very valuable commodity and was used to produce goods.
  • In Greece – In Greece, the Middle Helladic Period was in full swing. During this time, settlements drew closer together and gravitated toward hilltops. During this time period, rectilinear pottery was being influenced into curvilinear by the Minoans.
  • China – The first Chinese dynasty known as the Xia migrated into the Shang dynasty around the 18th century.
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1 thought on “Gad and Asher

  1. Greetings, from the throne of grace and mercy. I am Godwin Ositadinma Akwuo-Bible. I got acquinted with what I learned concerning the history of Had the 7th son of Jacob. I am from a community called Aguleri and by history from my late father and many elderly men and women in my village Aguleri including so many old structures and palace built several hundreds or thousand year ago by early men of my community by the name Obu-Gad meaning Gad’s. Please I want to let you know that we are descendants of Had through Eri according to Gen. 46:16 Please kindly check this out and let me know if you could throw more light into this history for the sake of reuniting the lost tribe of Israel.

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