My Viewpoints on the Modern day Location of the Tribe of Gad
by Steven M. Collins
To begin with, we need to always remember that evidence for particular viewpoints about the tribes of Israel can always be divided into two categories: biblical and secular evidence. Biblical evidence (i.e. historical narratives and prophecies) always carry the most weight because they are divinely inspired. Secular evidence can give us excellent information as well, but it must always yield to biblical evidence if there are conflicts between the two.
The two prophecies giving us the most information about the tribes of Israel in the post-exilic world are in Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33. Genesis 49 is specifically for the "latter days" period of time (the time just prior to the Messianic Age), and verse 19 states: "Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last." Deuteronomy 33 is not a prophecy specifically for "the latter days," but is rather a prophecy given to Moses about the general futures of the tribes of Israel. These clues can be fulfilled in the latter days or over the broader course of history. The prophecy about Gad is in verses 20-21, which includes these words: "And of Gad, he said, Blessed be he that enlarges Gad, he dwells as a lion, and tears the arm with the crown of the head..."
Taking the two prophecies together, it is evident that Gad will become one of the larger tribes of Israel (it will be "enlarged"), and it will exhibit a predatory, lion-like nature. It will also be "overcome by a troop" in the latter days, but will recover afterwards and "overcome...at the last" (during the very "last'" part of the latter day period of time). These prophecies clearly point, in my judgment, to a particular nation in Europe.
Both Yair Davidy and I (and others) have traced the migrations of the tribes of Israel to the region of Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles, as well as nations colonized from there (i.e. Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, etc.). Some of the tribes are easier to identify than others, and the biblical clues are sufficiently cryptic concerned some of the tribes that there is room for honest differences of opinion about them. We should always treat each other's viewpoints with respect due to this fact. There seems to be a general consensus that the British are Ephraim, the USA is Manasseh, the French are Reuben, the Dutch are Zebulon, the Jews/Israelis are Judah, etc. However, after all the "easier" tribes of Israel are identified, we still must locate Gad. Some tribes are going to be sufficiently together in one body that specific nations can be identified with them. Other tribes, such as Simeon and Levi (Gen. 49:5-7) will be scattered widely amongst the other tribes. Genesis 49 includes no prophecy that Gad will be scattered and Deuteronomy 33 indicates Gad will be enlarged, so Gad should be found primarily in one, large, European nation. Deuteronomy 33 indicates we should look for a large nation in Europe which has a warlike and predatory history, and Genesis 49 reveals it is a nation which will be "overcome by a troop" during the latter days. Other versions of the Bible render this as "raiders shall raid him..." Either translation clearly indicates military action vs. Gad, which will result in the defeat of Gad by those who attack him.
The latter-day nation of Gad must be a large European nation which is itself predatory or militaristic, but which is attacked "("raided") by other nations' armies in the early portion of "the latter days." I see this as indicating an alliance of nations will attack Gad and defeat Gad because the word "raiders" is plural. Logically this makes sense, as it would take an alliance of several major nations to defeat Gad, which is prophesied to be a large, predatory/militaristic nation in its own right. Since Gad will act like a lion seeking prey, it is most likely that this latter-day war was started by Gad.
These clues point clearly to the nation of...Germany. It is a large European nation which has a militaristic/predatory history, and although it started the war and conquered many nations, it was ultimately defeated and occupied by the armies of an alliance of nations (the USA, UK, Russia, etc.). However, Genesis 49 also prophesies Gad will "overcome" in its own right at the end of the latter day period. This has also found fulfillment in the fact that Germany has "risen from the ashes" to not only be reunited, but to become one of the foremost economic powerhouses of the Western World. It also carries increasing weight politically in the EU.
Is there other evidence that points to Germany as Gad? Yes.
The Assyrians carried captive perhaps 1/3rd of Israel in the reign of King Pekah (II Kings 15:27-29). The Assyrians carried captive at that time the region of "Gilead," which consisted of the Israelite tribes of Gad, Reuben and 1/2 of Manasseh. They took a separate and distinct route into captivity than did the other Israelites when they later either were taken away as captives or fled from their tribal homelands to escape slavery to Assyria. I believe the Gileadite tribes were placed on the eastern edge of the Assyrian Empire. This makes practical sense as the Assyrians wanted to put as much distance between the Gileadites and the remaining Israelite tribes so they could not reunite and again pool their strength. We should remember that Assyria was a Semitic nation just like the Israelites (Genesis 10:21-22), so they would have had many racial similarities with the Gileadite tribes. Eventually, Assyria itself was defeated and its captive nations were free to migrate elsewhere. For reasons I explain in my book, The "Lost" Ten Tribes of Israel...Found!, I believe the Gileadite tribes went the furthest eastward into Asia of any of the tribes of Israel. Eventually they were divinely "herded" back toward the other Semites and Israelites so they would migrate to where prophecy indicated they must be in the latter days.
Consider the latter-day locations of Assyria and the three Gileadite tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Manasseh. Yair Davidy and I have agreed that the Reubenites are mostly in France and that the Ephraimites are mostly in England. It is my view that the old Prussians and the modern Eastern Germans are descendants of the Assyrians. Yair Davidy and I agree that the USA is mostly the tribe of Manasseh, but there is some very interesting history that shows the Manassehites were drawn to North America from two different regions of Europe. In the time of colonial America, its pre-Independence settlers were drawn primarily from the British Isles and Germany. At the time of the Revolutionary War, some colonies were dominated by the English settlers, but some (like Pennsylvania) were dominated by German settlers. After the Revolutionary War, an early US Congress voted on whether the German or English language should be the" official" language of the new United States of America. By one vote, the American Congress voted for the English language won over the German language. This attests to how prevalent were the German settlers in the early USA. Yair Davidy has stated that a great deal of Manasseh used to live in Germany, but that it largely migrated to the early USA. I agree with him. Even as Manasseh was split in two halves which were physically separated from each other for millennia, these halves had to be reunited in order for Manasseh to fulfill its destiny and roles in the latter days. The merging of the English and German settlers in the early American period accomplished this reuniting of the tribe of Manasseh. [As a personal note, while my "Collins" ancestors came from England/Wales, that part of my ancestry that goes through my paternal grandmother was from Germany and arrived in the USA during the pre-Revolutionary War period. I would certainly regard that part of my ancestry as being from the tribe of Manasseh.] As further evidence that a "birthright" tribe of the house of Joseph long lived in Germany, Germany is second only to the British Isles in having the name of "Isaac" placed on its regions. The name of Isaac can be seen in the Anglo-Saxon history of the British Isles, but it is also seen in the name of Isaac being placed on various regions (lander) of Germany. In English, we know these regions as Upper Saxony, Lower Saxony, etc. In the German tongue the original "Saka" or "Sacae" root is more evident in the German words for Saxon: "Sach-sisch" or "Sachse."
Now let's link ancient history with the recent centuries. Assyria took the tribes of Gad, Reuben and half of Manasseh captive into Asia. All were Semitic people and after their migrations to Europe were accomplished, Reuben was located in France, a half-tribe of Manasseh was located in Germany, and the Assyrians were in Prussia and eastern Germany. We should expect Gad to be located along with these other groups in central Europe, and I believe they are to be found mostly in the region of Western Germany, the same place where half of Manasseh once dwelled. However, although the Manassehite Germans migrated to North America, the tribe of Gad stayed in Germany. The biblical prophecy of Genesis 49 indicates this to be true. But there is additional evidence.
We all know that the blessings of Abraham were passed on to Isaac, Jacob and his twelve sons. While Ephraim and Manasseh received the best promises known as the "birthright," the general promises made to Abraham were placed on all the tribes of Israel (all of them received prophetic blessings from Jacob/Israel in Genesis 49 right after he conveyed the primary birthright blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh in Genesis 48). At the end of World War II, Germany was occupied and split into Western and Eastern Germany. West Germany "overcame" its defeat and became a very prosperous ally of Ephraim and Manasseh and many other Israelite tribes in NATO. West Germany shared in the Abrahamic blessings poured out on the Western World after World War II along with many other Israelite tribes, but the Eastern Germans (cut off on the eastern side of the Soviet Iron Curtain) did not receive them. This indicates that God knew exactly which portion of Germany was dominated by an Israelite tribe (Gad), and which part was dominated by non-Israelites (the Assyrians). Germany has since reunited, but it is going to take generations to fully bring the former East Germany up to the living standards of the former West Germany.
There is a key question I wish to address. The question might occur to many: "If Germany is mostly Gad, how can you explain the Holocaust? Could an Israelite tribe perpetrate a holocaust on another Israelite tribe (i.e. In World War II, the Germans tried to exterminate the Jews/tribe of Judah)? The biblical precedent and answer is "yes." In Judges 19-21 is an account that all the rest of the tribes of Israel came within 600 males of destroying the entire tribe of Benjamin. This means the other tribes slaughtered ALL the women and children and almost all of the men of the tribe of Benjamin. This "holocaust" vs. Benjamin was perpetrated by all the other tribes of Israel, who essentially went "kill-crazy" in that Israelite Civil War before they came to their senses. The house of Judah devastated the house of Israel in the war between Kings Jeroboam and Abijah. II Chronicles records that 500,000 soldiers of the kingdom of Israel were slain by their counterparts in the Kingdom of Judah in that war. Even the brother tribes of Joseph could wars against each other! Judges 12 records that in a war between Ephraim and Manasseh, the Manassehites killed 42,000 Ephraimites simply because they were Ephraimites. In the American Civil War of 1860-1985, the tribe of Manasseh again divided into two halves and they killed each other on an almost unbelievable scale in the first war to feature machine guns, aerial observation of the enemy and even the world's first submarine and the first iron-hulled navy ships. Biblical and secular history reveals that the Israelites can fight and kill each other on a very violent scale. Deuteronomy 33's prophecy that Gad would become a large, predatory nation that would try to kill and dismember other peoples supports the view that it is Gad and that it could participate in a holocaust against others. Even before World War II, Germany was known as a martial, warlike nation which preyed on other nations, ripping out chunks of their territory and annexing them to Germany.
For the above reasons, I believe that the region known formerly as West Germany is the location of the modern tribe of Gad.