complete verse (Genesis 49:19)

Following are a number of back-translations as well as a sample translation for translators of Genesis 49:19:

  • Newari: “‘One group will come to attack Gad but by counter attacking, he will drive them away.” (Source: Newari Back Translation)
  • Hiligaynon: “Then he still continued to-say, ‘You (sing.) Gad, you will-be-attacked by a group of robbers, but you will-take-revenge on them while they are-fleeing.” (Source: Hiligaynon Back Translation)
  • English: “Then Jacob continued telling his sons what would happen in the future. He said, ‘Gad, your tribe/descendants will be attacked by a group of bandits, but your tribe/descendants will pursue and attack them.” (Source: Translation for Translators)

Translation commentary on Genesis 49:19

Gad is the first son of Leah’s servant Zilpah. The home of the tribe was east of the Jordan, where it was subject to raids from desert-dwelling Ammonites (Judges 11). The name Gad sounds like the word for “fortune.” See 30.11.

Raiders shall raid Gad: verse 19 is a single sentence in two parts. Four of the six Hebrew words contain the sequence g-d, and Revised Standard Version and some other translations try to give a similar sound effect in English by repeating the word “raid.” Raiders refers to roving bands of robbers. Raid means to carry out a sudden armed attack. See Good News Translation.

But he shall raid at their heels: Gad is praised because of his ability to repel the raiders, drive them off, and pursue them closely.

Quoted with permission from Reyburn, William D. and Fry, Euan McG. A Handbook on Genesis. (UBS Helps for Translators). New York: UBS, 1997. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .