GAD

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Lehite GN 1. City, burned with fire at the time of the Crucifixion, along with LAMAN, JOSH, and KISHKUMEN (3 Nephi 9:10)

Etymology

It is likely that this NEPHITE hapax legomenon GN comes from the PN of the first person who settled the city (see Alma 8:7). The root gad in HEBREW means "fortune, luck, riches, etc.," and is quite common in HEBREW, including the PN gād, one of the twelve sons of JACOB (ISRAEL).[1]The (deified) word appears in biblical PNs, e.g., Gaddiel (perhaps, "My fortune is El") in Numbers 13:5, and in extra-biblical HEBREW texts close to the time of LEHI (JAT).[2]

The biblical noun gĕdȗd, "band, troop," is a possibility for this GN.[3] However, "fortune" seems a more likely name for a city that "troop."

Less likely, though not impossible is the biblical HEBREW word for "coriander," gad, mentioned in Exodus 16:31. For an example of a Near Eastern GN coming from a plant, see the Arabic GN Ras Shamra, "cape fennel" (JH).

If Sumerian can be appealed to, the following could be considered. Sumerian gišGADA = Akkadian kitû "flax, linen (clothing)," as in GADA.LUGAL, kitû šarri, "byssus."[4] Cf. also Sumerian GAD, = Akkadian pētû, "door-keeper."[5]

Cf. Book of Mormon GID, AMGID, AMNIGADDAH, GADIANDI, GADIANTON, GADIOMNAH, et al.

Variants

Deseret Alphabet: 𐐘𐐈𐐔 (ɡæd)

Notes


  1. The King James Bible disguises the meaning of JACOB's son's name by rendering Genesis 30:11 (the first time the personal name appears in the Bible), "And Leah said, A troop cometh: and she called his name Gad." The Matthew Bible (1537) is more accurate, "Then said Lea: Good luck: and called his name Gad." A more literal translation might be, "And Leah said, 'By good fortune!' And she called his name Gad." (See HALOT sub גד.) The name for troop/band in biblical HEBREW is gĕdȗd, a close homophone (in Semitic languages) of gad.
  2. See Shmuel Ahituv, Echoes from the Past: HEBREW and Cognate Inscriptions from the Biblical Period (Jerusalem: Carta, 2008), 503, for the names גד, גדיו, גדעזר.
  3. The HEBREW verb gdd apparently is a denominative from this primary noun and means "to band together." See HALOT sub גדד.
  4. Cochavi-Rainey, Zipora. The Akkadian Dialect of Egyptian Scribes in the 14th and 13th Centuries BCE. University of Toronto Press. 2011., 16.
  5. MZ, #157 (p. 285); Chicago Assyrian Dictionary = Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the Univ. of Chicago. (Chicago: Oriental Institute/Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin, 1956-2010.) "K" 475b; AHw, 861b.
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