This post is a continuation of the prophetic declarations of Jacob upon his sons.Before the two of his sons(‘Dan’ and ‘Gad’) are considered,this post briefly presents to you the background story that led to their birth:

Jacob had two ‘official’ wives- Rachel and Leah.While Rachel’s womb was closed,Leah was bearing children effortlessly.She already had Reuben,Simeon,Levi and Judah while Rachel had none.Therefore,she became envious of Leah.

Rachel then asked Jacob to sleep with Bilhah(her maid) so that she could have children through her.

Bilhah took in and bore Jacob a son.Rachel named the child ‘Dan’ meaning ‘judging’,that is,God has judged me worthy of a son by my maid-Gen 30:3-6

Leah,on the other hand,gave her maid Zilpah to Jacob when she decided to stop bearing children.She couldn’t withstand the fact that Rachel was bearing children through her maid.

Zilpah then bore Jacob a son.Leah named him ‘Gad’ meaning ‘a troop or an army’.She coined that name to ‘warn’ Rachel that by the addition of Gad to her own four sons,a troop had been made- Gen 30:9-11

Rivalry that is triggered by unnecessary envy is an ancient phenomenon.How God uses the same to achieve His ultimate purpose shows that His wisdom is infinite and His intelligence is supreme.

In the next post,Jacob’s pronouncements on Dan and Gad in the light of all the above manipulations are discussed…