His mother was Zilpah, Jacob's concubine and Leah's slave. Gad's name comes from the Hebrew word troop. Leah named him Gad, saying "A troop is coming." He was part of the plot to sell Joseph to Egypt and later sent to Egypt to buy corn during the famine in Canaan. Gad later moved to Egypt and lived there with his seven sons. Jacob blessed Gad on his deathbed, saying: "Raiders will raid Gad, but he will raid at their heel" (Genesis 49:19).
The tribe of Gad settled on the eastern bank of the Jordan River in the Gilead region and agreed to join the other tribes in the war against the Philistines.