🔼The name Baal-gad: Summary
- Lord Of Fortune, Lord Of The Invasion
- From (1) the verb בעל (ba'al), to be lord, and (2) the verb גדד (gadad), to invade.
🔼The name Baal-gad in the Bible
Baal-gad is the name of a city situated in the valley of Lebanon, at the foot of mount Hermon (Joshua 11:17). At some point in the conquest of Canaan, Joshua and the army of Israel conquered Baal-gad and captured its king at executed him.
🔼Etymology of the name Baal-gad
The name Baal-gad obviously consists of two elements. The first part is the familiar word בעל (ba'al), Baal, meaning lord or master:
The verb בעל (ba'al) means to exercise dominion over; to own, control or be lord over. The ubiquitous noun בעל (ba'al) means lord, master and even husband, and its feminine counterpart בעלה (ba'ala) means mistress or landlady.
God is obviously called 'lord' all over the Bible and the sin of the Baal priests (1 Kings 18:40) was not that they called upon some other deity but rather their incessant howling of the word 'lord' without any further responsibility or effects (see Matthew 7:21 and 11:4-5).
The second part of our name is the same as that of Gad, the seventh son of Jacob. That name comes from the verb גדד (gadad), meaning to cut or invade:
The verb גדד (gadad) describes making an invasive cut, mostly in order to expose something valuable. Noun גדוד (gedud) may describe an invasive band of raiders, or more general: a cutting, a furrow. Noun גדודה (geduda) means a furrow or cutting. Noun גד (gad) appears to describe the exposed treasure and may be used to describe a physical fortune, plain luck or a state of felicity.
Verb גדה (gada) also means to cut. Noun גדה (gadda) refers to a river bank. Noun גדי (gedi) describes a young animal, but mostly one that was either just slaughtered or soon will be.
For a meaning of the name Baal-gad, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Lord Of Good Fortune, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes the similar Lord Of Fortune.
BDB Theological Dictionary doesn't translate this name but says: "a place where Baal was worshipped as Gad, the god of fortune..".