The Meaning of Deuteronomy 33:20 Explained

Deuteronomy 33:20

KJV: And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head.

YLT: And of Gad he said: -- Blessed of the Enlarger is Gad, As a lioness he doth tabernacle, And hath torn the arm -- also the crown!

Darby: And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad! As a lion doth he dwell, and teareth the arm, even the top of the head.

ASV: And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: He dwelleth as a lioness, And teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head.

What does Deuteronomy 33:20 Mean?

Context Summary

Deuteronomy 33:18-29 - Israel's Happy Future Promised
Zebulun and Issachar, sons of Leah, were neighbors in Canaan, and, being on the seaboard, became wealthy by commerce. The calling of the peoples may refer to the Gentile proselytes who were influenced by these tribes, 1 Kings 5:1-6; Mark 7:26.
The blessing of the other tribes is suggested by their position in Canaan: Gad, the leader of the west; Dan standing on the southern frontier, like a lion at bay; Naphtali, possessing the sea of Galilee, see r.v. margin; Asher on the northwest, with mountain, barriers against invasion. "Iron and brass!"
Let your soul dwell in the timeless, changeless, tireless God. There is none like Him. He will ride through heaven to help you, will thrust out the enemies that resist your progress, will be your fountain and dew, your corn and wine, and will place beneath you arms as tender as they are loving. However low you fall, they will always be underneath. As your day, so your strength! [source]

Chapter Summary: Deuteronomy 33

1  The majesty of God
6  The blessings of the twelve tribes
26  The excellence of Israel

What do the individual words in Deuteronomy 33:20 mean?

And of Gad he said Blessed [is] he who enlarges Gad as a lion He dwells and tears the arm and the crown of his head
וּלְגָ֣ד אָמַ֔ר בָּר֖וּךְ מַרְחִ֣יב גָּ֑ד כְּלָבִ֣יא שָׁכֵ֔ן וְטָרַ֥ף זְר֖וֹעַ אַף־ קָדְקֹֽד

וּלְגָ֣ד  And  of  Gad 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: גָּד  
Sense: seventh son of Jacob by Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid, and full brother of Asher.
אָמַ֔ר  he  said 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
בָּר֖וּךְ  Blessed  [is] 
Parse: Verb, Qal, QalPassParticiple, masculine singular
Root: בָּרַךְ 
Sense: to bless, kneel.
מַרְחִ֣יב  he  who  enlarges 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Participle, masculine singular construct
Root: רָחַב  
Sense: to be or grow wide, be or grow large.
גָּ֑ד  Gad 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: גָּד  
Sense: seventh son of Jacob by Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid, and full brother of Asher.
כְּלָבִ֣יא  as  a  lion 
Parse: Preposition-k, Noun, masculine singular
Root: לֶבֶא 
Sense: lion.
שָׁכֵ֔ן  He  dwells 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: שָׁכַן  
Sense: to settle down, abide, dwell, tabernacle, reside.
וְטָרַ֥ף  and  tears 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: טָרַף  
Sense: to tear, rend, pluck.
זְר֖וֹעַ  the  arm 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular
Root: זְרֹועַ  
Sense: arm, forearm, shoulder, strength.
קָדְקֹֽד  the  crown  of  his  head 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: קָדְקֹד  
Sense: head, crown of head, top of head, hairy crown, scalp.