(30:11) “Vatomer Leah Bah-Gad-And Leah said Bah-Gad.” The Torah writes these words as one, but it is read as two words.(Bah-Gad) What is the meaning of this? Rashi says that he doesn’t know why these words are contracted? But he says three things. One that Bah-Gad means good fortune comes, two that Gad was born circumcised, and three that Bagad means betrayal.
We find in the previous posuk that Leah stopped having children. Plus we see that Rochel, who had still not become pregnant, gave her maidservant to Yakov in order for him to father more Shevatim. She therefore gave her maidservant, Zilpah to Yakov out of which Gad was born.
The Rambam asks why was it necessary for Leah to give Yakov her maidservant? She already at this point had four sons and in fact she later had even more children. Why did she not wait? Perhaps this is the betrayal that Rashi alludes to.
Originally by the Bris bein Habisorim Hashem promised Avraham the lands of ten nations. But later on in Devarim when they were actually taking over the land we find only seven nations were conquered. Hashem delayed the conquest of the last three nations for the future days of Moshiach. The name Gad equals seven in Gematria. The Maazal-Tov that Rashi referred to was this ability to conquer seven nations. He was born circumcised.
The Maharal says that this means that the limitations of this world have little effect on that person. So Gad had the potential to transcend this world and could have conquered all ten nations were it not for the fact that he was born to Zilpah rather than Leah. We find that his portion in Eretz Yisroel was part of Ammon and Moav’s territory. When we add those lands to the ones conquered in Eretz Yisroel proper we have a total of nine nations equal to the numerical value of the word Bagad as written in the Torah. The one nation that he could not effect was Edom. Gad was supposed to have been born from Leah. Had he been, he would have even been able to overcome Edom. The difference between the words “Bagad” and “Bah-Gad” is the Aleph which represents Edom. The words “Bah-Gad” equals ten. This is why the Torah reads the words “Bah-Gad” but it is written “Bagad” without the aleph. The potential was never realized.
Why was the fact that Leah was not the mother of Gad, the difference between his overcoming Edom? The Torah writes (29:17) “V’Eynei Leah Rakos-The eyes of Leah were dimmed.” Leah thought that she was destined to marry Esav. Her eyes were puffy from the tears of prayer. She prayed not to fall to the lot of Essav. And we see that her prayers were effective. So it was Leah’s power of prayer that was able to frustrate Essav. This power would have enabled Gad to overcome Edom. We also see that Leah had this dominion over Essav later on in Parshas Vayishlach where Yakov was criticized for hiding Dinah in a box. He feared that Essav might see her and take her, Yakov was criticized for doing that since Leah might have been able to reform Essav. Again the power of Leah to overcome Essav.