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Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it the other way around?)

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For one thing, who says Yaakov knew about them? For another, the Torah provides rational explanations for their names; perhaps this mitigates the similarity. Thirdly, the Torah gives Rachel and Leah as the parties that named them, FWIW. – yitznewton Oct 27 '11 at 17:46
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I do not know for sure if the names of the Shevatim preceded the names of the idols, however from the Torah it is clear that the name was given for a reason.

By Dan it says in Breishis 30:6 - וַתֹּאמֶר רָחֵל, דָּנַנִּי אֱלֹהִים, וְגַם שָׁמַע בְּקֹלִי, וַיִּתֶּן-לִי בֵּן; עַל-כֵּן קָרְאָה שְׁמוֹ, דָּן.

And by Gad it says in Breishis 30:11 וַתֹּאמֶר לֵאָה, בגד; וַתִּקְרָא אֶת-שְׁמוֹ, גָּד.

In addition the Gemara in Shabbos brings proofs that these names are names of idols from Nach which is later than the stories of the Avos. האומר גד גדי וסנוק לא אשכי ובושכי יש בו משום דרכי האמורי ר' יהודה אומר גד אינו אלא לשון ע"ז שנאמר (ישעיהו סה) העורכים לגד שלחן הוא בשמה והיא בשמו יש בו משום דרכי האמורי דונו דני יש בו משום דרכי האמורי ר' יהודה אומר אין דן אלא לשון ע"ז שנאמר (עמוס ח) הנשבעים באשמת שומרון ואמרו חי אלהיך דן

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