““Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns”
Okay, out of Jacob’s four sons born from his handmaidens, we’ve now come to the last one, but definitely not the least.
“Naphtali” means “wrestling” in Hebrew.
Recall that after Naphtali was born, Rachel said, “I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won.”
Naphtali’s descendants are likened to a graceful and swift doe.
In the Song of Deborah, contrary to the harsh criticism leveled at Asher, the tribe of Naphtali was singled out for their acts of bravery and stepping up to the plate during a major military conflict.
“The people of Zebulun risked their very lives;
so did Naphtali on the terraced fields.”
However, the most significant honor the tribe of Naphtali received can be found in the following prophecy that Isaiah pronounced.
“In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”-Isaiah 9:1
Here Isaiah is prophesying that the tiny territory of Naphtali would be given the blessing of receiving a great light.
Isaiah 9 is actually one of the greatest messianic prophecies in the whole Bible.
During the time of Yeshua, Naphtali’s territory was actually part of Galilee.
So it was here, in Naphtali’s territory where Yeshua gathered His disciples and began His ministry that would change the history of mankind.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
Nicodemus, who had gone to Yeshua earlier
and who was one of their own number, asked,
“Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him
to find out what he has been doing?”
They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too?
Look into it,
and you will find that a prophet
does not come out of Galilee.”