Moses pronounces blessings on the tribe of Naphtali.
Moses continues the poem of blessing he pronounced upon Israel that he began in Deuteronomy 33:1. The next tribe on which Moses pronounced blessings was the tribe of Naphtali (v. 23). Naphtali (“my struggles”) was the second son that Bilhah bore to Jacob. She bore two sons to Jacob: the first Dan, and then Naphtali (Genesis 30:1-8).
In his benediction to Naphtali, Moses described him as one satisfied with favor and full of the blessing of the LORD. God’s favor (Hebrew “rāṣōn”) refers to His good pleasure and acceptance resulting in security and prosperity. God’s blessing (Heb. “berēkâ”) refers to success, prosperity, or material possessions (such as land) which He bestows on someone. Hence, Naphtali would receive God’s favor to enjoy many blessings from Him.
Moses further commanded Naphtali to take possession of the sea and the south. The word translated as sea (Heb. “yām”) probably refers to the Sea of Galilee, which is located on the southern boundary of the territory of Naphtali. This likely suggests that Naphtali would occupy the territory in the Upper Galilee, a prosperous and fruitful land, according to Joshua 19:32–37.
Perhaps one of the greatest blessings Naphtali enjoyed was the fact the Lord Jesus Christ spent a great amount of His time ministering in the tribal areas of Naphtali and Zebulun (Matthew 4:12–17). According to the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus came, He settled in Capernaum, a small fishing village on the northern shoreline by the Sea of Galilee (see map in Additional Resources ) This region is in ancient tribal lands of Zebulun and Naphtali among the northern borders of Israel. This fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy in which he saw a great light coming from here to enlighten those walking in darkness (Isaiah 9:1-2).
23 Of Naphtali he said,
O Naphtali, satisfied with favor,
And full of the blessing of the Lord,
Take possession of the sea and the south.
Check out our other commentaries:
Leviticus 19:9-18 meaningGod now begins to illustrate how individuals can be self-governing and servant-minded, which will produce a blessed society that lives in harmony with God and......
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 meaningPaul comforts the Thessalonians who were worried that if they died before Jesus’ second coming, they would remain dead and would miss out on spending......
Daniel 5:13-16 meaningDaniel is summoned to King Belshazzar. The King lists all of Daniel’s abilities and accomplishments, and promises great reward if Daniel can interpret the writing......
Matthew 6:5-6 meaningJesus teaches that it is better to pray to your Father in secret and be rewarded by Him than it is to pray in a......
Romans 3:17 meaningThe peace that comes from following God’s way is not known by those who pursue sin.......