Jacob’s prophesy over Naphtali. From Genesis 49:21 commented by ASV and questions

The prophesy

“Naphtali is a doe let loose, [a swift warrior,]
Which yields branched antlers (eloquent words)”.

He giveth goodly words

Naphtali was Jacob’s sixth son and his mother was Bilhah, Rachel’s handmade, and Rachel called him Naphtali meaning “my struggle” Bilhah had two sons, Naphtali and his older brother Dan. When his father was about to die, he said to Naphtali: “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words” this is from the King James version and it gives a good picture of the personality of Naphtali and his tribe.

Swift and faithful

In Naphtali Israel had a tribe of warriors, swift with elegance and efficiency like a gazelle in full speed, whether among trees on plains or on the mountains.  Naphtali also is given the talent of giving goodly words to people, goodly words is a precious gift, it is the right words in the right time given to the right people. This also means that Naphtali people could be trusted to bring secret messages to kings or from kings. They were swift and faithful a valuable combination at the time of a nation starting to form itself.

God’s favor

Before Moses died ordered of God, he prophesied and blessed all the tribes, about Naphtali he said, “O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, And full of the blessing of the Lord,
Take possession of the sea and the south
” Naphtali was given the possibility of being satisfied by God’s favour, a favour is not the same as a gift or blessing. To Gods favour you can say yes or no, God elects you to open a certain door and go in, however you must open the door and go in and you also must decide how far to go when inside. Maria the mother of Jesus was elected by God and His angle said that she was highly favoured, and Maria said “yes”, she could have said no.

A great light

Moses told the Naphtali tribe to take possession of the sea, which is the lake of Galilee to the south of the tribe which is the north shore of the sea. In the times of Jesus, the people in this area of Naphtali lived their lives in disobedience and darkness far away from God, however Isaiah said, “ The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Already done

Isaiah lived hundreds of years before this happened, still he wrote “have seen a great light” like it already did shine, and also, “upon them hath the light shined” it was already done. When the light came, Jesus the Christ, he fulfilled what God had done through the words of Isaiah. God works with words, we call them prophesy, they are powerful weapon breaking down walls of unbelief.

He has actually come

Jesus Christ happened once and had his home in Capernaum a small town in the land of Naphtali, everything said about Jesus will happen, He came once and will come again as God has told us through many prophets. If you believe that Jesus came as Isaiah said, then you should know and be certain of His second coming, “He has actually come”.


But Zebulun was a people who risked their lives to the [point of] death;
Naphtali also, on the heights of the field
” This is from the song of Deborah and Barak, the tribe of Naphtali came when called, together with the tribe of Zebulun they came with 10000 men, they were soldiers and followed Barak the commander.

Faithful soldiers

When Gideon were chosen of God to fight the Midianites and the Amalekites he called some tribes of Israel, among them, the tribe of Naphtali and they came and when the Midianites and the Amalekites were beaten, the Naphtali tribe were asked to pursue them, and they did. The Naphtali’s were and is faithful soldiers.

1000 captains

When Israel came to king David at Hebron to hand over to him the kingdom of Israel from Saul, the Naphtali tribe came with 1,000 captains, and with them 37,000 soldiers with shield and spear

Romans 8:31-39

Naphtali was given the precious gift of giving goodly words. Jesus is the word and is goodly, Naphtali had the talent of preaching Jesus as Christ and king, so powerfully pictured of Paul in Romans 8:31-39, thank God for Naphtali.


  1. Do you know goodly words so that you can speak them?
  2. Where do you find goodly words?

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