Naphtali was the second son of Bilhah, the handmaid of Rachel. He was Jacobs sixth son. He was so named to be a reminder of Rachel’s struggle with the sister, Leah. The name means ”I have struggled with my sister and prevailed”. Napthali was average in all ramifications. The blessings pronounced on Naphtali was very short. Scholars have argued on what the implications of the words are. The text is translated as a ” hind let loose– timid and distrustful of its own powers, swift of foot to elude its enemies; but when brought to bay fierce and strong to defend its life”.( McClintock and Strong). They did not drive out the Canaanites. Moses later blessed Naphtali in Deut.33:23. One outstanding persons from this tribe was Barak who led a military force of 10,000 people against the oppressions of the Canaanites. However, fear made him insist on Deborah coming to the battle with him. Deborah said they risked their lives for the people. Yet Naphtali was regarded as a place of dishonour in the time of Christ because of the abundance of the gentiles there. Their honour came with Christ who made majority of His disciples from there, except Judas, who betrayed him. A greater part of Jesu’s ministry took place in Naphtali. They showed cowardice, incomplete obedience, yet it was Jesu’s birth and place of ministry. They were average. That’s is a mark of someone who only wants to be safe.
Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. Genesis 49:21 KJV