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(naf' tuh li) Personal name meaning, “wrestler .” Sixth son of Jacob and second son by his concubine Bilhah (Genesis 30:6-8 ). In blessing him, Jacob likened Naphtali to a hind let loose (Genesis 49:21 ), probably a reference to unbridled energy. The tribe which bears his name inhabited a territory north of the Sea of Galilee that extend along the northwest side of Jordan beyond Lake Huleh (Joshua 19:32-39 ).

Naphtali is praised in the Song of Deborah for placing itself in jeopardy on behalf of Israel (Judges 5:18 ). The tribe joined with Asher and Manasseh to help drive the Midianites out of the land (Judges 7:23 ). During Solomon's reign the territory was designated a separate economic district (1Kings 4:7,1 Kings 4:15 ) and produced Hiram, the king's chief brass worker (1 Kings 7:13-14 ). The Syrians invaded Naphtali during Baasha's reign and inflicted heavy losses (1 Kings 15:20 ). The territory finally succumbed to Tiglath-pileser III in 734 B.C. (2 Kings 15:29 ). See Tribes.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Naphtali'. Holman Bible Dictionary. 1991.

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