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Bible Dictionaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary


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Son of Jacob by Bilhah. (Genesis 30:8) The name signifies struggling. The margin of our Bible saith, that Rachel called him thus, "my wrestlings." The patriarch when dying gave a particular blessing to Naphtali, and said "Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words." (Genesis 49:21) This prophetical blessing of Jacob hath not been regarded in terms equal to its importance, according to my apprehension; and yet the Holy Ghost seems to have called up the attention of the church to it, upon various occasions, in his holy word. I would ask, are not many of the dying patriarch's benedictions to his children considered more with reference to Christ, than to the twelve patriarchs? Do we not consider the blessing of Judah, as one whom his brethren shall praise, and as one from whom the sceptre shall not depart, as having respect principally, if not altogether, to the person of Christ? And are not the several blessings prophesied of Joseph, on the dying bed of his father, spoken directly with an eye to Joseph's Lord? And if so, why may we not with equal safety, in the blessing of Naphtali discover Christ also? Is Naphtali an hind let loose? And can we overlook that hind of the morning, even Jesus, whom the hunters pursued, and the dogs of Bashan compassed around? (See Psalms 22:1-31 in the title of it, and throughout the Psalm.) And when we read what the church saith of her Lord, as a roe or a hind upon the mountains of spices, and thus frequently through the book of the Songs, surely it can be no difficult matter to behold Jesus in the type, and regard him who giveth goodly words.

I am the more inclined to those discoveries of Jesus, in the view of Naphtali, because in my apprehension of the subject, Moses, the man of God, in his dying benediction concerning Naphtali, confirmed what Jacob in his dying moments had before said concerning him. (See Deuteronomy 33:23) "O Naphtali!" (said Moses) "satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord, possess thou the west and the south." And to whom are we to look for any, or for all the tribes of Israel in the possession of the divine favour, and so satisfied with it? Of whom, among the sons of Jacob, can it be said with truth, "that they are full of the blessing of the Lord," unless we first behold him in whom it hath "pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell," and from him, and in him, and by him, all the seed of Israel "are justified and shall glory?" Surely it is blessed first to eye Christ as possessing and being the cause of the true Naphtali's portion, and then, by virtue of an union with him, and interest in him, to behold those blessings flowing in upon his inheritance. It is Jesus alone who hath satisfied for sin, and with whom alone JEHOVAH is satisfied; and therefore Jesus, as the Head of his body the church, is satisfied with favour, and full of the blessings of the Lord. Both the west and the south are his for a possession; yea, his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of earth, men shall be blessed in him, and all nations shall call him blessed. (Psalms 72:1-20) throughout.

See Hind.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Naphtali'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. London. 1828.

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