(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 (1 Kings 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.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'NAPHTALI'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".