Shortest genealogy there is! Naphtali gives a peek at his rolls. One whole verse worth.
I was totally surprised to see the brevity of Naphtali’s lineage. I can say without a doubt that I can follow this genealogy without any trouble. Why do you think this is? Surely there was something the author could have shared with us about Naphtali.
The one thing we see, beyond the first generation sons of Naphtali, is who their mother was. His birth mother was Bilhah but the woman who probably mothered him was Rachel. Rachel was unable to have children so she gave her maid to her husband to bear children in her place. Naphtali was the second son Bilhah birthed in Rachel’s name. But when it came time to count the rolls of Israel Bilhah’s sons were listed as her own, not Rachel’s. Is this because Rachel was finally able to have children? Are they separated for us or were they separated for the descendants of Israel? Was there a power structure because of birth mother? There certainly was in Israel’s heart. Rachel’s children were his favorite.
I Googled Naphtali to see what his tribe was famous for. The best answer I found was on Gotquestions.org. There I learned that Naphtali’s territory is where Jesus came from. By that time though it was no longer the territory of Naphtali. Nazareth is within the borders of what Naphtali originally received. And it was NOT a favorable place to be from.
Naphtali was also part of a few calls to arms. One was with Barak and Deborah. I didn’t realize Barak was from Naphtali when we encountered their story, or I don’t remember if I did see it. God used them mightily in this instance but Barak refused to go without Deborah and he lost the credit for the full victory.
I wonder if Naphtali felt like an important member of the family. I hope he did. I pray he didn’t feel left out or like a ‘second class citizen’ in his own home. If he did feel like less, did he pass this on to his children and their children’s children?
I am the second child in a family of five. We all share the same parents who have now been married for almost 60 years. And I STILL felt like a ‘second class citizen’ in our group. It was my own perception, not one my parents fostered. I saw the differences in us that I felt made me different. I even questioned if I was adopted. The biggest one was my own temper. I seemed to feel things stronger than my brothers and sisters did. I didn’t feel like my parents understood me. I knew in my head they loved me but I didn’t always feel it in my heart. NOT because they failed to demonstrate it but because I failed to recognize it. It took me growing up to really understand how MY perceptions that made me feel that way. VERY HAPPY to say MY attitude has changed and I KNOW with every pore in my body that I am now and always was LOVED. I pray Naphtali found that deep knowledge.
Father God, thank You for the family You placed me in. I know I didn’t always fit seamlessly in it. I am an individual and had individual ‘rough edges’ that my brothers and sisters bumped up against. Sometimes I cut them and sometimes I was cut but You kept us together anyway. Which in itself is AMAZING in today’s society. YOU were our glue underneath it all. THANK YOU for maintaining our family, even in the face of all the ups and downs we faced; mostly of our own making. THANK YOU for growing me so I could finally see the beauty within my own family. We still have issues and struggles but I don’t feel ‘alone’ anymore. I honestly can say I Love my family with all my heart. I don’t always like what some of them do but I love them anyway. Thank You that we rubbed against each other until we fit. Maybe distance helped the fit too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.