Biblical People

Biblical People: Naphtali

Jacob’s sixth son is the second child of Bilhah. Again, just as with his brother Dan, Rachel names Bilhah’s boy. She calls him Naphtali.

Rachel’s explanation reveals the depth of her motivation. She says she’s had a great struggle with her sister, and Naphtali’s birth proves she has won. This means Naphtali’s conception and birth occur merely so Rachel can one-up her older sister. This stands as a misguided reason to have a baby.

Although the Bible doesn’t tell us much about Dan, it mentions even less about Naphtali. Even so, he’s one of Jacob’s sons, and his descendants become one of the twelve tribes of Israel (Jacob).

Regardless of the circumstances of our birth, are we doing all we can with the life God has given us? If the structure of our family is a bit unusual, how do we treat them?

[Read Naphtali’s story in Genesis 30:8 and 49:21.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at