Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Genesis 49:21


Naphtali is a free running doe, 1  he speaks delightful words. 2 


Ge 30:8; Ge 46:24; De 33:23; Jos 19:32-39; Jud 4:6,10; Jud 5:18; Ps 18:33,34; Mt 4:15,16

NET © Notes

tn Heb “a doe set free.”

tn Heb “the one who gives words of beauty.” The deer imagery probably does not continue into this line; Naphtali is the likely antecedent of the substantival participle, which is masculine, not feminine, in form. If the animal imagery is retained from the preceding line, the image of a talking deer is preposterous. For this reason some read the second line “the one who bears beautiful fawns,” interpreting אִמְרֵי (’imre) as a reference to young animals, not words (see HALOT 67 s.v. *אִמֵּר).

sn Almost every word in the verse is difficult. Some take the imagery to mean that Naphtali will be swift and agile (like a doe), and be used to take good messages (reading “words of beauty”). Others argue that the tribe was free-spirited (free running), but then settled down with young children.

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