Naphtali: Tribe of Adar II

Naphtali is the second son of Jacob and Bilah, a handmaiden of Rachel. His name, as relayed in Genesis 30:8 means, “ And Rachel said: ‘With mighty wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed.’ And she called his name Naphtali.”  When I read this, I immediately went to check and see if this was the same word used in Genesis 32:25 to describe Jacob wrestling with the angel, and it is not.  That word seems to be translated “struggled” (יֵּאָבֵק) where as the root of Naphtali’s name (נַפְתּוּלֵי) seems to translate more truly as wrestling, or “twists.”  I find the translation of “twists” to be fascinating.  It seems lighter and less ominous than struggling.

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