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Testament of Naphtali
I have a question I would like to address to members of the
In the course of editing the 4Q Testament of Naphtali fragments
the following issue arose in my mind.
These fragments present a geneology of Bilhah, which is related
in the first person by her younger son Naphthali. They seem to
be part of a larger document dealing with Naphtali which may
have been known, in some form or another, to R. Moshe ha-
Darshan (Narbonne, eleventh century).
The point of the geneology is to show that Bilhah is of Aramean
stock on both paternal and maternal sides.
There exists a medieval Hebrew Testament of Naphtali,
embedded in ms Oxford Hebrew d 11 (The Chronicles of
Jerahmeel). There is no overlap between 4Q Napht and the
medieval Hebrew apocalypse.
My question is: Why Naphtali? He seems to have had some
importance, since Tobit was also said to be of that tribe (1:1, 4, 7
Does anybody have any suggestions as to why this document
should have been devoted to Naphtali in antiquity, and also
why Naphtali should have played an important enough role
for a medieval Hebrew work to have been devoted to him.