[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
First, apologies for the previous message, if anybody received it, which added
nothing. This was still a result of the address mix-up.
>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.
Well, Naphtali does have a special role in TPatr. He is one of the three
patriarchs who see visions in a dream. The other two are Levy and Joseph. Levy
is very prominent in TPatr, and Joseph is a well known dreamer, but when we
come to the third, we again have the question: why Naphtali?
One possibility (since wild surmises are allowed here) is that the second half
of Jacob's blessing to Naphtali describes him as a visionary. The first half
explains why he is a messenger. Maybe he is also a messenger of God? If I
remember right, he was the only one who told his father about his vision.
Two verses in Tobit may support (with difficulty) the role of Naphtali as a
prophet. First, Tovi comes from Tishbe (1:2). Maybe this place name is related
to Elijah. Next, in (4:12) tovi says to his son: "...do not take a foriegn
woman who is not of your father's tribe, for we are the descendants of