Why the Deer? While in a time of prayer on the 5th January 2016 the Lord revealed to me that I am descended from the tribe of Naphtali.
Whether God means that I am physically descended or He is using it as some spiritual metaphor so that I will search out things in Scripture to see the redemptive qualities in that tribe I do not know.
Being a redemptive prophet it is my nature and natural gifting to search out a matter.
Having the name Andrews as my father’s family name is interesting. I do not know much about the family as I did not know my father. But a quick bit of research shows that Andrews is Greek for Andreas. Andreassen (son of Andreas) ranked in the top 20 surnames in Norway in 1971.
HIstorians tell us that the remmants of Naphtali eventually settled in Norway.
This tribe like all the other tribes of the northern Kingdom of Israel were taken away into captivity by the Assyrians(ancient Iran) around 720BC. Later the Assyrians expelled them and they all migrated west into Europe.
It is well known that the so called “Lost Tribes of Israel” settled in many parts of Europe and the British Isles.
Naphtali settled mainly in Norway being known along with a few other tribes as Vikings. Their emblem was a Deer.
Gen 49:21 “Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words.
These Viking invaders eventually settled in parts of north eastern Scotland which is where my forefathers are from on my mothers side – Watson. Interestingly the name Watson comes from the Norse who were the Northmen or, you guessed it -Norway. So it appears that both my mothers line and my fathers line are descended from the tribe of Naphtali.
So while I definitely cannot prove through artifacts or family records that I am descended from Naphtali – (who could!) I will go on what I know(faith) the Lord has shown me and confirmed to me in His Word and in natural events.
As far as Jesus is concerned, our natural lineage means nothing for God shows favouritism to no man, but all are sinners in need of the Saviour. This includes those who claim to be from Judah- (Jews)
There is only one way to really be a true Judahite and that is through worshipping the true king of Judah- Yeshua the Son of David and the Lion of the tribe of Judah – The Son of God.
Of course God loves those who are natural Jews, but he exhorts them to believe in the One whom they pierced, for only through faith in Him shall they obtain forgiveness of sin and an entrance into the aionian Kingdom about to be established on Earth.
See link regarding history and the “naphtali” migration of Naphtali.
Now Davidy writes …. “The Chinese records say that the portion of the Naphtalites who had been to the north of them moved westward prior to 450 c.e the earlier NAPHTALITES and bulk of the Naphtalite nation who went westward and were since unheard of became the Vikings of Scandinavia especially Norway (The Tribes, pp.199, 200, emphasis his and mine).
The Israelite Tribe of Naphtali therefore became the Naphtali-Huns (or Hephtalitesas they are also called) who together with the Dani [Tribe of Dan] were once in east Scythia. From east Scythia the Naphtali migrated to Norway and the Danes to Denmark. This was proven by Scandinavian tradition, by tracing names, by demographic considerations, and by archaeological finds.
The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem and these appellations are reminiscent of Scandinavian place and ethnic names such as Zealand, Egan, Vraesan, and Sillund. (Davidy, The Tribes, p.240, emphasis added).
Norway was known as Thule. P. Senstius (1931) once suggested that Thule is a shortened form of Nafthali. The above note says that not only Norway but also the people of Norway were called Thuls and that this word means Speaker. Naphtali is known for his “goodly words.”
The first wave of the White Huns, with the Danes settled in Norway and Denmark. The latter White Huns settled in Sweden. For the “influx of population seems to have been continuous and by the 700’s Scandinavia appears to have been overpopulated.
Consequently, the excess ‘Vikings’ of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, began their over seas excursions” (Ibid, p.202) This I believe is why we find the Swedish Vikings invading the East Towards Russia and Byzantium.
While the Norwegian/Danish Vikings invaded the western parts of Europe and Britain. Naphtali was separated for a while, but always tried to have a union with Norway through the centuries. The brotherhood between the two is strong.
Often over the years God has let me know that I am a warrior in the spirit…but most of the time I have been a worrier instead. Then on 21st Dec 2015 while pray walking this town I saw myself in armour as if I was next to myself. I had a a glimpse of who I am and how God sees me in my calling.
That day saw some things break off us in the spirit that have been hindering us. I took authority in Jesus and told the powers of darkness in this town enough! Later on 25th Dec I was drawn to prayer walk around the King Jarrah tree which when I did caused quite a bit of resistance in the spirit before it obeyed me.
I came into my calling, what I am designed to do but have been bound and gagged and wandering aimlessly.
I began to keep a daily prayer diary and now a month later it is filled with amazing testimonies of what Jesus and I have been up to. Being dangerous!
One day I was praying into the vows and judgements I had made as a young person against the town I grew up in. The Lord began to lead and to remind me of many things for which I forgave and also asked forgiveness for. Then I changed tack and began thanking Him for the town and the people and things in me started breaking open and love filled me where once was bitterness.
But then He reminded me of how my forefathers had land that was theirs taken off them and given to another family after the WWI. They fought the Government over it for a long time and were never repaid properly for their loss. I took this issue before the Lord and brought it all to the Cross and under the blood, forgiving and releasing and cutting myself free from all resentment and judgements made against the Victorian Government and the other family involved.
I had often said over the years since leaving that state and town that I would never go back to live there. This vow I came to see, was rooted in my ancestors wounds. But then the Lord led me back to where these ancestors came from – Banff, Scotland.
I realised while in His presence that my ancestors had hated England and had judged and vowed things against the Crown. In a flash I could hear myself often saying derogatory things about England and the Royals. Vowing that I never wanted to go there. I began repenting on behalf of my ancestors and bringing everything to the Cross. I began to thank the Lord for England and the Crown and the authority that He established whether good or bad. I repented for rebellion and judgements and cut myself free from the land ties and the sins of my ancestors.
But then I realised I had only said a week before to my daughter that,
“I think Europe is a dark place and I never wanted to go there, I could not say why, just have never liked the place.”
It was at this moment in prayer with the Lord that He said to me, “Your ancestors came across Europe. You are from Naphtali.” He said Isaiah 9. Knowing that the Scripture mentioned Naphtali I turned there.
Isa 9:1 Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her,By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles.
Isa 9:2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.
I read the verse with Him and I asked “Zebulon?” just to make sure I was hearing correctly, and He said “Naphtali”. Then I read Gen 49 to see what Joseph prophesied over them.
Gen 49:21 “Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words.
Now I find that commentaries say of this verse:
“Some will have this prophecy to be fulfilled in Barak, as Ben Gersom, Abendana, and others, who was of this tribe, and who at first was fearful like the hind, and backward to go out to war when called, but afterwards readily went out with Deborah, and at last gave goodly words in the song they both sung: but it better describes the genius, disposition, and manners of the tribe, who were kind and loving, swift and expeditious in their affairs; lovers of liberty, well spoken persons, humane, affable, courteous, of a good address and pleasing language..” John Gill
This certainly has described me and my wife and the call that both of us know is there but we have struggled to come forward.
Naphtali means – my struggles, wrestlings
Then upon studying more I turned up Isaiah 35.
Isa 35:1 The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
Isa 35:2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, Even with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, The excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, The excellency of our God.
Isa 35:3 Strengthen the weak hands, And make firm the feeble knees.
Isa 35:4 Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, With the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
I had been dealing with roots of bitterness and shame and had known for a long time that these things were there in my flesh. The above verse is familiar to me as it is in connection with root of bitterness as used in Hebrews.
Heb 12:12 Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,
Heb 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
Heb 12:15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Heb 12:16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
This lameness is associated with obtaining and walking in the birthright. The lameness is because of bitterness! The bitterness defiles and causes trouble/vexation/ in us. It keeps us locked to the flesh so that we are not able to pursue our birthright. It must be healed. There is a dislocating..being in the wrong location, being uprooted that happens as a result of a bitter root. Vows are made and we leave the place of hurt vowing to never return. It may be a family, a place, a town, a nation, a church. For me it has been all of the above.
Being dislocated or as the King James says turned out “be turned out of the way”;G1624 means
1) to turn or twist out
1a) in a medical sense used of dislocated limbs
2) to turn off or aside
3) to be turned aside
4) to turn aside
5) to turn away from, to shun a thing, to avoid meeting or associating with one.
How descriptive of the one who for years has avoided and shunned churches, people, family, towns, State, and slandered countries and nations without knowing why.
God truly is amazing. Back to Isaiah
Isa 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
Isa 35:6 Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.
Ahah! The lame – those who are dislocated through bitter roots and judgements from the past, their own and the generations before them. Shall leap like a deer. Naphtali is a deer let loose!! But this particular Naphtalite has been turned out away from the redemptive blessing of being a deer let loose and the leaping here described.
But God says that the lame shall leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. The redemptive blessing given to Naphtali is that he speaks goodly words or beautiful words. Bitterness stifles and defiles the flow of words, pollutes the words which may be in good form outwardly but contain a bitter spirit when eaten(received) by the hearer. The words of a bitter preacher defile others even if he is speaking the truth.
For waters shall burst forth in the wilderness, And streams in the desert.
God shall bring healing and a fresh flow of sweet water through his dry barren heart that the bitterness has left like a wasteland.
Hebrews says we are to be “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;” Heb 12:15
We are to be looking carefully over our soul and those of others that we are responsible for. Looking carefully –for example we notice a situation of conflict and we say–
“Hey you were hurt by that weren’t you? Come on, let’s bring it to the Lord.”
Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God.
Offences taken, and vows and judgements made by us are things that will keep us falling short of His grace. But also the vows and judgements and wounds of our ancestors that have come through to us need to be repented of, and forgiven and cut from us lest these too keep us from His grace. Roots of bitterness and shame are linked in with these types of sins.
Looking carefully is keeping a “pastor’s eye” out for trouble. But many are not looking carefully to their own hurt. We are not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices. Unforgiveness and hurts that make us vow to never be near someone again, or to curse our calling or our future are Satan’s devices.
Naphtali – a Hind/deer is like warrior
“The hind or gazelle is a simile of a warrior who is skilful and swift in his movements (2Sa_2:18; 1Ch_12:8, cf. Psa_18:33; Hab_3:19). שְׁלֻהָה here is neither hunted, nor stretched out or grown slim; but let loose, running freely about (Job_39:5).”
2Sa 2:18 Now the three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab and Abishai and Asahel. And Asahel was as fleet of foot as a wild gazelle.
1Ch 12:8 Some Gadites joined David at the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for battle, who could handle shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as gazelles on the mountains:
Psa 18:33 He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places.
Psa 18:34 He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
Hab 3:19 The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.
Commentary say of Naphtali…
a. Naphtali: Naphtali’s land was in a key portion near the Sea of Galilee, the region where Jesus did much of His teaching and ministry. It is fittingly said of him that he gives goodly words. [Guzik]
Naphtali is a hind let loose. The hind or “gazelle” is agile and nimble. When free on its native hills, it roams with instinctive confidence and delight. It is timid and irresolute in confinement. This is probably the character of Naphtali. “He giveth goodly words.” Here we pass from the figure to the reality. Eloquence in prose and verse was characteristic of this particular tribe. The only important historical event in which they are concerned is the defeat of Jabin’s host, which is celebrated in the song of Deborah and Barak Jdg_4:5. In this passage we may study the character of the tribe. [Barnes]
the word אַיָלָה signifies a hind or gazelle, and is here employed, along with the qualifying epithet שְּׁלֻחָה, let loose, running freely (Keil), or graceful (Kalisch), to depict Naphtali as a beautiful and agile warrior. In the appended clause he is represented as possessing in addition the capacity of “giving words of beauty,” in which may be detected an allusion to the development in eloquence and song which afterwards took place in that northern tribe (Jdg_4:6-9; Jdg_5:1-31). [Pulpit]
Negative traits and battles associated with Naphtali
Timidity, anxiety, fear, even physical effects of nervousness like palpitations and trembling, rashness, acts in haste, hasty.
Bilhah was Naphtali’s mother – it means Timid(H1090) – this is working against his birthright which is to be a warrior and like a confident warrior. The Deer or Gazelle has sure feet which speaks of confidence. Timidity is Naphtali’s weakness to overcome. It has been my enemy too!
Gen 30:7 And Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Gen 30:8 Then Rachel said,“With great wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and indeed I have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali
The name Bilhah comes from a root word (H1089)
A primitive root (rather by transposition for H926); to palpitate; hence (causatively) to terrify: –trouble.
A primitive root; to tremble inwardly (or palpitate), that is, (figuratively) be (causatively make) (suddenly) alarmed or agitated; by implication to hasten anxiously: – be (make) affrighted (afraid, amazed, dismayed, rash), (be, get, make) haste (-n, -y, -ily), (give) speedy (-ily), thrust out, trouble, vex.