Deuteronomy 33:23

And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the LORD: possess thou the west and the south.

And of Naphtali he said,.... The tribe of Naphtali, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem:

O Naphtali, satisfied with favour; with the favour of men, which to have is a great blessing; and as he gave goodly words to others, he had the good word of others, Genesis 49:21; and with the favour of God, as the next clause shows; which is the greatest blessing of all, and is special and peculiar, free and sovereign, and the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; and to be full of this, and satisfied of an interest in it, is the highest of enjoyments; and nothing is of a more satisfying nature, it is a feast of itself; see

Psalms 63:3;

and full with the blessing of the LORD; as such must needs be who are full of and satisfied with the your, good will, and love of God; for they are filled with all spiritual blessings, with all the blessings of grace, which spring from his free favour, as pardon of sin, a justifying righteousness, adoption, sanctifying grace, a right and title to eternal life. This may have respect to the temporal happiness of this tribe, which had a remarkable share in the favour and good will of God, and in the blessings of his goodness. Strabo {a}, an Heathen writer, speaking of this part of the land of Judea, says it was a happy and fruitful country, bearing all manner of fruit; in this tribe was the fruitful country of Gennesaret, full of delightful gardens and fields, which lay along by a lake of that name, frequently mentioned in the New Testament; which country, Josephus says {b}, one may call the ambition of nature; and the Targum of Jonathan has it,

"ye shall be full of the fruits of the valley of Gennesaret;''

and particularly this country was favoured with the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; see Matthew 4:13;

possess thou the west and the south; not the west and south of the land of Israel; for, according to Josephus {c}, this tribe lay to the east and north of it, just the reverse; and it is plain from Joshua 19:34; that it had Asher on the west, and Zebulun on the south; wherefore some understand this of the commodities this tribe was supplied with, as through the tribe of Asher on the west, on which those trading cities Tyre and Sidon bordered; and through Zebulun on the south, which was near the sea, and was given to navigation and trade: though it should be observed that the word for "west" signifies the "sea" {d}; and intends not the Mediterranean sea, which this tribe did not reach; but the sea of Tiberias and Gennesaret, as all the Targums explain it; and Bochart {e} observes, that the portion of Naphtali reached from the south of the city of Dan to the sea of Tiberias; so that the south is observed with respect to Dan last mentioned, and the west or sea to the sea of Tiberias.

{a} Geograph. l. 16. p. 519.
{b} De Bello Jud. l. 3. c. 9. sect. 8.
{c} Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22.
{d} My "mare", Montanus, V. L. Cocceius.
{e} Heirozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 18. col. 898.