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Category: Communication / Topics: Bible Communication Inspiration Writing

Patron Saint of Freelance Writers

by James N. Watkins

Posted: August 29, 2020

Inspiration for producing beautiful words…

In reading through the Bible, I came across this blessing that Jacobs bestows on his son Naphtali:

Naphtali is a doe let loose, He gives beautiful words (Genesis 49:21).*

Some translations render it as “It bears beautiful fawns,” but the Hebrew word is ‘e?mer: “utterance, speech, word, saying, promise, command.”

On further study, I found that “Matthew Poole’s Commentary” notes that the deer is “not shut up in some little enclosure, but wholly left to its own freedom.” “Barnes’ Notes on the Bible” describes it as “free on its native hills, it roams with instinctive confidence and delight.”

Can we find a better description of a freelance writers who are free from the corporate cubicle and left to their own freedom”? And as Barnes notes, “Eloquence in prose and verse was characteristic of this particular tribe.”

So, may I suggest we nominate Naphtali as the patron saint of freelance writers? And go write beautiful words!

Copyright © 2020 James N. Watkins


* Editor's Note: Among popular translations, reference to "words" is found in the NKJV (New King James Version), NASB (New American Standard Bible) and NET (New English Translation), while "fawns" is found in the NIV (New Interntaional Version), ESV (English Standard Version) and NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).

Jim is not only a freelance writer, but coach and teacher. See his website, jameswatkins.com, for more information about ways to improve your own writing.



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Jim Watkins is a humorist, author, and speaker who says of himself that he "loves God, his family, writing, speaking and Chinese food—in that order"

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Posted: August 29, 2020

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