The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come…
I. WE SHALL ENDEAVOUR TO ASCERTAIN THE GENERAL PURPORT OF THE TERMS, SCEPTRE, LAWGIVER, AND SHILOH. If these words are satisfactorily defined, and correctly applied, there will be no difficulty whatever in the discussion of our second proposition. In our language the sceptre is a kind of royal staff or baton, which is borne on solemn occasions by kings as a token of their command and royal authority. In the Word of God it has evidently the same meaning, and was similarly used in ancient times. With regard to the word lawgiver it seems to signify legislative, or rather judicial, authority, and is intended to express the continuance of both civil and ecclesiastical power until the coming of Shiloh. But the remaining term appears the most important, and demands particular attention. It is the keystone of the prophetic edifice by which we must observe the symmetry, the magnificence, and the perfection of the whole. Shiloh evidently relates to some person, and the question is, "Of whom speaketh the prophet this?" (Acts 8:34). We hesitate not to reply, he speaks of the Messiah, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
II. To CONSIDER OR PROVE THE EXACT ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE PROPHECY. The passage intimates —
1. The departure of the sceptre from the other tribes of Israel.
2. That on Messiah's appearance Judah should also give up his pre-eminence.
3. Men are to be gathered to Christ. It is of little consequence what name they bear in the professing world, what talents they possess, or with what external privileges they are favoured unless they are brought to Christ. He is the end of prophecy, the substance of ancient shadows,
(1) They shall be gathered for purposes of mercy by the ministration of the gospel.
(2) The people are to be gathered to Jesus by the agency of His own Spirit. "It is the Spirit that quickeneth" (John 6:63).
(3) The people shall be gathered to Christ in His Church.
(4) The people shall be gathered to Christ at the last day for judgment.
Parallel VersesKJV: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.