Genesis 49:10

Remarkable agreement of ancient interpreters, Jewish as well as Christian, to consider this a prophecy of Messiah. The former of special value, as being before the event. The Targum of Onkelos renders the passage, "until Messiah comes, whose is the kingdom." Many others equally distinct. Some have observed that the words, "Shiloh shall come," make in Hebrew the same number as the name "Messiah." Ancient Christian writers all take the same view. The name Shiloh expresses rest or peace. Observe how this answers the need of man. Sin brought the curse of labor (Genesis ill 17-19), and unrest (Isaiah 57:20, 21), and want of peace. Hence the frequent mention of rest, which, however, was only typical and temporary (Hebrews 4:8). Hence the common salutation, "Peace be unto you." And rest and peace are ours through the coming of Christ (Matthew 11:28; John 10:28; Romans 8:38).

I. THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL A PREPARATION FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST, The moral law convincing of sin (Galatians 3:24). The ceremonial law foreshadowing restoration (Hebrews 10:1).; the prophets declaring God's purpose, arid the person and work of Christ; the dispersion by the captivity, bringing the people into contact with other nations, and thus preparing for a universal Church; their sufferings and state of subjection after their return, keeping alive the expectation of "Messiah, the prince."

II. THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD A PREPARATION FOE CHRIST. The colonizing instinct of the Greeks making their language almost universal; the contact of Greek and Jewish learning at Alexandria and elsewhere, by which the heathen language was made capable of expressing Divine truth; the widespread power and organization of the Romans, by which in so many ways the fulfillment of prophecy was brought about (Luke 2:1; John 19:36, 37).

III. FOR WHAT SHILOH SHOULD COME. To gather all nations unto himself (Isaiah 2:2, 3; John 11:52; John 12:32). To redeem mankind, both Jews and Gentiles (Psalm 49:15; Isaiah 35:4-10; John 10:16; Galatians 4:5). To bear the sins of mankind (Isaiah 35:11, 12; 2 Corinthians 5:14; 1 Peter 2:24). To teach his people the way of life (Deuteronomy 18:15; Matthew 11:27; John 4:25). To reign over his people (Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15). To give them victory (Psalm 44:5; 1 John 5:4; Revelation 12:11).

IV. LESSON OF ENCOURAGEMENT. Why doubt God's acceptance of thee? or his readiness to help? Mark his desire that all should be saved (Ezekiel 18:82; 1 Timothy 2:4). Mark how this is the ruling principle running through the whole Bible. The work of Christ was no newly devised thing, but "that which was from the beginning" (1 Peter 1:20). All our imperfections, all our weakness of faith is known to God, yet such as we are, he bids us trust in Christ's work. Judah himself was a very imperfect character. His descendants not less so. Yet of them the text was spoken. 66 Be not afraid, only believe." - M.

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.
I. Using the word prophecy in its predictive sense, this is THE LANGUAGE OF UNQUESTIONABLE PROPHECY.

II. This prophecy contains REVELATION OF CHRIST.

III. This revelation of Christ was connected with the announcement of THE PARTICULAR TIME WHEN HE WAS TO APPEAR.

IV. This announcement is connected with a statement showing IN WHAT WAY HIS PEOPLE WILL COME TO HIM. It is at once predictive and descriptive.

V. This statement suggests an inquiry into THE DESIGN OF CHRIST IN GATHERING THE PEOPLE TO HIMSELF. In harmony with His title as "the Peaceful One," His grand design is to give them rest.

1. Rest, by reconciling them to God.

2. Rest, by effecting the spiritual union of man with man.

3. Rest, by leading us to perfect rest in another world.

(C. Stanford, D. D.)


1. That Judah should have regal power.

2. The continuation of this authority up to a certain time.

3. The fulfilled part of this prophecy shows two things —

(1)Man's power, through God, of foreseeing the future.

(2)God's character as the Governor of the world.

(a)His faithfulness, strictly adhering to His word through the sweep of ages.

(b)His almightiness, so over-ruling the affairs of nations and of generations as to bring about to the very hour the facts He foretold.

II. THE FULFILLING PART OF THIS PROPHECY. "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."

1. Self-sacrificing kindness attracts men.

2. Marevellousness attracts men.

3. Promise of good attracts men.

4. Sublime grandeur attracts men.



1. A messenger, or one who is sent (John 6:29, 38, 57; John 7:16; 28:9-83).

2. Peace-maker (Ephesians 2:13; Colossians 1:20).

3. Prosperous Saviour.


1. He was to be of the tribe of Judah.

2. He was to come before the rule and authority of the tribe of Judah should cease.

III. THE WORK OF THE MESSIAH "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be." They are gathered —

1. To His cross as the source of salvation.

2. To His cause as His devoted followers.

3. To His Church as the visible friends of His kingdom.

4. To His royal standard as His loyal and obedient subjects.

5. To His glorious kingdom as the trophies of His grace, to shine forth in the lustre of purity and blessedness for ever and ever.Learn:

1. The true character of the Lord Jesus. He is the promised Shiloh.

2. Have we been brought to a saving experimental knowledge of His grace?

3. The full accomplishment of the text is yet to come.

(J. Burns, D. D.)

I. It will be proper, first, TO CONSIDER THE PROPHECY AND ITS FULFILMENT. Until the period at which it was delivered the nation of Israel was not divided into tribes; but from this period it was always so divided. The prophecy asserts that the sceptre should not depart from the tribe of Judah until a personage here denominated Shiloh should appear.

1. What we are to understand by the term "sceptre," as here employed, is the whole question: whether it relates to regal authority, as some suppose. This appears improbable; for, in the first place, the regal sceptre was not specially placed in the tribe of Judah, and could not be said to depart from that tribe more than another; secondly, Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, not of Judah; neither were the Maccabeans of Judah's tribe. "Sceptre" here denotes a staff of office; each tribe had its rod of power, and the meaning is that the authority of a tribe should remain in Judah until the period specified should arrive. After the three captivities the ten tribes, which had been separated from those of Judah and Benjamin in the reign of Rehoboam, were lost and blended among the nations. But Judah and Benjamin, thenceforward regarded as one tribe, still possessed its rod of authority, and hence the name of Jew, derived from Judah, was used to mark the whole nation. Judah remained as a separate people during the captivity at Babylon.

2. The term "lawgiver" must be limited in its interpretation by the term "sceptre."

3. Concerning the meaning of the term "Shiloh," which occurs only in the text, various opinions have been proposed; the most probable is that it denotes the Peace-maker, Jesus Christ, who came (as the angels celebrated His nativity) to give "peace on earth"; or, as others think, it may mark Him as "sent," and thus be taken as the same word with "Siloam," which the evangelist interprets as "sent"; He continually spoke of Himself as one whom God had "sent."

4. The prophecy proceeds to state that "to Him shall the gathering of the people be"; words which express the dependence of faith, the allegiance of hope, which would centre in the promised Lord of all. Jesus Christ is the bond of a new society on earth!


1. The force of prophecy as an evidence of inspiration. The sign and test of prophecy is its fulfilment, according to the rule laid down by Moses, "if the word does not take place the Lord has not spoken."

2. The dignity of our Lord. He appears as the chief, the central object of prophecy; the light that illuminates its obscurity.

3. The consolation which believers may derive from the character which our Saviour sustains.

4. Our assembling on this and similar occasions proves the truth of the prediction; it is a comment on the words, "To Him shall the gathering of the people be." Why are we not Gentile idolaters? it is because "Shiloh" has appeared among us.

5. Observe, as the last thing, the vanity of Jewish hope. The people to whom He came are still "looking for another": contradicting all prophecy, all history! But when the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in, when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, the children of Judah shall yet be visited with the Spirit of grace and supplications; " they shall look on Him whom they have pierced; and shall mourn for Him as one that mourneth for his first-born." Let us pray for their national conversion.

(R. Hall, M. A.)

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.


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.

(T. Wood.)

There are, you perceive, three parts of the blessing, each taking up and repeating the happy name of Judah: "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise," &c.; "Judah is a lion's whelp," &c.; and, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah," &c. Let us take these three parts in their order.

I. "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies: thy father's children shall bow down before thee." There are here two things the relation of Judah to his brethren in Israel and his relation to the enemies of Israel. His relation to his brethren in Israel is expressed in the first and last clauses, "Thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise" — "thy father's children shall bow down before thee." Now that there is a general reference here to the supremacy of Judah among the tribes is beyond doubt; but I cannot avoid the conclusion, a conclusion which has been strengthened by a very close examination of the principal words in this verse, that a greater than Judah is here, even Jesus, whose praise is sung by all the true Israel of God, before whom all the children of Abraham according to the spirit bow down and worship. This is supported by several considerations. The name "Judah " means "Praise of God," or " Glory to God." And there is, I cannot help thinking, something more than curiosity in the fact that if Hebrew equivalents were given for the Greek words in the hymn which was sung by angels over Bethlehem's plains, when the great Son of Judah was born there, a Prince and a Saviour, it might read thus, "Judah in the highest, on earth Shiloh"; "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace." This view is still further strengthened by the fact that the word here rendered "praise" — "thy brethren shall praise" — is used almost exclusively of praise to God. And if we are right in our view as to the clauses which refer to the relation of Judah to his brethren in Israel, it follows that in that clause which refers to his relation to the enemies of Israel we see not only the victories of Judah over the nations around him, but the victories of the great Son of Judah over His enemies all over the world. We have in fact here the germ of those numerous prophecies of which the second Psalm may be taken as a specimen.

II. "Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion: who shall rouse him up?" We have here Judah's supremacy and strength set before us in a lively figure, the figure of a lion. You observe of course the gradation in the prophecy: first the young lion rejoicing in his growing strength; then the adult lion in the full development of his power; and lastly, the old lion reposing in quiet majesty, satisfied with former triumphs, enjoying the fruit of them, but retaining his terrible strength, so that even the boldest dare not rouse him up. Here again we have the basis and explanation of not a little of subsequent prophecy. We find the Lion of Judah again in Balaam's prophecy (Numbers 24:9; also 23:24). We find it in prophecies where perhaps we little expect it, e.g., Isaiah 29:1, 2, where Ariel, you must remember, is the Hebrew for "Lion of God." So, too, the lamentation of Ezekiel 19. is all founded on this prophecy. The reference throughout all these is obvious, to the lion strength and prowess of the royal tribe of Judah. But is this all? Perhaps some of you may be ready to say, "Yes, it is all." Surely it cannot be said that there is any of the testimony of Jesus in a passage like that. It certainly seems as unlikely as any other prophetic passage in the whole Bible. Yet even here, if we take the Scripture for our guide, comparing Scripture with Scripture, the testimony of Jesus is not absent. And if you wish proof, follow me to two passages far apart from each other and from this, and yet evidently related to each other and to this. First, let us turn to that chapter about Ariel, "the Lion of God" (Isaiah 29.). Read especially verses 11 and 12, and compare them with Revelation 5:1-5. The Ariel of the Old Testament here appears as the "Lion of the tribe of Judah " in the New. Who is the "Lion of the tribe of Judah"? No one reading that chapter in Revelation can hesitate about the answer. After all it is ,Jesus, the meek and lowly, and yet the great and terrible Jesus, the Lamb slain, and also the Lion slaying. He is the "Lion of the tribe of Judah!" We may not forget that there is such a thing as "the wrath of the Lamb."

III. "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come," &c. Who is Shiloh? Most clearly He is "the Seed of the woman." I set aside the translation, "until Judah come Shiloh," i.e., the place where the tabernacle was set up after the conquest of Canaan; I set it aside, because though grammatically possible, it is contrary to the scope of the prophecy, Judah having no more relation to the place long afterwards called Shiloh than any of the other tribes, and less than Joseph, in whose territory the place was; because it exhausts the prophecies in the early history of the tribes of Israel, whereas the patriarch says at the beginning that he is about to speak of that which shall happen "in the last days"; and because the supremacy of Judah over the other tribes, and her lion-like conquests, are to be found after, and not before, the children of Israel came to Shiloh. Besides, there is no evidence that any place of the name of Shiloh was known at this time, and there was certainly no gathering of the nations (the word in the Hebrew is not the singular, "people," but the plural, "peoples" or "nations") to Shiloh. Without any hesitation, then, we adhere to our own translation. And then the question comes: if Shiloh be the Messiah, as He evidently is, what is the meaning of the name? The vast majority of interpreters have always, and do still connect the word " Shiloh" with that well-known family of Hebrew words signifying "peace," "rest," so that "Shiloh" will signify "the One who brings peace," "the One who gives rest." There is almost everything in favour of this interpretation. It connects beautifully with the image of peace set forth in verses 11 and 12 which follow, and is strongly contrasted with the war-like metaphor of that which precedes (ver. 9). It agrees with the circumstances under which the name "Shiloh" was given to the place where the Tabernacle of God was set up by the children of Israel after God had given them rest from their enemies. Then in 1 Chronicles 5:2, we find, in explanation of the elder tribes being set aside, these words, "For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and from him the chief ruler (or the prince)was to come," which you may compare with that beautiful passage in Isaiah 9:6, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." Then, too, the name which David gave to his son Solomon (a name closely connected with the name "Shiloh" — it does not appear in English so distinctly as in the original); in that name we can scarcely fail to recognize the expectation of David, that in his just and peaceful reign there would be a type of the reign of the Prince of Peace — a position which is fully borne out by those Psalms of the kingdom, of which the well-known 72nd Psalm may be taken as a specimen. We have already referred to the angel doxology, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace," where the words "Judah" and "Shiloh" come into a connection with each other very similar to what we find in this prophecy. Then we cannot help thinking of such precious words as these of our Shiloh, "Come unto Me, ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." And not to multiply passages, for many more might be given, do we not find at the close of the Word of God, in the Book of Revelation, "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," and "the Lamb," the one the emblem of strength, and the other the emblem of gentleness and peace, close beside each other, and referring to the same glorious Saviour? We have already spoken of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" — well, the Lamb is the Shiloh of our text. It is, then, the "Prince of Peace" whose coming is spoken of here. "And unto Him shall the gathering of the peoples be." The meaning of this is surely very obvious now. The Shiloh is the Seed in whom all nations of the earth are to be blessed. Here is the culmination of the royalty of Judah. The true idea is that the royalty is never to pass away from Judah, but is to culminate in the everlasting kingdom of the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," "the Root of David," "King of kings and Lord of lords." The sceptre is not to depart at all. The kingdom is to be an everlasting kingdom. The royalty of the tribe of Judah will last through all eternity, because the "Lion of the tribe of Judah," the "Prince of Peace," the Shiloh of God, in whom that royalty culminates, is "the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever," "King of kings and Lord of lords " for evermore! And then began the " gathering of the peoples." It may be interesting to take a passing glance at this prophetic gathering, as actually realized already in history. To begin with, we have an earnest of it in the long journey of the wise men of the East to worship the child Jesus. There we have the first-fruits of the great ingathering of the long excluded Shemites. Then again you remember the Syro-Phoenician woman, who, when Jesus came into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, fell down at His feet and worshipped Him, and besought Him for a blessing for her child. There we see the first-fruits of the great ingathering of the Hamites. Yet again, you remember how, when Jesus was at one of the feasts in Jerusalem, there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast, who came to Philip of Bethsaida in Galilee, earnestly asking, "Sir, we would see Jesus." There we see the first fruits of the great ingathering of the sons of Japheth. So ranch for the first fruits; now for the harvest. And here we find that saying true, "The last shall be first, and the first last;" for when Shiloh came the very Jews refused to gather to Him; that very tribe of Judah from which, according to the prophecy, He sprung, despised and rejected Him; and accordingly, in the just displeasure of God, they were set aside "until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" (Romans 11:25). Thus it is that the very Jews themselves are the last of all the peoples to gather unto their own Shiloh.

(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)

The dying patriarch was speaking of his own son Judah; but while speaking of Judah he had a special eye to our Lord, who sprang from the tribe of Judah. Everything therefore which he says of Judah, the type, he means with regard to our greater Judah, the antitype, our Lord Jesus Christ. First, let the title " Shiloh," and secondly the testimony, "To Him shall the gathering of the people be," engage our attention.

I. The title "Shiloh." What an old word it is! What an old world word! I should not wonder if it was one of Jacob's own coining. A pet name is often the product of peculiar love. Tender affection takes this kindly turn. Jacob's name for Jesus was "Shiloh"; and it is so long ago since he called Him Shiloh that I do not wonder that we have almost forgotten the meaning of it. He knew it had a wealth of meaning as it came from his lips, and the meaning is there still; but the well is deep; and those that have studied the learned languages have found this to be a word of such rare and singular occurrence, that it is difficult, with any positive certainty, to define it. Not that they cannot find a meaning, but that it is possible to find so many meanings of it. Not that it is not rich enough, but that there is an embarrassment of riches. It may be interpreted in so many different ways. Some maintain that the word "Shiloh" signifies "sent." Like that word you have in the New Testament, "He said to them, go to the pool of Siloam, which is, by interpretation, 'Sent,'" you observe the likeness between the words Siloam and Shiloh. They think that the words have the same meaning; in which case Shiloh here would mean the same as Mes-siah the sent one — and would indicate that Jesus Christ was the messenger, the sent one of God, and came to us, not at His own instance, and at His own will, but commissioned by the Most High, authorized and anointed to that end. Here let us stop a minute. We rejoice to know that, whatever this title means, it is quite certain Jesus was sent. It is a very precious thing to know that we have a Saviour; but often and often it has cheered my heart to think that this dear Saviour who came to save me did not come as an amateur, unauthorized from the courts of heaven, but He came with the credentials of the Eternal Father, so that, whatever He has done, we may be sure He has done it in the name of God. Jehovah will never repudiate that which Jesus has accomplished. Him hath God sent forth to be a propitiation; He is a mediator of God's own sending. Dwell, sweetly dwell, upon this meaning of the word Shiloh. If it means "sent," there is great sweetness in it. Others have referred it to a word, the root of which signifies the Son. Upon such a hypothesis the name would be strictly appropriate to our Lord. He is the "Son of God"; He is the "Son of Man"; He was the "Son of Judah"; He was the " Son of David": "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given." Let us linger for a while upon this gloss — "Until Shiloh," "Until the Son shall come." Be the annotation right or wrong, Jesus is the Son of God. He that hath come to save us is Divine. Let us bless Him as the Son — the Son of God, the Son of man. A third meaning has been given to the word "Shiloh" which rather paraphrases than translates it. The passage, according to certain critics, would run something like this: "Until He come to whom it belongs, to whom it is, for whom it is reserved"; or, as Ezekiel puts it, "Overturn, until He shall come whose right it is, and Thou wilt give it Him." It may mean, then, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until He shall come whose that sceptre is." This meaning is supported by many learned authorities, and has its intrinsic value. The sceptre belongs to Christ. All sceptres belong to Him. He will come by and by and verify His title to them. Have you not seen the picture that represents Nelson on board a French man-of-war, receiving the swords of the various captains he has conquered, while there stands an old tar at his side putting all these swords underneath his arm as they are brought up. I have often pictured to myself our great Commander, the only King by Divine right, coming back to this our earth, and gathering up the sceptres of the kings in sheaves, and putting them on one side, and collecting their crowns; for He alone shall reign King of kings and Lord of lords. When the last and greatest of all monarchs shall come a second time, "without a sin-offering unto salvation" — oh, the glory of His triumph! He has a right to reign. If ever there was a king by nature, and by birth, it is the Son of David; if ever there was one who would be elected to the monarchy by the suffrages of His subjects, it is Jesus Christ. Let Him be crowned with majesty for ever and ever. To Him the royalty belongs, for Him it is reserved. The interpretation, however, which has the most support, and which I think has the fairest claim to be accorded correct, is that which derives the word "Shiloh" from the same root as the word "Salem." This makes it signify peace. "Until the peace, or the peace-bearer, or the peace-giver," or, if you like it better, "the rest, or the rest-maker — shall come." Select the word you prefer, it will sufficiently represent the sense. "Until the peace-bringer come, until the rest-maker come." His advent bounds the patriarch's expectation and his desire. Oh, beloved, what a vein of soul-charming reflection this opens! Do you know what rest means? Such "peace, peace," such perfect peace as he hath whose soul is stayed; because he trusteth, as the prophet Isaiah hath it. Here is rest! Man may well take his rest when he has nothing to do, when it is all done for him. And that is the gospel. The world's way of salvation is "Do," God's way of salvation is, "It is all done for you; accept and believe."

II. Trusting, then, dear friends, that your faith has identified the Shiloh of Jacob's vision, let us occupy the few minutes that remain to us in considering the testimony which the patriarch here bears. "Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be." "Unto Him," as the Hebrew runs, "shall the gatherings of the peoples be." So wide the circumference that converges in this glorious centre. It comprehends all the peoples of the Gentiles as well as Jews. Of course it includes the favoured nation, but it also takes in the isles afar off; yea, all of us, my brethren. "Unto Him shall the gatherings of the peoples be." What joy this announcement should give us! Do you realize it, that around Jesus Christ, around His cross, which is the great uplifted standard, the people shall gather? Be assured of this: Christ is the only centre of true unity to His people. The true Christendom consists in all that worship God in the spirit, not having confidence in the flesh. The true Church consists of all that believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and are quickened by the Holy Ghost.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

It seems to me the old man was sad. One, and another, and another of his sons passed before him, and from their posterity there came no Saviour, no Messiah. Judah came, and as his eyes rested upon him, and the visions of the future opened up, he beheld the tribe growing, becoming conspicuous, becoming the leader of the other tribes, and enduring; kings sat upon his throne, and princes were among his posterity; and then he saw Judah, becoming feeble, carried away; the tribeship crumbling; desolation is about to come, and just then he saw the star appear — a light shining on Judah — and he said: "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise"; and then cried out, as if his soul were enraptured with a vision: "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." He saw the day of Christ. It was just as Judah was crumbling to decay; it was just as prince and lawgiver were for ever passing from among his posterity; but he had not quite gone until the light and joy of Israel appeared, and the Prince of Peace, whose right it was to take the kingdom, took possession, and then, instead of Israel being carried captive into strange lands — instead of his hosts being wasted on the plains of Babylon and Persia, instead of being fugitives and strangers among all nations — he saw a new Israel, a new nation, under a new covenant of promise; and he cried out: "And unto Him shall the gathering" — not of Judah, nor of Ephraim, nor of Manasseh, nor of Benjamin, merely, but, "unto Him shall the gathering of the people be" — all tribes, all nations, all kindreds. The sons of humanity everywhere shall gather around Him; for He takes in both Jew and Gentile, Greek and barbarian, bond and free. All shall receive the blessings of peace. Such was the vision that came to Jacob's peaceful departing hours. That we may the better understand this subject, we may refer to the expressions here used: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah." But there is another part of this prophecy. When that Shiloh should come, to Him should the gathering of the people be. Now, how beautifully was this contrasted with what Jacob saw in his vision t He had seen the scattering of the ten tribes — their being lost, merged into other nationalities, and he said: "Are these gone for ever?" He saw Jacob about to pass away, and that he was to be scattered, but as the compensation for all this, around the Shiloh, the promised Seed, the One who was to be sent, the Prince of Peace, should the gathering of the people be. In some particulars, this seemed to be an enlargement of the promises given to the Jews, and we may trace an apparent connection between their power and that under the reign of Shiloh. For instance, the gathering of the people was at Jerusalem. They came up three times in the year to worship before God on Mount Zion. Scattered, there is no longer the worship. The temple services have been long since closed. The people no longer come gathering around Mount Moriah. There is no temple standing, around which humanity gathers; but there was a cross erected. Shiloh hung on that cross, and He said: "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me." And now, as the result, do we not see the gathering of humanity around the Lord Jesus Christ? But while men, here and there, may remember the name of a Homer, or an Alexander, or a Plato — while their prowess and intellect may be admired in the schools — how few of the human race know anything of them 1 But the name of Jesus I At that name every knee shall bow; to R every tongue shall confess. It is being sung east and west, north and south. Men divide on everything else, but they are rallying around Jesus. He is reigning, King of kings, and Lord of lords. He has established a kingdom which is growing wider and wider every day. Civilization attends the preaching of the gospel; inventions and arts, and refinement and culture, go hand in hand with the proclamation of the name of Jesus; and in this respect humanity is gathering around Him. But the word here interpreted" gathering "means not merely assembling. Some translate it obedience. "To Him shall the obedience of the people be." The idea, as I take it, embraces both. The people assemble for instruction and to obey. It is like the gathering of scholars in a school. They assemble, but it is for instruction, and it is to obey.

(M. Simpson, D. D.)


II. THE CHARACTER OF THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM. The name "Shiloh" means "Peaceable," or "Peace-givers" or "rest," and is akin to the name of David's son "Solomon." This name intimates that the King, who is to come, will give tranquillity to His people.

III. THE COMPLETENESS OF HIS RULE. The Christian religion is but the unfolding and the fulfilment of the hope of Israel. Do we rejoice in our knowledge of Jesus as King? Are we trying our best to serve and obey Him? and to do what we can to bring others under His peace-giving rule?

(W. S. Smith, B. D.)

How constantly do we find this blessed assurance interpreted as if it were a shred of political news, a piece of political prognostication! "The sceptre" is interpreted as an earthly sceptre, the "lawgiver" suggests no other or higher conception than the head of an earthly government, and the gist of the whole promise is made to be that a certain earthly state, of very small account among the great kingdoms of the world, shall continue to exist till the coming of a certain person, and then shall pass away. It might be suggested, by the way, that on this principle of interpretation we should rather call it a threatening than a promise. If the coming of the promised Shiloh was to be the signal for the passing away of the very kingdom which was the subject of the prophecy, then Judah and all true lovers of Christ's kingdom might well pray that Shiloh should be very long in coming. But let this pass, and look at the subsequent difficulties in which the political interpretation involves us. We have first a long period during which there was no political kingdom at all. Then, shortly after the setting up of the political kingdom, we have it rent in twain. Later on we find, first, the one part of it, and then the other, utterly subverted. Then we have hundreds of years, during the greater part of which it can not be said with honesty that there was a political kingdom at all. And when Shiloh did come, there was no political kingdom in Judah to pass away. These difficulties have been felt to be of such magnitude, that endless ingenuity have been expended in the attempt to evade or surmount them. Some have tried to twist history to make it agree with the passage, and others have tried to twist the passage to make it agree with the history, and neither of the methods has been found satisfactory; whereas all becomes simple, natural, beautiful, and most true, when interpreted, not according to the letter which killeth, but according to the spirit; when it is freed from those carnal, Jewish notions which have obscured it, when it is lifted out of the region of politics into the region of truth, where our Lord's conversation with Pilate, as recorded by John, might well lead us to look for the kingdom of the prophetic word. Then we find a beautiful consistency both with the history of truth, and with the truth of history; with the former, as regards the inner reality, with the latter, as regards the outer form of the kingdom. First, in regard to the inner reality. Did not the kingdom in the truth, the kingdom in its essential, spiritual reality, continue in Judah all the while? "Was not the kingdom of God among the chosen people before either Saul or David was anointed, while as yet Jehovah was their only King? Was not the kingdom of God in Judah still, when her sons and daughters sat "by Babel's streams," and hung their harps upon the willows, and wept as they remembered Zion? There, in their remembrance of Zion, have we the evidence that, though the form of the kingdom had passed away for a time, the great reality remained in the weeping heart of Judah still. Truth to tell, the kingdom had much more nearly passed away, while yet the political "sceptre" and "lawgiver" remained both in Judah and in Israel, in those dark days of infidelity and idolatry, when poor Elijah thought God's kingdom the true theocracy, was reduced to one solitary individual, till he was assured by Him, who "seeth not as man seeth," that He still had left remaining seven thousand loyal men. And was there not in Judah, through all her captivities and all her sufferings from foreign oppressors, a true kingdom of God? A very little one indeed at times, and especially in the times which immediately preceded the advent of Shiloh; but small as it was, was it not there all the while? And when we seek for the fulfilment of the old promise as to the continuance of the kingdom till the coming in human form of the King, we are to seek it, not where so many interpreters of prophecy have sought it, in the political administration of that infidel and villain, belonging to Idumea, and not to Judah, who happened to sway a little sceptre, and give out his little laws under the great sceptre and mighty law of a foreign tyrant, but in the lowly loyal lives of the Simeons and Annas of the time, who had the sceptre and law in their hearts, and who were waiting for the fulfilment of the kingdom in the coming of Shiloh. The fulfilment of the kingdom — for there is no evidence that these faithful ones imagined that the coming of Shiloh was to be the subversion of that kingdom, which, as true Israelites, they dearly loved, but every evidence that they regarded it as the firm establishment of Judah's throne, and the beginning of a triumphal progress which should not cease till every knee should bow before the sceptre, and every tongue confess that Judah's King was Lord. So much for the fulfilment of the promise in regard to its inner reality. And now a moment's glance at the consistency of the prophecy with history, so far as form is concerned. Here we must bear in mind what Principal Fairbairn has so clearly shown in his work on "Prophecy," that the great object of prophecy was to support the faith of God's people — a support which would be especially- needed in times of darkness. Now, if the outward earthly form, in which the kingdom was for a time embodied, had been predestined to be abiding; had nothing been anticipated in the process of history which would look like the passing away of the kingdom, there would have been no need of such a special promise as that in Genesis 49:10. On the other hand, the very fact that there is such a promise would lead us, a priori, to anticipate that there would be times, probably long times, when it would seem that the sceptre had departed from Judah — times during which it would be necessary for those who were waiting for the salvation of God, to have some assurance to rest upon, that, though the form had passed away, the reality was with them still. Thus we find that, when once we get rid of these carnal Jewish ideas of the kingdom, we discover not only an agreement between the prophecy and the true spiritual history of the kingdom, but also a correspondence between the expectations it suggests concerning the outward and formal history of the kingdom and the actual facts of the ease, as seen in the external history of the political kingdom of Israel.

(J. M. Gibson, D. D.)

Asher, Benjamin, Dan, Ephron, Gad, Heth, Hittites, Isaac, Issachar, Jacob, Joseph, Leah, Levi, Mamre, Naphtali, Rebekah, Reuben, Sarah, Simeon, Zebulun, Zidon
Canaan, Machpelah, Mamre, Rameses, Sidon
Aside, Authority, Belongs, Depart, Gathering, Judah, Lawgiver, Law-giver, Nations, Obedience, Peoples, Rod, Rule, Ruler's, Scepter, Sceptre, Seed, Shiloh, Staff, Themselves, Till, Turneth
1. Jacob calls his sons to bless them.
3. Their blessing in particular.
29. He charges them about his burial.
33. He dies.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Genesis 49:10

     2230   Messiah, coming of
     2354   Christ, mission
     4512   staff
     5513   sceptre
     7031   unity, God's goal
     8421   equipping, physical

Genesis 49:1-28

     1335   blessing
     7266   tribes of Israel

Genesis 49:1-33

     5095   Jacob, life

Genesis 49:8-11

     5935   riddles

Genesis 49:10-12

     4458   grape
     4534   vine

The Shepherd, the Stone of Israel
'... The mighty God of Jacob. From thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel.'--GENESIS xlix. 24. A slight alteration in the rendering will probably bring out the meaning of these words more correctly. The last two clauses should perhaps not be read as a separate sentence. Striking out the supplement 'is,' and letting the previous sentence run on to the end of the verse, we get a series of names of God, in apposition with each other, as the sources of the strength promised to the arms of the hands
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Joseph Attacked by the Archers
Joseph is dead, but the Lord has his Josephs now. There are some still who understand by experience--and that is the best kind of understanding--the meaning of this passage, "The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." There are four things for us to consider this morning. First of all, the cruel attack--"the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Now, my brethren, if it be so in earthly things, it is so also in spiritual. Instability in religion is a thing which every man despises, although every man has, to a degree, the evil in himself, but stability in the firm profession and practice of godliness, will always win respect, even from the worldly, and certainly will not be forgotten by him whose smile is honor and whose praise is glory, even the great Lord and Master, before whom we stand or fall. I have many characters here to-day whom
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

The Messianic Prophecies in the Pentateuch.
In the Messianic prophecies contained in Genesis we cannot fail to perceive a remarkable progress in clearness and definiteness. The first Messianic prediction, which was uttered immediately after the fall of Adam, is also the most indefinite. Opposed to the awful threatening there stands the consolatory promise, that the dominion of sin, and of the evil arising from sin, shall not last for ever, but that the seed of the woman shall, at some future time, overthrow their dreaded conqueror. With the
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Balaam's Prophecy. (Numb. xxiv. 17-19. )
Carried by the Spirit into the far distant future, Balaam sees here how a star goeth out of Jacob and a sceptre riseth out of Israel, and how this sceptre smiteth Moab, by whose enmity the Seer had been brought from a distant region for the destruction of Israel. And not Moab only shall be smitten, but its southern neighbour, Edom, too shall be subdued, whose hatred against Israel had already been prefigured in its ancestor, and had now begun to display Itself; and In general, all the enemies of
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Bunsen's Biblical Researches.
When geologists began to ask whether changes in the earth's structure might be explained by causes still in operation, they did not disprove the possibility of great convulsions, but they lessened necessity for imagining them. So, if a theologian has his eyes opened to the Divine energy as continuous and omnipresent, he lessens the sharp contrast of epochs in Revelation, but need not assume that the stream has never varied in its flow. Devotion raises time present into the sacredness of the past;
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Appendix viii. Rabbinic Traditions About Elijah, the Forerunner of the Messiah
To complete the evidence, presented in the text, as to the essential difference between the teaching of the ancient Synagogue about the Forerunner of the Messiah' and the history and mission of John the Baptist, as described in the New Testaments, we subjoin a full, though condensed, account of the earlier Rabbinic traditions about Elijah. Opinions differ as to the descent and birthplace of Elijah. According to some, he was from the land of Gilead (Bemid. R. 14), and of the tribe of Gad (Tanch. on
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

His Throat is Most Sweet, Yea, He is Altogether Lovely. This is My Beloved, and this is My Friend, O Daughters of Jerusalem.
The good qualities of ordinary things may be sufficiently well expressed by ordinary phrases of commendation, but there are some subjects so above expression that they can only be worthily admired by declaring them above all praise. Such is the Divine Bridegroom, who, by the excess of His perfections, renders His Bride dumb when she endeavors most worthily to praise Him, that all hearts and minds may be attracted to Him. Her passion causes her to burst out into the praise of some of the excellencies
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

The Debt of Irenæus to Justin Martyr
If we are to proceed with safety in forming a judgment as to the relation between Justin and Irenæus in respect of the matter which they have in common, it will be necessary not merely to consider a number of selected parallels, but also to examine the treatment of a particular theme in the two writers. Let us set side by side, for example, c. 32 of Justin's First Apology with c. 57 of the Demonstration. Justin has been explaining to his Roman readers who the Jewish prophets were, and then
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

'Fruit which is Death'
'Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. 2. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images. 3. For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord; what then should a king do to us? 4. They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Blessing of Jacob Upon Judah. (Gen. Xlix. 8-10. )
Ver. 8. "Judah, thou, thy brethren shall praise thee; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; before thee shall bow down the sons of thy father. Ver. 9. A lion's whelp is Judah; from the prey, my son, thou goest up; he stoopeth down, he coucheth as a lion, and as a full-grown lion, who shall rouse him up? Ver. 10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him the people shall adhere." Thus does dying Jacob, in announcing
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

General Notes by the American Editor
1. The whole subject of the Apocalypse is so treated, [2318] in the Speaker's Commentary, as to elucidate many questions suggested by the primitive commentators of this series, and to furnish the latest judgments of critics on the subject. It is so immense a matter, however, as to render annotations on patristic specialties impossible in a work like this. Every reader must feel how apposite is the sententious saying of Augustine: "Apocalypsis Joannis tot sacramenta quot verba." 2. The seven spirits,
Victorinus—Commentary on the Apocolypse of the Blessed John

The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. ...
The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. We are so familiar with the part assigned in our Creeds to the Holy Spirit in connection with our Lord's birth, that the passage now to be quoted from Justin may at first sight seem very surprising. It may be well to approach it by citing some words from the learned and orthodox Waterland, who in 1734, in his book on The Trinity (c. vi: Works, III, 571: Oxford, 1843), wrote as follows in reference to a passage of St Irenæus: "I may remark by
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

The Growth of the Old Testament Prophetic Histories
[Sidenote: Analogies between the influences that produced the two Testaments] Very similar influences were at work in producing and shaping both the Old and the New Testaments; only in the history of the older Scriptures still other forces can be distinguished. Moreover, the Old Testament contains a much greater variety of literature. It is also significant that, while some of the New Testament books began to be canonized less than a century after they were written, there is clear evidence that
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Jewish Dispersion in the West - the Hellenists - Origin of Hellenist Literature in the Greek Translation of the Bible - Character of the Septuagint.
When we turn from the Jewish dispersion' in the East to that in the West, we seem to breathe quite a different atmosphere. Despite their intense nationalism, all unconsciously to themselves, their mental characteristics and tendencies were in the opposite direction from those of their brethren. With those of the East rested the future of Judaism; with them of the West, in a sense, that of the world. The one represented old Israel, stretching forth its hands to where the dawn of a new day was about
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

A Preliminary Discourse to Catechising
'If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' - Col 1:23. Intending next Lord's day to enter upon the work of catechising, it will not be amiss to give you a preliminary discourse, to show you how needful it is for Christians to be well instructed in the grounds of religion. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' I. It is the duty of Christians to be settled in the doctrine of faith. II. The best way for Christians to be settled is to be well grounded. I. It is the duty of Christians
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Fifthly, as this Revelation, to the Judgment of Right and Sober Reason,
appears of itself highly credible and probable, and abundantly recommends itself in its native simplicity, merely by its own intrinsic goodness and excellency, to the practice of the most rational and considering men, who are desirous in all their actions to have satisfaction and comfort and good hope within themselves, from the conscience of what they do: So it is moreover positively and directly proved to be actually and immediately sent to us from God, by the many infallible signs and miracles
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

Gamala. Chorazin.
These things determine the situation of Gamala:--1. It was "in lower Gaulon," in which, as we have seen, Bethsaida was. 2. It was "upon the lake [of Gennesaret]." 3. It was "over-against Tarichee." Compare the maps, whether in their placing of it they agree with these passages. Here was Judas born, commonly called 'Gaulanites,' and as commonly also, the 'Galilean.' So Peter and Andrew and Philip were Gaulanites; of Bethsaida, John 1:44; and yet they were called 'Galileans.' While we are speaking
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

What Messiah did the Jews Expect?
1. The most important point here is to keep in mind the organic unity of the Old Testament. Its predictions are not isolated, but features of one grand prophetic picture; its ritual and institutions parts of one great system; its history, not loosely connected events, but an organic development tending towards a definite end. Viewed in its innermost substance, the history of the Old Testament is not different from its typical institutions, nor yet these two from its predictions. The idea, underlying
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Covenanting Predicted in Prophecy.
The fact of Covenanting, under the Old Testament dispensations, being approved of God, gives a proof that it was proper then, which is accompanied by the voice of prophecy, affording evidence that even in periods then future it should no less be proper. The argument for the service that is afforded by prophecy is peculiar, and, though corresponding with evidence from other sources, is independent. Because that God willed to make known truth through his servants the prophets, we should receive it
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

On Genesis.
[1139] Gen. i. 5 And it was evening, and it was morning, one day. Hippolytus. He did not say [1140] "night and day," but "one day," with reference to the name of the light. He did not say the "first day;" for if he had said the "first" day, he would also have had to say that the "second" day was made. But it was right to speak not of the "first day," but of "one day," in order that by saying "one," he might show that it returns on its orbit and, while it remains one, makes up the week. Gen. i. 6
Hippolytus—The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus

The Sixth Commandment
Thou shalt not kill.' Exod 20: 13. In this commandment is a sin forbidden, which is murder, Thou shalt not kill,' and a duty implied, which is, to preserve our own life, and the life of others. The sin forbidden is murder: Thou shalt not kill.' Here two things are to be understood, the not injuring another, nor ourselves. I. The not injuring another. [1] We must not injure another in his name. A good name is a precious balsam.' It is a great cruelty to murder a man in his name. We injure others in
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Plan for the Coming of Jesus.
God's Darling, Psalms 8:5-8.--the plan for the new man--the Hebrew picture by itself--difference between God's plan and actual events--one purpose through breaking plans--the original plan--a starting point--getting inside. Fastening a Tether inside: the longest way around--the pedigree--the start. First Touches on the Canvas: the first touch, Genesis 3:15.--three groups of prediction--first group: to Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3; to Isaac, Genesis 26:1-5; to Jacob, Genesis 28:10-15; through Jacob,
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus

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