Gen 49:8-12 (KJV)
8) 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.
9) 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?
10) 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].
11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12) His eyes [shall be] red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
In our previous study we saw the the beginning portion of this blessing was a combination prophecy of events that would take place in the tribe of Judah that was culminate in the first coming of Christ. In that study we saw that there would be several reasons why the Tribe of Judah would receive the praise of Jews, as well as Gentiles throughout history. Here is a quick review of those reasons:
1. The great victories had by Judah and his descendants are one reason why Judah would be praised far above all other of his brethren….
2. The gradual increase of Judah’s strength, boldness, wisdom and victories is the second reason why they would be praised above all others….
3. The third reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be the line of kings that would descend from this tribe…
Please note that all three of these reasons are a combination of accomplishments of Judah both before, and including, Christ and His work on our behalf. In the last part of this 2 part series we will be looking at the concluding portion of Judah’s blessing which will involve an exclusive look at Christ and His many accomplishments on our behalf….
4. The fourth reason Judah would be praised among all their brethren would be due to the coming of Shiloh, the final King in the line of Judah. In the following verses we read of His person, work and His relationship with His people…
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come;
In other words, the last King that would come from the line of Judah would be Christ Himself. How do we know Christ is what “Shiloh” is referring to?
The Hebrew word translated Shiloh carries with it the ideas of:
3. blessed or prosperous
The meaning of the word, as it applies to Christ, teaches us that He is our peace and the place of our eternal safety and refuge, and the source of all blessings from God. (Jere 23:6, 1 Thess 5:23, Psa 94:22, Eph 1:3).
If we take our study of “Shiloh” one step farther we find that, throughout the OT, we find that a city in Canaan also is given the name “Shiloh”. Here are some of the contexts where this place is mentioned:
1. Josh 18:1-10, 1 Sam 3:21, 1 Sam 4:3-12, etc – associated with the presence of God and holding place of ark of the covenant. This pictures for us Christ is the very essence of God meeting with man at the first coming. (John 10:30, 1 Tim 3:16, 1 John 5:20 etc)
2. Josh 22:9-12 – place of gathering before going to war – this helps us to understand that at His second coming, we are clearly told that we will be gathered together with Christ only to return to earth and observe His battle with the powers of this world. (Rev 19:11-16)
3. Judges 18:31, 21:19 etc – long-term place of worship of Jehovah – this is a picture of our worship of God that is to be centered upon the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is through the worship of Christ that we exercise the true worship with God. (John 5:23, Eph 3:21)
4. Psa 78:60-61, Jer 7:12, Jer 26:6 – once ark was removed, Shiloh became desolate and a picture of something cursed by God - Christ, the sinless Son of God, became a curse for us, suffering for our sins and being separated from the Father due to those sins… (Gal 3:13, Mark 15:34)
(It is because of all the above, and the verses that will follow, that I am confident that “Shiloh” is referring to our Lord Jesus Christ. Although most of the older Bible scholars are in agreement with this teaching, I realize there are many modern students of the Word that do not agree with this. They believe that Shiloh only refers to a city in Canaan and all that is to follow is only referring to the Tribe of Judah. None of these are symbols of Christ. I strongly disagree. I will let is up to each one of you to study these things and allow the Lord to lead you to the proper conclusion. For the rest of this study I wlll be approaching the remaining verses from the viewpoint of Christ being described as “Shiloh”…
and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
1. We are clearly told throughout the Scriptures that, at the second coming of our Lord we will be gathered together to meet Him in the air and begin our eternity dwelling in His presence. (1 Thess 4:13-16, 1 Cor 15:51-57,
2. At our salvation, we are gathered by the Spirit of God to Himself, making us members of His family and His Spiritual nation. (John 6:44, John 12:32, Haggai 2:7, Gal 6:14-18)
3. But also another type of gathering of God’s people will also take place before His second coming. That is the gathering of His people into various local church bodies (Acts 14:27, 1 Cor 5:4) Once again, this type of gathering together is unto Christ as well. As we gather together to worship God, that worship is to be centered upon Christ, His Word and His Work… (Eph 3:20-21, Roms 16:27)
Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine;
1. In Zech 9:9, we have a prophecy of Christ riding upon the foal of an ass. This prophecy was fulfilled in Matt 21:2, where we find Christ riding into Jerusalem on the first “Palm Sunday” using an ass and her colt. This trip to Jerusalem would involve His arrest, trial and crucifixion.
2. Based on the above we can see, in a symbolic sense, the ass and colt are pictures of Christ’s entrance into this world to die on the cross for our sins. The vine and choice vine and the fruit that they bear are symbolic references to His death and shed blood. These vines, which are a picture of His death and shed blood, are described in greater detail in the next verse.
3. The ass and colt being tied to the vine and choice vine are displaying for us the inseparable nature of His death with His coming to the earth. He came to die for us… He must die for us or else His coming to the earth would be in vain. (1 John 4:14, John 3:16-17, John 1:29) This is why the donkey and colt (His entrance into this world to die) are “tied” inseparably to the vines (His death and shed blood).
he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
Christ’s shed blood is symbolized for us by “fruit of the vine” in the observance of “Communion” or “the Lord’s supper”. (Luke 22:17-20)
1. His garments being drenched in wine and the blood of grapes shows that His great sacrifice that was made on our behalf. He is drenched in His own blood. (Rev 19:11-13, Heb 9:22-28)
2. His blood is shown to have cleansing power “washed in”. This can refer to His shed blood being accepted by God resulting in the cleansing of His people from their sins which He had borne upon Himself. (Isa 63:1, Rev 1:5)
His eyes [shall be] red with wine,
1. The result of the shedding of His blood, pictured by the wine, is that His eyes became the color red (The word translated red is the Heb word for “brightness” “flickering” or “flashing” and is used only once in the OT)….
2. This same picture of Christ from this Gen 49: text is presented to us again in Rev 19:11-16. In this context, the brightness and flickering of His eyes are described as being “like a flame of fire”. It is a picture of His wrath and anger against those who abuse His people. This event is speaking of Christ’s second coming when He comes to the earth to destroy the world powers of darkness. It was His shed blood on the cross that secured His victory over these powers of darkness and has secured the punishment of the abusers of His people. (Rev 6:9-17)
and his teeth white with milk
This phrase refers us to the Word of Christ, the perfect, complete, Word that has proceeded out of His mouth. It is His Word that is described as milk teaching us that His Word is an absolute necessity for our spiritual growth and well-being (1 Peter 2:1-3, 1 Cor 3:2, Heb 5:12-13) . As the “milk” proceeds from His mouth it makes His teeth look white due to its purity and perfection.
Folks, after looking at verses 10-12 in detail, it is such a blessing to realize that our Lord, the Shiloh of Gen 49:, as a wonderful, powerful Lord as we have seen. Let’s review quickly what we have learned about Christ:
In part #1 of our study we learned that Christ:
1. is the One who has gotten us the victory over sin and death;
2. is the One who gained a spiritual eternal victory that far transcends any earthly human victory
3. is the One who is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords
4. is the One to whom we owe our total allegiance.
In part #2 of our study we learned that Christ:
5. is our peace and the place of our eternal safety and refuge, and the source of all blessings from God
6. is the very person of God meeting with man at the first coming
7. at His second coming, we are clearly told that we will be gathered together with Christ only to return to earth and observe His battle with the powers of this world
8. should be the center of our worship of God
9. the sinless Son of God, became a curse for us, suffering for our sins and being separated from the Father due to those sins
10. at His second coming we will be gathered together to meet Him in the air and begin our eternity dwelling in His presence
11. gathers us to Himself at our salvation resulting in us becoming His family members and members of His spiritual nation.
12. gathers us into His local church to worship God by worshipping Him.
13. came to die for us… He must die for us or else His coming to the earth would be in vain.
14. made a great sacrifice that was made on our behalf. He is drenched in His own blood. It is through this blood that we can find cleansing form our sins.
15. send His wrath and anger against those who abuse His people. This event is speaking of Christ’s second coming when He comes to the earth to destroy the world powers of darkness. It was His shed blood on the cross that secured His victory over these powers of darkness and has secured the punishment of the abusers of His people
16. speaks His perfect, complete, Word that proceeds out of His mouth. It is His Word that is described as milk, teaching us that His Word is an absolute necessity for our spiritual growth and well-being
In this passage, we have seen at least 16 different truths about Christ and His work on our behalf…. Let us all praise and honor Him who has done so much for us and who has graciously revealed His work to us through His Word.
May the Lord bless His Word and develop a greater appreciation in our hearts for all He has done for us.
If you have any questions about Christ’s saving work on our behalf, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved. Please click on this link for more information about salvation.
If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area. The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you. If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.