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Until Shiloh Come

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Until Shiloh Come

Genesis 49:10

INTRO – Turn to Genesis 49

Joseph was second only to Pharaoh in Egypt.  His brothers had sold him as a slave instead of killing him.  Several years later God providentially reunited him with his brothers, and Joseph brought them and his father Jacob to live near him in Egypt.  There they would be provided for during the terrible famine that was taking place.  Jacob had been heartbroken when his son disappeared, when his other sons made him believe Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.  He grieved for years.  When he heard the news that Joseph was alive, he did not believe them at first.  His “heart fainted.”  When he finally understood that it was true, that he would see his long-lost son again, “the spirit of Jacob their father revived.”  He would see Joseph, and then die in peace.

At the age of 130, Jacob caravanned with his sons to Egypt and settled in the land of Goshen.  He met the great Pharaoh himself.  Joseph provided for them during the awful famine.  After 17 years, Jacob knew that he was near death.  He called his family together, and spoke his final words to them.  (Read vv. 1-2)  One by one, he spoke to his sons – Reuben, the first born, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Joseph, Benjamin.  Each son became the head of what we know as the 12 tribes of Israel, Israel being the name by which God called Jacob.

What Jacob said to his sons was more than just a final goodbye.  It was a blessing.  God had promised these patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – certain things.  They had it within their power to pass on those blessings to their children.  These words were not just good wishes.  They were prophetic.  They would come to pass.

Usually the greatest blessing went to the firstborn. Notice Jacob’s words to Reuben, however (vv. 3-4).  Reuben had slept with his father’s concubine.  Therefore, he forfeited the blessing.

Who was next in line?  Simeon, then Levi.  Look at what Jacob said about them (vv. 5-7).  They had attacked and killed the men of an entire city because the prince had defiled their sister.  Their revengeful spirits caused them to be excluded from the greatest blessing.

The next son in line was Judah.  Judah was by no means perfect, but he did operate by some ethical principles, and when confronted about his wrongdoing, he acknowledged it and took steps to make it right.  It was Judah’s idea to sell Joseph instead of killing him.  But it was not Judah’s merits that caused the next thing to happen, simply the sovereign, all-wise choice of God.  The name of Judah was about to become a name that would be repeated with wonder and anticipation for all of time.  (Read 8-9)

Jacob’s words of blessing to Judah included a prediction.


He spoke of someone they had probably never heard of, an unfamiliar name – who is this Shiloh?  We have the vantage point of 4000 years of history that has unfolded since.  We also have 66 books of Holy Scripture that provide the key to unlock the wonderful truth to be found in Jacob’s blessing to his son Judah. 

Jacob’s blessing upon Judah contained God’s promise to the world.  Those three words, “until Shiloh come” contain God’s plan for the ages, and His provision for every person here this morning.

Who or what is “Shiloh?”

There are five clues in Jacob’s final words to his son Judah that identify Shiloh.

1.  Shiloh’s Royalty

EXPL – “The scepter shall  not depart from Judah”

This family did not have a king among them.  They were shepherds!  The closest thing to a scepter in Judah’s home would have been a wooden staff for tending sheep.

But Judah’s family, over time, began to exercise leadership among the rest of the descendants of Jacob.  When the children of Israel finally departed from Egypt, when they returned to Canaan, and began fighting to possess the land God promised to them, Joshua was their leader.  When Joshua died, the people said, “Who will lead us?”  The Lord responded, “Judah shall go up:  behold, I have delivered the land into his hand.”  Judah led the way.  The Israelites killed 10,000 men that day.

Not long after, the Lord appointed judges to provide leadership among the children of Israel, and the first one named is Othniel, who was from the family of Judah.

Eventually the people of Israel decided they wanted a king.  Who was the first king chosen?  His name was Saul.  Saul was a great failure, and the Lord directed Samuel the prophet to select his successor.  You know his name – David, a descendant of Judah.  And God made it clear that David’s house would rule Israel not just for years, or generation, or even for all time – but God told David, “thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee:  thy throne shall be established forever.” (2 Samuel 7:16)

Now the scepter has been handed to David, a descendant of Judah.  And the promise was made – his family would possess the throne – forever.

Go back to Jacob’s prediction about Judah. 

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah … until Shiloh come.”

The tribe of Judah would produce the royal line.

Shiloh would be the final, permanent owner of that royal scepter.

- “nor a lawgiver (shall depart) from between his feet” -  another way of describing the staff held by the sovereign ruler.  It rested between his feet as he held it in his hands.  It signified his authority to make laws.

Means that Shiloh would have authority, would give commands, interpret law, rightfully rule and pass judgment.

First clue as to the identity of Shiloh:  He would be a king who would rule forever.

TRAN – Another clue

2.  Shiloh’s Ancestry

EXPL – “from Judah”

ILL – a valuable heirloom that is passed down from one generation to the next; one son is singled out to receive it

Jacob gathered with his sons; 2 generations; grown sons, in their 40s and 50s;

God had singled out Abraham for a gift, privilege, with eternal significance and value. 

Genesis 12:2,3  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

God specified that Abraham’s son, Isaac, should be the one to carry on the privilege and promise: “I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries: and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”  (Genesis 26:4)

Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau.  Now there were two possibilities of who would carry on the promise.  God spoke, and specified which one it should be.  Jacob took a journey to find a wife; stopped for the night to sleep; had the vision we know of as “Jacob’s Ladder.”  The Lord stood at the top of the ladder and spoke these words to him:  “thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.  (Genesis 28:14)

Now Jacob has twelve sons.  Under God’s direction, Jacob elevates Judah above the other eleven.  And Jacob’s words sharpen the focus of the promise. [It is no longer just a promise,] but a Person that will bring the promise to pass.  One would come who would bring blessing to “all the families of the earth.”                        “Shiloh!”

As we scan the ages, looking for Shiloh, His ancestry is a clue that will help us identify Him.  He is a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and of the family of Judah.

TRANS – Who is Shiloh?  We will know by His royalty; we will know from His ancestry.

There is yet another clue:

3.  Shiloh’s Imminency

EXPL – “until Shiloh come” –

Imperfect tense of “come” – a process that is incomplete, that takes place over time

Jacob saying, “The coming of this one has not yet happened.  As we sit here in Egypt, refugees from the famine in Canaan, He is not here with us.  He will come at a later time.  His coming is in the future, possibly the distant future, but His coming is certain.”

From the standpoint of Jacob, and Judah, it was uncertain as to when this Shiloh would come. In fact, His coming could be in a matter of years, or centuries, or millennia.  The fact that He did not come immediately, or in the near future, did not mean that He was not coming.

There was no uncertainty about whether or not He would come.  His arrival would be imminent – it would certainly happen, and although the time was not yet specified, He would definitely come.

The anticipation of a promised one who would come to Israel has been the hope of the Jews over the ages.

ILL – Article about hope of Messiah

While some still look for the imminent coming of this promised One, is it possible that He has already arrived? 

TRANS - There are two more clues in Jacob’s blessing upon Judah that will help us to know.

4.  Shiloh’s Constituency

EXPL – “unto him shall the gathering of the people be”

“gathering” means more than just a curious crowd; it indicates a swelling multitude characterized by willing submission and obedience

- like an army gathering under a great leader bec. they are loyal to his cause

“people” – lit. “nations” plural; singular usually means Jews ; plural usually means nations other than Jews; Jacob tells Judah that this one that would come through his family would have a following, a constituency, a swelling multitude, that would include people of all nations of the earth!

ILL – Talking with Jewish young man few weeks ago; “Why should I let you into my heaven?”  “Chosen”

Being born a Jew certainly gives one a special place in God’s plan, but it does not guarantee you a place in heaven.

In fact, what Jacob said here indicates that God’s special plan includes not just the descendants of Abraham, but people from every tribe and nation!

Shiloh’s constituency would not be local, or familial, or national.  It would be universal.

TRANS – One more clue:

5.  Shiloh’s Activity

EXPL – “Shiloh” – means peace giver

- will enter into a situation where there is conflict and cause there to be peace

Prophet Isaiah would later predict the coming of one that sounded very much like this description of Shiloh:

Isaiah 9:6-7  For 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, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

ILL – “Peace” is not a word that describes the world in which you and I live.

The Personnel Journal reported this incredible statistic: since the beginning of recorded history, the entire world has been at peace less than eight percent of the time! In its study, the periodical discovered that of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made—and broken.

Moody Bible Institute’s Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 33


A former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and historians from England, Egypt, Germany, and India have come up with some startling information: Since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars, large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed would pay for a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick.

Since 650 B.C. there have also been 1656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The remainder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved.


A group of academics and historians has compiled this startling information: Since 3600 B.C., the world has known only 292 years of peace! During this period there have been 14,351 wars large and small, in which 3.64 billion people have been killed. The value of the property destroyed is equal to a golden belt around the world 97.2 miles wide and 33 feet thick. Since 650 B.C., there have also been 1,656 arms races, only 16 of which have not ended in war. The reminder ended in the economic collapse of the countries involved.

Today in the Word, June 19, 1992

How many times have you heard the word “war” during the past three years?

Not onlyis there military warfare, there is cultural war, racial war, ideological war, political war.  There are homes that are warzones.  Many, many hearts are without rest.

Continual longing for peace; many promise it, discuss it, treatify it, but it is no different now than in the day of Jeremiah the prophet, who said, They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.   Jeremiah 6:14 

There will be no mistake when Shiloh comes.  He will effectively bring peace.

Has Shiloh come?  Is there anyone in the history of the Jewish people who fits this description?  You probably know the answer, but let’s look at the facts.


- prediction of child to be born who would resume the reign of the house of David; spread to countries to the east of Palestine; one day a group of philosophers, observers of the stars arrived in Jerusalem asking, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?”  The answer to their question was, Bethlehem, where Mary had given birth just a few months earlier to a very special baby.

- The writer of Hebrews later applied this statement to Him:

Hebrews 1:8  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

The clue of eternal royalty certainly applies to the baby born in Bethlehem.


- 2 genealogies in the NT Scriptures trace the ancestry of a newborn baby back to (guess who?) Judah.  Who was this baby?  None other than the one born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem.

- Hebrews 7:14    For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda

- Revelation 5:5      Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David

The clue of ancestry links the Shiloh of Jacob’s blessing to the baby born in Bethlehem.


“Until Shiloh come”  Entire Jewish nation looked for the One who would come

- Luke 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? Or look we for another?

- The One who would come was often called Messiah; a Samaritan woman having a conversation by the well with a stranger said, John 4:25 The women saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things (Jesus, the one speaking with her said,) I that speak unto thee am he.

“Until Shiloh come;” “I know that Messiah comes;”  “I am he”

With those words, the man standing at the well linked Himself with the ancient prophecy!

That man fits the clue of imminency!


What about His constituency?  Would teeming multitudes from every nation of the earth form a following of this obscure Jew born in a tiny town in Palestine?

His name is known in every nation on earth today.  The message He proclaimed is for people everywhere.

-          Romans 16:25-27 . . . the preaching of Jesus Christ . . . was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

It hasn’t happened yet, but listen to what will one day take place:

For worship

- Revelation 7:9-12 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen


For judgment

Matthew 25:31-32  When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:


There is only one who so perfectly answers to the clue of constituency.

What about the final clue?  Can anyone perform this activity of bringing peace?


- Luke 2:11-14  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.   And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


- Mark 4:39  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

- He told those He healed, “Go in peace.”

- After He rose from the dead, He stood in the midst of His terrified disciples, and said, “Peace be unto you.”

- When He spoke to His disciples about His departure to return to His Father in Heaven, He said, (John 14:27) 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.

To know this One is to have the peace that escapes and eludes every person who seeks it elsewhere, peace with God.

- Ephesians 2:13-17  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.



Jacob’s prediction was perfectly fulfilled 1,800 years later when the first cry of a newborn baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was laid in a manger, watched by Mary, Joseph, shepherds, and angels. 

Shiloh came. 

The only question that remains is, Have you come to him?

Genesis 49:10  The scepter 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.

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