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The home page for this series on the prophecies fulfilled by Jesus’s first coming is First Coming Prophecies.
The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
(Genesis 49:10, NIV)
I used the New International Version of the Bible instead of my usual NASB because it catches the meaning of the word usually translated as “Shiloh” better. According to the Blue Letter Bible, the Hebrew word is shiyloh, and it’s a possessive pronoun. It simply means “He1 whose it is”. This is also the opinion of Dr. Fructenbaum, whose study guide Ha-Mashiach is the starting point for most of my posts on this subject of first coming prophecies.
So, the tribe of Judah will be the ruler of Israel until Jesus comes. However, the tribal records of Israel (except for the tribe of Levi) were destroyed by the Romans when they destroyed the temple in 70 AD. So, after 70 AD, it is not possible to have Judah be the ruler of Israel, because nobody officially knows what tribe they belong to any more.
This is really important. Jews today reject this as meaning what it says, because their only alternative would be to admit that if Jesus isn’t the Messiah, there can never be a Messiah. We Christians know that Jesus IS the Messiah, and that He will take his rightful place as King over Israel when He returns.
There’s one other point to notice in this passage. The scepter and the ruler’s staff belong to this Messiah. Both of these indicate that Messiah will be King of the Jews. We’ll find out later He will be King of everybody as well, but that’s part of the second-coming prophecies, so I won’t dwell on it here.
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