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Who is Shiloh in Genesis 49?


The word Shiloh appears 33 times in the Old Testament and all but one usage refer to an area of Israel. The verse in which Shiloh is used as a Messianic prophecy is in Genesis chapter 49. “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.”Genesis 49:10

This verse is part of Jacob’s blessing of his 12 sons in which he portrays the future history of each son and each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The blessing on Judah and his tribe contains several elements. For one thing, his descendants would be strong and receive the praise of the other tribes of Israel (Genesis 49:8-9). This was fulfilled in David, a strong and mighty warrior, king, and ultimately by the Messiah who came from the line of Judah. Genesis 49:11-12 are somewhat obscure in that they contain poetic, hyperbolic language. Generally, this language describes prosperity so great that people will be able to tie a donkey to a choice vine and let it eat its fill because there is such abundance. This is a prophecy concerning the millennium. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18),joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), and no poverty or sickness (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29).

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