- Evidence That Demands A Verdict, p. 168.
“What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded: (Romans 11:7).
One of the saddest aspects of our world is the blindness of Israel. Even the Orthodox Jews, who strongly affirm their belief in the Old Testament Scriptures, seem unable to see what the Scriptures clearly show, that their Messiah has come and gone. In the first book of the Torah, we read: “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” (Genesis 49:10). Ancient Jewish commentators agreed that Shiloh was another name for Messiah, but this very fact should prove to modern Jewish expositors that Messiah has already come, for the scepter (the symbol of national leadership) did depart from Judah, very soon after Jesus was crucified.
King David was the first descendent of Judah to attain the scepter of leadership among the tribes of Israel, and the divine promises were clear that Messiah would be in Davids lineage. That Jesus legal father, Joseph, and human mother, Mary, were both in that lineage was shown in the genealogies of Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38, respectively, both of which were written when the genealogical records in the Temple were still intact. No one at that time ever questioned their validity, in spite of intense opposition by the Jews to the claims of Jesus and His disciples.
In 70 A.D., the records and the Temple were destroyed, so that no later claimant to the title could ever prove his right to the throne. Messiah had come, and was slain, so the scepter departed from Judah until He comes again. It is certain that Jesus was, indeed, the Jews promised Messiah, and we should pray that God will soon open their eyes to see and believe. HMM
“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” (Gen 49:10).
This is a remarkable Messianic prophecy, given by Jacob 1700 years before the first coming of Christ fulfilled it. Later prophecies would focus on His descent from David and then His birthplace in Bethlehem, but first one of the twelve sons of Jacob must be designated as His progenitor. Remarkably, Jacob did not select either his first born son, Reuben, or his favorite son Joseph. Nor did he choose Benjamin, the son of his favorite wife. He chose instead his fourth son, Judah, by divine direction. Yet it was over 600 years before the tribe of Judah gained ascendancy over the others. The greatest leaders of Israel were from other tribes-Moses and Samuel from Levi, Joshua from Ephraim, Gideon from Manasseh, Samson from Dan, Saul from Benjamin. Finally, David became king, and “the sceptre” was then held by Judah for a thousand years, until Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. Jesus parents were both of Judah, both of the line of David, with both the legal and spiritual right to Davids throne. But then, just 70 years after His birth, “the sceptre” (that is leadership over the twelve tribes) departed from Judah, with the worldwide dispersion of Israel, and no man since has ever held that right. It is still retained by Jesus, and will be reclaimed and exercised when He returns. In the meantime, the prophecy stands as an unchallengeable identification of Jesus as the promised Messiah. Ancient Jewish commentators all recognized “Shiloh” as a name for Messiah. Since the sceptre has already departed, Shiloh has already come. When He returns, His people will, indeed, finally be gathered together “unto Him.”