The Life of Joseph - Lesson 42, Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
Genesis 49:1,2, And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Genesis 49:8-12, 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. 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? 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. 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: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
Judah is next.
Remember the past of Judah?
Remember his part in the selling of Joseph into Egypt.
Remember the pagan woman that Judah married.
Remember Er and Onan who resulted from this marriage but were taken by the Lord because of their wickedness.
Remember the importunity of Tamar and how she forced a child from Judah in order to carry on the name of Er.
Judah had heard the past brought up in the cases of Reuben, Simeon and Levi.
Now it was his turn but Jacob surprises him.
He says nothing of the past.
Had Judah repented of those things?
Hadn't Judah pledged himself, not his sons as had Reuben, for Benjamin and also when he had poured out his soul before Joseph?
Apparently Jacob's judgment seat was not their to dredge up confessed and forgiven sins.
This is not the time for that but it is a time to recognize Judah as the leader of the brothers.
Genesis 49:8, 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.
Judah had become a godly man and Jacob recognized it here.
He pronounces the result of that godliness by declaring Judah to have prominence over his brothers, his enemies and his father's children, meaning this prominence will carry on in future generations.
Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise:
When his mother Leah bore Judah she said, Now will I praise the Lord Therefore she called his name Judah for Judah means praise.
Others as well as his mother are to call his name Praise!
Lest Judah get a big head because of the favorable pronouncements of Jacob we must remember how Jacob introduced this talk.
Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
Jacob was not telling his sons things that would necessarily befall them personally in their lifetimes.
He was telling them what would take place in the "future" (a word not in the Bible) concerning their tribes.
So when Jacob tells Judah that his brethren would praise him and bow down to him he was talking about future times and events between the tribes of Israel.
This was still Joseph's time when the brothers bowed down before Joseph but Judah's time was to come.
Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies, seems to indicate that the praise of Judah, the bowing down to Judah will take place because of heroic deeds that Judah performs over Israel's enemies.
Because of this the tribe of Judah is to be looked to for leadership.
It is in Judah that the seed of Abraham is to be called.
In Judah the dying Israel sees the day of Christ far off and is glad for he looked for a city whose builder and maker was God.
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?
Jacob now describes Judah using kingly or royal symbols.
He uses the metaphor of the lion's cub or whelp, to portray Judah as powerful.
This whelp is a young lion in the freshness of his just matured strength.
He describes Judah as seizing the prey, that which is taken in hunting, bringing it back to the den, and reclining over it in victory.
As the king of the forest, he is to master his prey; as the young lion, springing upon it, as the old lion, crouching and terrible when roused.
He is described as young and old.
He is describing the Lord Jesus Christ as he is described in:
Revelation 1:8, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Who will dare to rouse him?
In other words Judah will be mighty in battle and kingly or royal in rest.
He is to be invincible in war.
He is to be the lawful ruler and continue to be so until another rise, one who comes from him, until Shiloh come.
Remember David of the tribe of Judah.
Remember his mightiness in battle.
But David was only a type of Shiloh, a type of Christ.
The figure of a lion is used for monarchy in many cultures of the world.
But in reality this metaphor looks through the royal line of David, to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Lord Jesus Christ who is described thusly in:
Revelation 5:5, And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
And look at the picture of the lion of the tribe of Judah as described in 1 Corinthians 15:24-25, who has seized the prey, who has brought it back to the den and reclines over it.
This is how it is expressed in 1 Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 15:24-25, Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
What Jacob is describing is none other than the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of Israel.
Genesis 49:10, 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.
This word Shiloh comes from the same root as the Hebrew word Shalom which means peace.
It also describes a city in Israel, in Ephraim, notable as the worship center of Israel during the period of the Judges.
It is the place after the initial conquest of Canaan where Joshua gathered the Israelites and set up the tabernacle.
It housed the ark of the covenant until its capture by the Philistines in the time of Samuel.
But by the time of Jeremiah, Shiloh had fallen into ruins, only sparsely inhabited.
But Jacob in his prophesy concerning Judah is not talking about a place but he is talking about a person.
He points to a true Prince of Peace whose Almighty hand will hold the scepter of absolute and universal dominion.
He would come from Judah's line.
Don't you suppose that the Jacob in Israel longed to give this honor to Joseph but the Israel in Israel obeyed God and gave this to Judah.
The scepter in Judah's line symbolized rule and dominion or capacity for rule. Rule over the tribes of Israel will sooner or later be conceded to Judah.
This is simply the precursor of the rule of Jesus Christ, in the line of Judah, over Israel.
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. nor a lawgiver from between his feet
This term can mean prescriber of laws or commander. There will not be a congress, the legislative body shall be Christ.
The lawgiver between his feet indicates he is the holder of the staff or rod of authority that rests between his feet.
So the meaning of this passage is that Judah will hold rule until the man of rest, or the man of peace or the giver of peace and rest come.
And unto him shall the gathering of the people be, means, and to him shall be the obedience of peoples.
Judah's capacity for rule and sovereignty shall not be lost; in fact it shall come to a climax in a ruler so competent that he shall be able to achieve perfect rest.
And because of this achievement he is to be called "Rest" or "Restgiver", Shiloh and the people shall willingly tender to him obedience.