The claim that Messiah replaced the authority of Judah
Let us consider at the outset, the claims of Christianity that the Christian Messiah, Jesus, since his appearance 2000 years ago, has therefore replaced the ruling authority of the Jews, being Shiloh who has come. By far the greater majority of the Messianic Hebraic Restoration Movement, who proclaim a more authentic Jewish version of the Christian Messiah, and Whom they correctly call by His Hebrew name YAHU’SHUAH, also erroneously believe that He replaced the authority of Judah.
Let us recall here our opening quotation regarding Judah as being the Lawgiver (Mechoqeck) of YHVH. Has Jesus or YAHU’SHUAH now replaced Judah as the Lawgiver, thereby ending its legal Mandate? Adherents of this claim are unanimous in their vehement denial and rejection of “Rabbinic authority”. Yet, it would be a great insult today, to credit any ‘Messiah’ with “Ruling over the nations” (as the latter part of the Prophecy and Divine Mandate of Gen. 49:10 indicates) while we observe the ever worsening ungodliness, rebellion, terror and sinfulness of the nations! Prophecy defines His Rule over the nations as a Rule with “a Rod of Iron”.
The fact that Messiah’s Mechoqeck Rule is still future, is confirmed in the book of Revelations 19:11 – 16, when He comes for the final destruction of the rulers of the world, after which only “He will rule over them with an iron Scepter.”
These words were written on the final pages of the NT, long after He came to earth, therefore acknowledging that He had NOT yet taken over the Sceptre – it referred to a yet future time. It will most certainly be accomplished when He comes to rule the nations as Messiah ben David, when He takes over the Rule of this world in the aftermath of the War of Gog Magog (Armageddon) – now well in sight! Until then, Judah remains to be the Lawgiver (interpreter) by Divine Mandate (Gen. 49:10).
We have another confirmation of His yet future Rule from the Prophet Jeremiah in chapter 23:5,6:
“Behold, the days come, says YHVH, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, YHVH Tsidkenu.”
- Clearly, He is NOT reigning as King over Israel and the Universe yet.
- He is NOT ruling over the nations with ‘an Iron Sceptre’.
- Judah is NOT ‘saved’ yet, viz. reigning supreme over the nations and free in the Land of Israel.
- Israel (referring to the House of the Lost Ten Tribes no doubt, being referred to separately from Judah in this text) is NOT dwelling safely in the Land. They first have to be re-identified (as is happening currently) AND returned to ‘the mountains of Israel’, their ancient Homeland.
This ‘Shiloh Rule’ is yet FUTURE!
Let the reader be in no doubts: that BIBLE REVELATIONS most emphatically proclaim that Messiah YAHU’SHUAH is in fact the Law Maker – with the Cautionary Reminder that we proclaim a Jewish (by birth and by life style) Messiah, Himself being an ardent upholder not only of Biblical Torah, but also of the Jewish Oral Torah (i.e. traditional Rabbinic interpretation of the Torah). When He comes as Ruler over the Nations, as the King of the World, then only will He take over the Law ‘faculty’ (Mechoqeck) from Judah.
In fact, more than this, YAHU’SHUAH is the literal physical embodiment of the Word of God (the Torah). He is the God Who wrote the Ten words on the Tables of Stone at Sinai. He is the God Who mandated the Mechoqeck faculty of judicial powers to Judah. Only when He comes to physically rule over the nations will He take over this portfolio from Judah.
Supporters of the claim that YAHU’SHUAH is now the Mechoqeck Rule, not Judah, fails to clarify convincingly how they indeed get Torah interpretations and rulings from Him. The judicial faculty was given to the spiritual leaders of Judah for that very reason, to be a direct live guidance for the nation in the same way that every nation has a judiciary through courts and legal institutions. The only response that these people can offer, is that they are “Guided by the Holy Spirit.” They are blind to the fact though, that the interpretation of Torah is grossly contradictory of each other. Each believes that they alone are correct – simple!
The Torah is there to act as the “Court rulings” for day to day living – in all aspects of life. The Halacha of Judaism fulfils this assertively.
Further Torah confirmation of Judah as the Lawgiver
The legal authority of Judah as the Mechoqeck of God, entails the issue of Law interpretation. The Word of God makes clear provision for the nation of Israel for this Torah guidance:
Deut. 17: 8 -13 “If a case comes before you … any dispute at all … you must make your way to the place that YHVH your God chooses and approach the Levitical priests and judges then (today? – 2012) in office. They will … give a decision for you. You must abide by the decision they pronounce for you … you must take care to carry out all their instructions. You must abide by the verdict they give you and by the decision they declare to you, swerving neither right or left of the sentence they have pronounced for you. If anyone presumes to disobey either the priest who is there in the Service of YHVH your God, or the judge, that man must die. You must banish this evil from Israel. And all the people shall hear of it and be afraid and not act presumptuously a second time.”
How does this Torah Directive apply to Messianic followers – after YAHU’SHUAH’s appearance 2000 years ago? How does it apply to Hebraic Roots Restorers who are gradually adopting more and more Jewish Torah injunctions? Where should they turn for sound and proper Torah interpretation? Does YAHU’SHUAH not command and confirm (almost as a direct reference to Deut. 17 above) that they should listen to the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees and DO what they say?
Matthew 23:2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you.”
One of the remarkable features of the Hebraic Restoration Movement, is its Return to Torah observance – which is simply another Prophetic fulfilment. In fact, they claim that this was one of the main mandates of their Messiah – to return the masses to Torah observance – to reconcile them to His Eternal Covenant.
Most Hebraic Restorers will claim that YAHU’SHUAH is their Guide and He only. To credit YAHU’SHUAH though with the designation of Mechoqeck for this lawless dispensation today, is nothing short of a grave insult against His capability as Law Interpreter.
The Torah Dispensation of the Messiah
That ‘Shiloh’ refers to the Messiah, is almost unanimously agreed to by Jewish commentators throughout the ages.
So, are the Messianic claims that their Messiah has now replaced the Torah Law faculty of Judah valid – or is there another explanation?
Christians believe that Messiah will return at the End of Time – in a 2nd Coming to rule as King. Jewish interpretation is also explicit about the existence of TWO Messiahs:
- Messiah ben Yosef – Who will regather the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, having reconciled them to Torah observance (concluding a Renewed Covenant with them), and
- Messiah ben David – Who will reign as King over a reconciled and re-united 12-Tribed Kingdom of Israel and over the entire world.
For further details on this subject refer:
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_ben_Joseph Wikipedia
- britam.org/messiah.html Yair Davidy, Messiah Son of Yosef
The Rabbinic sages knew that the ancestral right to the kingly leadership rule, resting in the Davidic line of the tribe of Judah, would cease at the coming of the “Messiah, the son of David” (a common appellation of King Messiah found in Rabbinic writings). Whereas Jewish interpretation is vague on the precise dispensational time settings for these two Messiahs, any Messianic believer should be well acquainted with the fact that their Messiah will only rule as King at His Second Coming – hence the daily prayer, “… Thy Kingdom come”.
Conclusion: ‘Shiloh’ must therefore refer to Messiah’s yet future and second Coming, when He will truly reign as King over the nations. Until then, according to Gen. 49:10, Judah will retain its authoritative legal rule, having duly been mandated for this by YHVH “until Shiloh comes – unto Whom the nations would be obedient.”
Isaiah 11:10 – 13 “In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to Him, and His place of rest will be glorious. In that day YHVH will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah (Jews) from the four quarters of the earth. Ephraim’s (Biblical compound term used for regathered 10 Tribes of Israel) jealousy will vanish, and Judah’s enemies will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, nor Judah hostile toward Ephraim.” (Refer also to Ezekiel 37:15).
Though “the Root of Jesse” is claimed by Messianics to (correctly) refer to Messiah at His first coming, this Prophecy from Isaiah above clearly refers to a yet future event – a Time when Judah and Ephraim will be reconciled to each other.
UNTIL that Time of Reconciliation of the two divided Houses of Israel, Judah shall retain its Mechoqeck leadership through its Rabbinic authority over Torah interpretation – much to the vehement rejection of ‘Ephraim’ – the Ten Tribes and other Gentiles who have turned to the God of Israel yet reject His Torah with its ‘legalism’.
Until a New Covenant is established
Christians, Hebraic Roots Restorers and Jewish Messianics often maintain that their Messiah (Jesus / YAHU’SHUAH) had established a ‘New Covenant’ for and with them through His restorative Sacrifice.. According to this Covenant they are released from ‘the Curse and/or the burden of the Law’. They therefore need no circumcision, no Torah observation and restrictions – a claim which varies from person to person and from Messianic group to group while they gradually evolve into more observance of Jewish Torah anyway!
Close observation of the Prophetic Scripture regarding this New Covenant will clearly reveal that it is a Covenant which He brings them into ONLY at the Time of their Re-gathering Back to the Land – viz. the 2nd Exodus.
Because of the length of this study, we will not go into finer details here. The reader is invited to read these clear Time Directives from the following chapters:
- Jeremiah 31
- Ezekiel 37
Here is the essence of these Divine Statements:
Jer. 31:31, “Behold, the days come, saith the YHVH, that I will make a new Covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah. 33 But this shall be the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel; After those days, saith YHVH, I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my People.”
Ezekiel 37:34, “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Please be sure to READ the entire chapters to see the Time setting.
Until then, under the ‘Old Covenant’, Judah maintains the Judicial authority and Scripture interpretation. It is a hard matter to break with tradition that has been so embedded in people’s mind and souls; traditions that have swung the Truth right around and flung returning 10-Israel’s vitally required Torah observance right out the door and over the balcony!