1.10. The Scepter shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes
The answer to this question will determine whether Messianic believers today, should follow the guidance and teachings of Rabbinic authority or not. This question is particularly pertinent also to Jews who are discovering and accepting ‘the Messiah of Christianity’ in growing numbers and then, mistakenly, tend to turn away from their Jewish heritage.
The title of this study comes from a Scripture which is foundational to the concept of whether Messianism and Hebraic Roots Restoration should be subject to Rabbinical authority and Jewish Halacha (the traditional Rabbinic or ‘Oral Law’ interpretation) or not:
Genesis 49:10 “The Sceptre (Shevet) shall not pass from Judah nor a Lawgiver(Mecho’keck) from between his feet, until Shiloh (He to whom it belongs) comes, to Whom the nations shall render obedience.”
This Scripture has increasingly come under the Search light by serious students, who find in its traditional interpretation an unveiling of serious implications. The highlighting of this Scripture has also been brought about by an universal awakening to the need for Messianic non-Jewish believers to reject the teachings of Christianity against the Torah and the so-called ‘Rabbinic authority’ with its ‘Oral Law’ interpretation, and to ‘return to their Hebraic Roots’, which makes Torah observance a necessity. Simultaneously their is an increasing acceptance amongst Jews to accept the ‘Christian Messiah’ – unfortunately causing many of them to also accept the Christian rejection of Torah and Rabbinic authority.
This makes our topic a red hot issue, in fulfillment of far-reaching Biblical Prophecies for the nearing End Time, and the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth. Our Key text also forms part of such a Prophecy for ‘the Last Days’, given by Jacob as a Blessing over each of his 12 sons from whom the 12 Tribes of Israel would stem (Gen. 49:28).
It is important that we take clear note of the Hebrew words used in this text, as indicated in brackets behind three key words of this statement, i.e.
Shevet = Scepter, also Tribe. The word Shevet is used 190 times in the Bible. Of these, 141 times it is translated ‘tribe’ as when directly referring to the 12 Tribes of Israel. In 10 instances only, it is translated ‘Scepter’ – as is the common translation for our Key Text above. Accordingly, it seems to refer to the ‘ruling sceptre’ (as of a king) of the Tribe of Judah (the Jews), which shall not depart from (or be removed from) Judah “until Shiloh comes to whom it belongs”. If we apply the majority translation of “tribe” to this word, then it would infer that the Tribal Identity of Judah would not fall away or be removed from Judah ‘until Shiloh comes’ – to Whom the Lawgiver status belongs, as confirmed in the following paragraph which reviews the 2nd identifying Hebrew word in this important but intricate text. This latter concept seems a more acceptable version which is in context with much of the rest of Scripture, i.e. that Judah would retain its identity and lawgiving status (as opposed to the 10 Tribes of Israel who would lose their identity) until the 2 estranged Houses of Israel (the 10 Lost Tribes and Judah) would be re-united in the ‘latter Days’. Refer to:
- 1.1. End-Time Joining together of the Two Houses of Israel
- 1.8. Shav et-Shevoet Am Yisrael! – Return the Captives of Israel, My People
Mecho’qeck = Lawgiver (pronounce ‘ch’ as in ‘Bach’). This is a clear confirmation of the ruling ‘Lawgiver’ status that is awarded to the Tribe of Judah (the Jews) by Divine Decree, “until Shiloh comes, to Whom it belongs”.
Psalm 60:6,7 “God has spoken in His Holiness … ‘Judah is My Lawgiver’.” Also Psalm 108:8 – exactly the same Hebrew word Mecho’qeck is used in these amazing confirmations.
Shiloh = He to whom it belongs
As part of the renewed emphasis and research into our Key Text, let us consider the following questions:
- How long will Judah rule in authority as mandated by God in this Scripture?
- Who will take over the Scepter Rule?
In our search for answers, let us also rephrase this Text in the light of the true meaning of the Hebrew words above, as follows:
Genesis 49:10 “The tribal identity (Shevet) shall not pass from Judah nor its Lawgiving status (Mecho’qeck), until Shiloh (He to whom it belongs) comes, to Whom the nations shall render obedience.”
No doubt, some readers will at this stage accuse us of ‘adding’ to the Scriptures, or reading strange concepts into the traditional and more popular renderings of this all important text. Experienced Bible students, through their studies though, would by now have come to the awakening discovery that traditional translations can not always be trusted. The golden rule is that the Scriptures should be closely considered in its proper context, thereby interpreting itself in unshakable Truth. You are therefore requested to impartially consider this content, withholding any hasty conclusions till the end of this page.