Is Jesus the Shiloh of Genesis 49:10?

John Gill

That the Messiah is intended by Shiloh in Genesis 49:10 may be collected from the significance of the word. Although learned men, both among Jews and Christians, differ about the derivation and signification of it, in any and all of the senses which they give, it well agrees with the Messiah.

Kimchi says it signifies "his son" and should be rendered "until his son comes," that is Judah’s son. Now, what son of his can be so reasonably supposed to be intended but Messiah, who was to spring from his tribe? This is exactly what the Messiah Jesus did. The word having a feminine form has led some to observe, and not without reason, that this son of Judah was to be the seed of a woman or to be born of a virgin.

Others, such as Onkelos and Jarchi suggest the meaning "until he comes whose is the kingdom" and understand it of the Messiah, as they should. Others have taken it to read "to whom gifts [belong or shall be brought." Now, of the Messiah it is prophesied that presents should be brought and gifts be given to him (Psalm 72:10, 15). This had its literal fulfillment in the Messiah Jesus to whom the wise men presented gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Many others derive the word Shiloh from the root, which signifies to be quiet, peaceable, and prosperous, which well agrees with the Messiah, who was to be of a quiet and peaceable disposition. His voice was not to be heard in the streets; he was to be the man, the peace, the author and donor of all peace, with whom all things were to succeed well, as we see in Jesus, who obtained a complete victory over all his enemies and procured eternal salvation for his people.

Adapted from The Prophecies Respecting the Messiah, Chapter III, by John Gill.

Originally published September 23, 2010.

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