The Scepter

It is written:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Genesis 49:10)

Here, Jacob declared that before “Shiloh” would come, the “scepter” would not depart from Judah. This “Shiloh” was an ancient designation for the Messiah (the word literally means “peace-maker”).

The word “scepter” had reference to the power of a nation to carry out capital punishment. So, the Messiah would come before the Jewish people lost the right to exercise the death penalty.

With that in mind, it is interesting that through all of their various captivities, the Jews retained the power of capital punishment. It was not until the time of the Roman Empire that the power to execute criminals was removed from the Hebrews. This happened around the year 7 A.D., and it greatly upset several of the Rabbis. We are told:

“Rabbi Rachmon says, “When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right over life and death, a general consternation took possession of them; they covered their heads with ashes, and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: ‘Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!'” 21/28-30″ (Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Historical Evidences For The Christian Faith -Volume One, 168-169 (Kindle Edition); Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Unknown to these Rabbis, the Messiah HAD come! He had been born in a manger in the town of Bethlehem a few years earlier (Micah 5:1-3; Matthew 1:18 ff.). This happened exactly as Jacob prophesied over fifteen hundred years earlier!

This is a powerful example of Bible prophecy and fulfillment which demonstrates that the Bible is the Word of God.

Are you building your life on God’s holy Word?

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