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In the last couple of articles, we continued to learn, that Jacob was nearing his final hours. And because if his deteriorating health, Joseph had taken his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh, to go and see their grandfather, before he'd breathed his last breath. And it would be at this time, that Jacob would speak prophecies into lives of Joseph's two sons.
And after Jacob had prophesied over Ephraim and Manasseh...
Jacob would then turn his attention towards his first three sons: Reuben, Simeon, and Levi.
And it would be at this time that Jacob would speak prophecies into their lives as well.
But Jacob wasn't done, when it came to prophesying over his sons. For we would now find, that his attention has now turned towards Judah -- Jacob's fourth born son:
"Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
"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. Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk." -- Genesis 49:8-12
Now as for Jacob's prophecy, when it comes to Judah -- know that personally, I believe that this particular prophecy, to be of great importance. Perhaps this is why -- often times, I marvel at the fact, that it garners very little attention. Sure, Bible teachers will point to this particular prophecy, when they want to bring about the discussion, that deals with the true Messiah coming from Judah's tribe.
And although this is a very important fact to know -- I want you to also know, that this prophecy goes much deeper than that. And one might be asking: How so? And my response to that question, would begin by pointing out, that Jacob's prophecy actually points towards the exact time, that Judah would claim the top position, from within God's Promise Covenant with the Israel nation? Also know, that this particular prophecy, also points to the time that the true Messiah (Jesus Christ) would arrive, and start His earthly ministry.
Now before we delve deeper into this viewpoint, by taking a closer at Jacob's prophecy, in regards to Judah. I want to point out, that this in no way, conflicts with Jacob's prophecy, the one that concerns Joseph's son -- Ephraim. For we must remember, (and like I stated earlier) that Jacob's prophecy for Judah, points out the exact time, that the tribe of Judah actually comes into power. And Judah doesn't assume this authoritative role, until the days of King David.
But know that until then, the nation of Israel still has to endure the rest of their season, a season that continues to go forward from within the Egyptian empire, and the following wilderness stage as well. Remember that Joshua the Ephraimite (the Tribe of Ephraim) would be the one (with Caleb by his side) that eventually leads Israel to the "Promise Land."
And once we've reached this point, from within our journey -- we will
then begin to enter into the "Conquest Stage" -- and from there, into Israel's dark ages, which deals with the time period, that's known
as the "Stage of the Judges." And it would also be, from within this stage,
that we'll have a time span of about 300 years.
Then after this, we'll find ourselves entering into the stage that's known, as the "United Kingdom." And it's at this point, where we find Jacob's prophecy being fulfilled. For it would be at this time, that the tribe of Judah, finally comes into their position of power. And the tribe of Judah, will hold this position of power from within the Israel nation, until the death and resurrection of Jesus [Yeshua] Christ -- the One, Who is, the True Messiah.
Now I also want to point out, that there will be a time, where Ephraim drops somewhat out of the picture, when it comes to that stage. And this will continue to be the case, until we enter into the stage, that's known as "The Divided Kingdom." And it's at this time, that Jeroboam the Ephraimite (the Tribe of Ephraim) will lead the ten tribes, which were the tribes that were ripped out of the hands of David's household. Therefore leaving David's household, only with the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
And it's also at this point, that Judah and Ephraim, begin to run their own royal family dynasties -- dynasties, that in turn, are found running parallel between each other. For we find, that the Tribe of Judah, still represented the Promise Covenant of the Most High God, which was being enacted through the Southern Kingdom. And it would be at this time, that the Tribe of Ephraim, would begin to lead the Northern Israel Kingdom, further away from the God of their forefathers.
Okay, enough laying out, what we are to expect, when it comes to our journey. Let us now, come back to were we are currently at -- by taking a closer look at what Jacob had actually prophesied to his son Judah: "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you."
Now understand that the name "Judah" simply signifies "praise."
So when Jacob said: "...your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies" Know that this part of the prophecy, was mostly fulfilled during the days of King David -- for he was a man, that was known as a great conqueror. But also know, that the prophecy wouldn't be totally fulfilled, until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, when Jacob stated: "...your father's children shall bow down before you" Know that this basically meant, that David (the Tribe of Judah) would be ruler over all twelve tribes. And this part of the prophecy, would be fulfilled, during David's reign as King of Israel.
Nonetheless, Jacob continued: "Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him."
Know that this basically deals with Judah being compared to a lion. For a lion is both courageous and strong. And on top of these attributes, the lion also puts fear, from within the mind and hearts of it's enemies. Now understand that a "lion's whelp" is nothing more, than a young lion.
Notice how the Sacred Record jumps from Judah being a young lion -- to: "...you have gone up." You see, this statement, signifies growth -- and this "growth period" will take place through the many victories, that Judah will greatly experience over its enemies. And this is also where, Jacob's next statement comes fully into play: "He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him."
Now at this time, I want to point out, that the city of Jerusalem was destroyed during the "captivity stage" -- a stage that took place, under Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. And it was during this time, that the tribe of Judah, would be taken into captivity for a seventy year period. And if one were to be honest with themselves, that person can't help but to wonder?
Now with the Tribe of Judah, being held captive by the Babylonians -- did the Judean tribe, still have ownership of the scepter, the scepter that Jacob had spoke about in his prophecy? And if not, would this prophecy then be considered false, in its foretelling, since Christ hadn't even been born yet?
Remember that this part of the prophecy, points to the time, that Judah actually comes into a position of authority from within the Promise Covenant, which is a covenant that deals directly with God and Israel overall. We'll also try to connect the dots, by going over some things in regards to this part of Jacob's statement: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes."
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
114) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->
115) The Tribe of Kings
123) The Death of Jacob
124) Jacob Goes Home
126) The Death of Joseph
128) Moses the Historian