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In the last article, we started to take a closer look at this particular Scripture: "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. And it was from within that article, I'd pointed out -- that I'd like to think, that this was a very important prophecy that Jacob had foretold to his son Judah.
For I'd mentioned, that this particular prophecy, dealt with Judah's eventual future authoritative role from within the Israel nation, and the precise arrival of Jesus (Yeshua) Christ.
However, I'd also pointed out, that Bible critics have also taken this particular Scripture, and have tried to argue, that this prophecy was indeed false?
And their reason for claiming that this particular Scripture had been proven false -- deals with the fact, that the tribe of Judah had been eventually taken into captivity by the Babylonians, before Christ was even born.
And because of this, Bible critics also make the claim, that due to their 70 year captivity, the tribe of Judah had lost representation of the Royal Scepter -- which was the very scepter that Jacob had mentioned in his prophecy. So again, since the Israelites were eventually taken into captivity by the Babylonians, before Christ was born, in their minds, the prophecy is rendered false.
But in the previous article, I'd countered this worldly viewpoint by pointing out, that what these Bible critics fail to realize, when it came to the tribe of Judah and their Babylonian captivity -- deals with the simple fact, that the tribe wasn't destroyed when they were taken captive. And so therefore, even though the Israelites weren't a free people, they were still a nation of people.
I'd also used the example that dealt with the time, that Israel was being held captive in Egypt for 400 years. For I'd explained, that even though Israel was being held captive by the Egyptians -- they were still a nation, in spite of the fact, that they'd dwelled in a land (against their will), that they couldn't call their own.
And actually, if one were to be completely honest with themselves, one could easily wonder, if the Bible critics might have had a point? Being that the tribe of Judah, had been indeed, taken into captivity. And since they were taken into captivity, how could they have continued, to hold possession of the Royal Scepter that Jacob had spoken of? I mean after all, how could they still hold some type of: "royal authority" or "dominion" or "a type of government" -- while being held in captivity by another nation?
Ahem... nonetheless, if you've been following along with me, you should know by now that I always push my self to go beyond the surface of the Sacred Text -- when it comes to finding the answers to these types of questions. So therefore, I invite you to do that with me -- let's go beyond the surface of Sacred Text for a moment, by taking a deeper look at a few things -- shall we?
But first, I would like to quickly point out, that I could easily let my argument rest, with the comparison that dealt with Israel's captivity in Egypt. Perhaps this is why, I've been mentioning that comparison for the last couple of articles? For I've been pointing out, that God's Promise Covenant didn't cease to exist, because the Israelites were being held captive in another country.
I could also chalk this up, simply by stating, that the the tribe of Judah had some type of "seventy year interruption" as most Bible scholars would seem to do. Yeah... I could do that. As a matter of fact, most have done exactly that. But you know, that would be too easy (smiles).
Besides, I think in this case, we don't have to take the easy way out? For I personally believe, that the tribe of Judah still had representation of the Royal Scepter -- even though they were enduring a 70 year captivation period by the Babylonians. So therefore, I would have to disagree with my peers, in regards to there being a "seventy year interruption" (as they would suggest) in which the tribe of Judah didn't have representation of the Royal Scepter.
But I apologize, for I've seemed to have gone a little bit of a tangent...
Nonetheless... let's begin, by taking a look at what the "scepter" truly signified to the Israel nation. For we first have to understand, that in this particular case, the word "scepter" deals more with having a representation of something, than it does, with having an actual government structure of some sort.
Know that a king doesn't just hold a preeminent position, which in this case, is a kingship position that came to him by hereditary means, or through some type of deceit or force (usurpation) -- for a king also holds representation of the very same kingdom in which he rules, or ruled, regardless of where he may physically find himself at.
So actually, the question should be: "Did the tribe of Judah's representation (scepter) cease, during those seventy years of captivity?" And for me personally, I would have to respond by stating: "No it did not." Now let's take a look at something else real quick, when it comes to some of the events that led up to the tribe of Judah's captivity, and yes -- it matters.
First off, I want you to know, that Nebuchadnezzar had laid siege to the city of Jerusalem on three different occasions, before the Holy City was officially declared "destroyed." But let's go deeper, by taking a closer look at Nebuchadnezzar's first attack upon the Holy City -- for upon closer examination, one would find that some very important events had transpired at that time.
Know that Nebuchadnezzar had attacked the city, in the year of 605 B.C. -- and it's during this time, that the current king of Judah (who was Jehoiakim the son of Josiah) had been taken into captivity at that time. But he would later be reinstated to his throne, and Jerusalem would be forced to pay tribute on a regular basis to the Babylonians, in order for the tribe of Judah to keep their kingdom.
Now although this is good to know, when it comes to Jehoiakim. We should also note, that it was also at this point, that Daniel (who was a teenager at the time) along with some 3000 royal representatives, along with some of the city's treasure -- had been taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, during this time as well. Now I'd like to think that this is important to know, for what this information reveals, is that Daniel, would had already been in Babylon -- many years before Jerusalem was finally destroyed.
Now I'm pointing all of this out, because Daniel would eventually win the favor of Nebuchadnezzar. And because of this new found favor, Daniel was able to rise to an authoritative position from within Nebuchadnezzar's royal courts, which was a position that would allow him to be known through a title -- which stated that he was the "chief of the governors." Now this is also important to know, for this position would indicate, that Daniel had become the third most powerful person from within the Babylon kingdom.
Understand that Daniel would be outranked, only by king Nebuchadnezzar, and perhaps Belshazzar the son of Nabonidus (for he was married to Nebuchadnezzar's daughter Nitocris). Now also keep in mind, that Daniel too, was from the tribe of Judah. And the Sacred Record makes it very clear, that he was also, of noble birth:
"Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king's descendants and some of the nobles, young men in whom there was no blemish, but good looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.
"And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king's delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. -- Daniel 1:3-6
Now understand that Daniel's nobility was extremely important, and the reason why this was -- dealt with the fact, that this nobility allowed Daniel to actually serve, as that "royal representation (scepter)" for the tribe of Judah, while they were being held in captivity by Babylon.
Also keep in mind, that Daniel would serve in this royal authoritative position, all the way through Israel's Babylon captivity, all the way through to the fall of Babylon, and into the early years of Cyrus the Great (the Persian king that eventually overthrew the kingdom of Babylon).
For I want you to know, that the Sacred Record reveals, that Daniel had gained favor with Cyrus as well, and because of this favor, Daniel would live the last stages of his life, serving under Cyrus the Great -- which again, took place during the first few years of his reign.
Now note the continuation, or the passing of the scepter, from Daniel to Zerabbabel. For it was at this time, that Zerabbabel (who was known as the Prince of the Captivity) was also from the tribe of Judah. Zerabbabel would eventually lead the first pilgrimage of Jews from out of captivity. But keep in mind, that this was made possible, because Cyrus had put forth a decreed in his first year of reigning over Babylon -- which was a decree, that allowed the Israelites to go back home, in order to rebuild their temple. Now this pilgrimage, consisted of 42,360 people.
I also want you to know, that there would be two more pilgrimages that would take place after this. For we would find, that the Israelites were eventually released from captivity, and after this had happened, they'd left from what used to be known, as the Babylon Kingdom. But in order for them to go back home to Jerusalem -- know that one pilgrimage would take place under the guidance of Ezra -- and the other pilgrimage, took place under the guidance of Nehemiah (who led the third pilgrimage) ten, or eleven years after Ezra had led the second. Know that both of these pilgrimages happened under the rule of Xerxes' son -- Artaxerxes Longimanus. Know that he would had been, the current Persian king at that was reigning at that time.
Now while we're here, I'd like to also point something else out:
"In the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah all Israel gave the portions for the singers and the gatekeepers, a portion for each day. They also consecrated holy things for the Levites, and the Levites consecrated them for the children of Aaron." -- Nehemiah 12:47
Now why is this Scripture important, and what does it mean actually? Well for starters, know that this particular Scripture points to the beginning of the "Council of the Sanhedrin" after the Jews had been released from their Babylonian captivity of 70 years. Now pay close attention to what I just wrote: "...after the Jews were released..."
Now the reason why I'm pointing this out, deals with the fact, that Moses had originally instituted this council back in his day:
"So the Lord said to Moses: "Gather to Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them; bring them to the tabernacle of meeting, that they may stand there with you. Then I will come down and talk with you there. I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone." -- Numbers 11:16-17
Now I just wanted to make sure, people didn't think I was trying to take credit away from Moses, when it came to the implementation of the Sanhedrin. Be that as it may... know that this council was reinstituted by Zerubbabel, after the tribe of Judah's captivity in Babylon was over and God's temple had been rebuilt.
But, once again -- this is another opportunity, that Bible critics will try to take an advantage of. For they insist, on continuing to try, to come against Jacob's powerful prophecy in regards to Judah and the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus [Yeshua] Christ. And once again, know that I have something for that argument as well.
**YOUR CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE SERIES - WOULD BE HERE**
114) A Lion In The Making
115) A Tribe of Kings
116) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->
123) The Death of Jacob
124) Jacob Goes Home
126) The Death of Joseph
128) Moses the Historian