Until Shiloh Come
September 21st, 1958 @ 8:15 AM
UNTIL SHILOH COME
Dr. W. A. Criswell
9-21-58 8:15 a.m.
You are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the morning message entitled Until Shiloh Come. You can easily follow the sermon this morning if you will turn to Genesis, chapter ; the first book in the Bible, Genesis, chapter . Genesis , the last part, the last large proportion of the first book of the Bible is given over to the story of Joseph.
Far more is written in the Bible about Joseph than about Abraham. And the reason for that, we have said, is this: not that Joseph was greater than Abraham, the father of the faithful, but the life of Joseph is the life of our Lord; and the purpose of the Holy Scriptures is not to recount history, not even to make a chronicle of all of the events in the life of God’s chosen people, but the purpose of the Word of God is to reveal His Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus. And the life of Joseph is recounted at great length because it is an adumbration, an outline, a type of the wonderful life of our Lord. From the dungeon of the sepulcher, from the pit of the grave, to the palace and to the throne, out of suffering and in trial and sorrow, arose this governor of the greatest land in the world. It is a story of the humiliation and the exaltation of our Lord. And now as we come to the conclusion of the life of Joseph, we come to a prophecy, beautifully expressed and wonderfully delivered of the coming of that strange and mysterious and ineffable Person whom the great prophets saw afar off by faith and gave Him a name, the name of which has such great and deep meaning and significance.
Now the last Sunday morning we spoke of the visits of Joseph to Israel. There were three of them. Last Sunday morning we had opportunity to speak of the first two. Israel is aged. He came to Egypt when he was a hundred thirty years of age. He has lived in the land of Goshen in Egypt for seventeen years [Genesis 47:28]. And in the first visit of Joseph, his father made him swear, faithfully swear that he would be buried, not in one of the pyramids or underneath one of the beautiful monuments or mausoleums or obelisks, but that he would be buried in the humble cave of Machpelah, in the land promised to his fathers. And Joseph faithful sware unto his father that he would bury Israel in the land promised to the fathers [Genesis 47:29-31]. That was the first visit.
In the second visit, Joseph brings to Israel his two sons, born to him in Egypt: Manasseh the older, and Ephraim [Genesis 48:1]. And there, Joseph receives the birthright: a double portion in Israel [Genesis 48:14-22]. Joseph’s double portion in Israel is two tribes; each one of the other sons heads a tribe, but Joseph is given a double portion. Joseph heads two tribes. Israel takes as his own child Manasseh and as his own child Ephraim [Genesis 48:5]. And they are as though they were born out of the loins of Israel himself. So the tribe of Joseph is two: a double portion in Israel [Genesis 48:5-6]. And when Joseph blessed, when Israel blessed the two sons of Joseph, he crossed his hands; and when Joseph the father remonstrated, Israel said, "No, no. Ephraim the younger shall have the preeminence over Manasseh the older." And it was so. And thus Israel blessed Joseph, giving him the birthright [Genesis 48:5-20].
Then we concluded the last Sunday morning’s message with one little remembrance, sweet and precious. As Israel spake his closing words to his son Joseph, the loved and precious, on that second visit, "Moreover, Israel says, I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow" [Genesis 48:22]; a little parcel of ground that Israel had bought from the Shechemites [Joshua 24:32], he gives to Joseph, just a little token of his love for that beloved son. Long time before, that little parcel of land had reverted back to its original owners; and Joseph himself was the governor over the greatest empire of the then known world. Yet Israel gives to Joseph that little parcel of land before the city of Shechem, or Sychar [Genesis 48:22].
In the after years, according to the promise of God, the Savior sat by the well of Jacob, which had been dug on that little parcel of land [John 4:5-6]. For Israel believed that the land would belong to his children forever and forever [Genesis 35:12]. And though for a while they may be expelled, and strangers inhabit it, and run over it, but the land belongs to Israel and his children forever and forever. So he gives to Joseph that little parcel of land, held in the hands of strangers at the time, held in the hands of strangers today, but it belongs to the Israelites; and some day, they shall possess it. And Joseph shall live with his children on that little parcel of land which Jacob gave to him in the land of Egypt [Genesis 48:22].
Then the third and last visit of Joseph to his father is in an altogether different way. This time Joseph stands as just one of twelve strong bearded men, gathered round the deathbed of their father [Genesis :1-2]. Jacob is now a hundred forty-seven years old, and the time has come for him to be gathered unto his people [Genesis :29]. The shadows of death cover his face, but his eyes shine with the light of far off and far away prophecy. And he speaks to those boys, twelve of them, gathered round his bed, starting with the eldest, and the next, and the next, and the next. And he speaks to them, and tells them of their past. He apportions to each one, praise and blame. And then he prophesies of their future. It is a breathless moment, for even though Joseph has received the birthright [Genesis 48:14-20], the blessing is yet to be bestowed. One of those boys shall receive the blessing [Genesis :26]. And they stand there in the order of their birth, with breathless intent, with riveted attention, as they listen to the dying and prophetic words of Israel.
Israel turns to his eldest son and begins with Reuben. "Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power" [Genesis :3]. Reuben, the first son born to Israel, Reuben should have been the leader of the clan, the head of the tribes. He should have been the pride and joy and excellency of his father’s right hand. But instead, Israel says to that oldest son, "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel" [Genesis :4]. Reuben is rejected; no prince, no prophet, no person of renown, no king ever comes out of Reuben. He was rejected: "Thou shalt not excel." And Israel describes something in his life, happened years and years and years before [Genesis 35:22]; but the standing of these sons is a picture of the great judgment day of Almighty God. Back there, back there, back there, things we have forgotten about, dark things that to the world are unknown, things hidden away, they enter into the great final assize of the Lord. "Reuben, Reuben, unstable as water, thou shalt not excel" [Genesis :4]. So the blessing is not to be bestowed upon Reuben.
Then the next son is Simeon, and the third son is Levi [Genesis :5]. If the blessing is not bestowed upon Reuben, then it should have devolved upon Simeon; and if not upon Simeon, then upon Levi.
Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not thou into their secret,for in their anger they slew a man, in their self-will they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
So Simeon and Levi are rejected. Simeon and Levi were the two boys that plotted and executed that terrible, vengeful scheme that destroyed the entire city of Shechem [Genesis 34:25-29]. Simeon and Levi were the leaders and the arch perpetrators of that terrible device that sold Joseph into slavery and brought down Israel their father to his grave with mourning and sorrow [Genesis 37:35]. "Simeon and Levi, instruments of cruelty, their anger was fierce, their wrath was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, I will scatter them in Israel" [Genesis :5, 7]. The tribe of Simeon was allotted the southern part of Palestine, next to Philistia [Joshua 19:1-9]. Their life was so straitened and their lot so hard that they had to disperse to find other settlement, and most of them were absorbed in the nomadic tribes of southern Palestine. And Levi had no inheritance at all: he was scattered throughout all of the tribes of Israel [Joshua 21:1-42]. So, Reuben is rejected, Simeon the second son is rejected, Levi the third son is rejected.
Israel now turns with prophetic voice to his fourth son and calls his name:
Judah, Judah, Judah, Judah, thou art he whom they brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
Judah, Judah. Judah receives the blessing. And from Judah shall come that King of kings who shall reign forever and forever. "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise" [Genesis :8]. He is a type, he is a figure, he is a progenitor of the King, our Lord; and his name is "Praise", Judah. When he was born, his mother named him "Praise to God" [Genesis 29:35], in gratitude to the Lord; a figure of that Son who shall be born [Luke 1:27-35], and the virgin mother praised God, saying, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit doth rejoice in God my Savior" [Luke 1:46-47].
"Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise" [Genesis :8]. And not only did the virgin mother rejoice in the birth of that Son, but all of us His brethren rejoice to name Him our leader and our commander and our Savior. "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise. Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies," seizing them as our Savior seized the great enemies of His people: sin and death, and hell, and the grave; and destroyed the kingdom of the power of darkness [Colossians 1:13]. And some day, "He shall rule the nations with a rod of iron" [Revelation 12:5]. "Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies" [Genesis :8]. Satan shall be destroyed, sin shall be destroyed, the grave shall be destroyed, death and hell shall be destroyed by the might and the power of the right hand of God our Savior: "Thy hand shall be in the neck of thy enemies. Thy father’s children shall bow down before thee" [Genesis :8]. Those dreams that Joseph dreamed shall be literally fulfilled in the glorious appearing and the visible throne, the presence of our Savior. The sun and the moon and the eleven stars, bow down before his star. And the eleven sheaves of the field make obeisance to his sheaf [Genesis 37:5-9]. "Thy brethren shall bow down before thee" [Genesis :8].
"Judah is a lion’s whelp"; the Lion of the tribe of Judah. "From the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he crouched, he stooped down," He did, the Lion of the tribe of Judah [Genesis :9]. He could have called for a legion of angels, He could have called for legions of angels [Matthew 26:53], He could have called for one angel, and destroyed all of His enemies. Just one angel in the night touched the army of Sennacherib, and a hundred eighty-five [thousand] men were corpsed the next morning [Isaiah 37:36]. But He stooped down, He voluntarily drank the cup of death [John 18:11]; He bowed His head to die [John 19:28-30]. The Lion of the tribe of Judah [Genesis :9], no man took His life from Him [John 10:17-18]; no man could have touched Him. When Pontius Pilate boasted of his authority to destroy Him, that Lord God of ours said, "Thou hast no power over Me except it were given thee from above" [John 19:11]. He stooped down [Genesis :9]; He voluntarily bowed His head to receive the penalty of our sin and transgression [John 19:28-30]. He stooped down [Genesis :9]; "But my son, thou art gone up" [Genesis :9], up from the grave, up from the cross, up from humiliation, up from death, up to the very throne of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah [Revelation 5:5]. "And as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?" [Genesis :9]. As John saw in the day of the Revelation, "For the great day of His wrath shall come; and who shall be able to stand?" [Revelation 6:17]; the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Then he speaks a prophecy: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be" [Genesis :10]. The scepter, that’s an emblem of legislative authority, the emblem of a king, the scepter. "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet," a lawgiver is a sign of government, of legislation. Judah will have a government; there will be a kingdom, a province, a government of Judah until that mysterious Person, that Israel by faith saw these two thousand years before He was born, "until Shiloh come" [Genesis :10]. The other tribes may be absorbed, the other tribes may be dispersed, the other tribes may stagger and falter and fail, but Judah shall have a government, Judah shall not be dispersed until Shiloh come! Judah, in whose territory was founded at the capital, the city of God, the city of David, the city of Jerusalem, Judah, of whose tribe and family came David, and came Solomon, and the royal house of King David [2 Samuel 7:16]. And Judah, who though he was carried into captivity, and though he was wasted, and his capital city plowed up, broken down and destroyed [2 Kings 25:8-10], but the prophet Israel had said, "He shall not fail of a government, and the scepter shall not depart from his hand until Shiloh come" [Genesis :10]. And when Judah was wasted and destroyed, Judah returned back to their home, back to Palestine, back to Jerusalem, back to the temple; they rebuilt the walls, they rebuilt the city, they rebuilt the temple, they rebuilt the nation [Books of Ezra and Nehemiah]. "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come." He shall have a government until the Messiah is given. And after the Messiah was given, the government was dissolved, and the nation was destroyed, and they were dispersed over the face of the earth [Luke 21:24]. And they are to us the only Judah, Jew, that we know. "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come" [Genesis :10].
When you hold this Book in your hand, you’re reading what God has to say of the future. My dear people, this man on his deathbed, by the Spirit of prophecy, is speaking of things to happen two thousand years yet to come! [Genesis :1, 8-12]. The American nation is only about a hundred eighty some odd years old. Who could say what one day tomorrow may bring? Who could say one year? Who could say ten years? Yet this man by the power of the Spirit of prophecy falls upon him from God, prophesies down through the centuries and the millenniums: this is the inbreathed Word of God [2 Peter 1:21].
Then he speaks of that strange and mysterious personality: "Until Shiloh come" [Genesis :10]. When you read it, you have the sense, the feeling of coming into the presence of that awesome One, before whom the angels bow and veil their faces in humility and in adoration. "Shiloh," where did Jacob get that name? Shiloh. At Peniel, when he wrestled with that midnight visitor, did the Angel tell him His name? [Genesis 32:24-30]. Shiloh, where did Jacob get it? I do not know. What does it mean, "Shiloh"? It is one of the richest and most meaningful words in the Bible. I mentioned four that these linguists, these scholarly antiquarian, archaeological authorities, delving into the meaning of that word, I mention four that they suggest. Some say that it comes from the same root as the word "Siloam," in the Gospel of John, translated "Sent," "Shiloh, the sent One" [John 9:7]. He is to be the ambassador from heaven; not an amateur, but He comes with the credentials of the court of glory, plenipotentiary, "the sent One from God, Shiloh." Other linguists say that it comes from the same word, root word, as "Son," "the Son, the Son of Abraham, the Son of Jacob, the Son of Judah, the Son of David, the Son of God, the Son of Man, Shiloh, the Son; until the Son comes" [Genesis :10]. No angel could bear the burden of our redemption; only God can save and regenerate a lost sinner, the Son of God, the Son of Man [John 14:6; Acts 4:12]. Bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh [Ephesians 5:30]; He that sits upon the throne of glory is clothed with a body as our own [Philippians 2:7]: Shiloh, the Son [Genesis :10].
Another suggestion – and this is very, very likely – the Syriac and the Septuagint so translate it. Ezekiel names Him that name: "Overturned, overturned, until He comes whose right it is; and I will give it to Him," Ezekiel 21:27. The third meaning they suggest is that it comes from the root word meaning "for whom it is reserved, whose right it is, Shiloh, Him whose right it is, Him for whom it is reserved." The scepter belongs to Him [Genesis :10]. All scepters belong to Him. All government is in His hands [Genesis :10; Isaiah 9:6].
All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
["All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name"; Edward Perronet]
Him whose right it is, no king, no ruler like Jesus our Lord: for whose right it is, a king by nature, a king by birth, the King of Israel, the King of the Jews, the King of the world, our King, Shiloh [Genesis :10]. Then there is one other: "Shiloh," some linguists say that it comes from the same root word as "shalom, Salem, peace, rest." "Until the Rest-giver comes, until the Peacemaker comes." What a beautiful name for our Lord:
Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
"Until Shiloh come" [Genesis :10], the rest-giver, the peacemaker, the Prince of Peace. "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall rest upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, Shiloh, the Prince of Peace" [Isaiah 9:6]. If a man had all the gold in the world, his heart is still empty. If a man had all the land in the world, his heart is still empty. If one had beauty and fame and fortune, he still can cry, "Oh, wretched, wretched that I am" [Romans 7:24; Revelation 3:17]. But when one has Christ, the gift of God, the rest of God, the peace of God, Shiloh has come.
I must close. We’ll pick it up there next Sunday morning and begin with, "And unto Him shall the gathering of the people be" [Genesis :10], gathered here in this life, gathered yonder in the life that is to come.
Now while we sing our song, somebody put his heart in the trust of God, taking Jesus as Savior, would you stand by me? Somebody put his life in the church, as God shall open the door and lead the way, would you come, while we stand and sing this song?
UNTIL SHILOH COME
Dr. W. A. Criswell
I. Jacob’s blessing
1. Reuben, Simeon, Levi get no inheritance
2. Judah gets the inheritance on ruler-ship for Israel
3. Tribe of Judah will rule until Jesus comes
4. Prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was rejected, ended Israel
1. Sent One
2. Son of God
3. He who has the right to reign
4. Rest giver
5. Gatherer of all nations