The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until He to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be His.
Genesis 49:10 NIV
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to Him; and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Genesis 49:10 ESV
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 NKJV
The scepter won’t depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners. Gifts will be brought to Him; people will obey Him.
Genesis 49:10 CEB
Both the commonality and the differences between these four versions of the same verse are amazing. Purposely avoided were those versions without obedience or obey. Over 40 versions have either obey or obedience, while 7 have gather or gathering and another 4 have separate wording.
So what are we to make of this verse? Looking only at the NKJV for the moment and until Shiloh comes we discover it may be Shiloh or Shelon, but in either case it refers to the Messiah by both Christians and Jews. The Benson Commentary writes
And that the Messiah is intended, Jews as well as Christians generally acknowledge; the word being expounded of him by all the three Chaldee paraphrasts, the Jewish Talmud, and many of the latter Jews also. Till he came Judah or Judea possessed considerable authority and power, but at or about the time of his birth, it became a province of the Roman empire, and was enrolled and taxed as such, Luke 2:1 In those days [of Jesus’ birth] Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
Knowing now until Shiloh comes refers to the coming of the Messiah, the other versions are correct in saying, until He to whom it belongs shall come or until tribute comes to Him or Gifts will be brought to Him all refer to the Messiah or as we know Him – Jesus the Christ. Nor is it a surprise that the obedience of the nations shall be His or to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples or And to Him shall be the obedience of the people or people will obey Him. Note herein there is no statement this is for the Jews alone, but for the nations, the peoples which would include Gentiles and Gentile nations.
So, knowing this we have Messianic hope in its earliest and simplest form as Jacob blesses his twelve sons shortly before his death. Jacob is prophetic in much of his foretelling for each of his sons. Take the time to go back and read the entire chapter of his blessings for his twelve sons. As you read through the rest of the Old Testament you will see much of his foretelling come to be.
Of course, for us the most important foretelling is the wonderful expectation of the Messiah who would bring all nations, all peoples to Him. It’s Monday and this is something wonderful to contemplate throughout this week. Have a Great Week.