Introduction to the Shiloh Prophecy:
Jacob (PBUH) is lying sick in bed. He summons his twelve sons and their families to his bedroom, he issued the famous Messianic prophecy of the Shiloh, the coming of a lawgiver who will the authority from Judah:
“The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, And the Lawgiver from between his feet, Until the coming of Shiloh, And to him belongeth the obedience of nations.” (Gen 49:10)
The Commentators on the Bible usually interpret the verse to mean that the royal and prophetic character shall not pass away from Judah until the coming of Shiloh, he to whom it belongs come, for his is the homage of people.
Analyzing Shiloh in Hebrew:
The above verse is the literal translation of the Hebrew text. All the old versions of the Old Testament have preserved this original Shiloh שִׁילֹהwithout giving it a rendering. It is only the Syriac Peshitta that has translated it into “He to whom it belongs.”
The personal pronoun “it” may refer to the scepter and the lawgiver separately or collectively, or perhaps to the “obedience” in the fourth clause of the verse, the language being poetic.
The Linguistic origin of the Word Shiloh is driven from the verb "shalah" and therefore meaning “peaceful, tranquil, quiet and trustworthy.”
By the allegorical expressions “the Sceptre” and “Law-giver” it is unanimously admitted by the commentators to mean the royal authority and the prophecy respectively. Without stopping long to examine the root and derivation of the second singular word “יִקְּהַ֥ת (yiq·qə·haṯ)” we may adopt either of its two significations, “obedience and allegiance or “expectation.”
Key Points of the Shiloh Bible Meaning:
Some key points here could be gasped from the text “until Shiloh comes”:
- the scepter and the legislator would remain in the tribe of Judah so long as the Shiloh does not appear on the scene.
- Jews are vainly expecting the coming of another Shiloh (Messiah), who will take the loyalty from the Judah;
- Whereas the coming of Shiloh would pass the scepter and the lawgiver away from Judah; this can only be realized if Shiloh is a stranger to Judah.
- He could not be a descendant of any of the other tribes either, for the scepter and the lawgiver were for all Israel and not for one tribe only.
Shiloh Prophecy fits Prophet Muhammad More:
This is considered one of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible. To show that this very ancient prophecy has been practically and literally fulfilled in Muhammad the following arguments can be advanced:
- Muhammad (PBUH) came with military power and the Quran to replace the old Jewish worn-out scepter and the impracticable and old-fashioned law of sacrifices and corrupt priesthood.
- He proclaimed the purest religion of the one true God and laid down the best practical precepts and rules for the morals and conduct of men.
- All Muslims - whose authority extends to the east and west of the earth - obey the Messenger of God, Muhammad, and love and reverence him.
- The Prophet Muhammad ended the Jewish authority represented by the Jewish tribes such as Banu Qurayza and Khaybar, destroying their forts and fortresses and putting an end to their influence.
- As it was shown above, the word signifies “tranquil, peaceful, trustworthy, quiet”. It is a well-known fact that the Prophet (PBUH) was extremely quiet, peaceful, trustworthy, and of a contemplative and attractive character. He also came with the religion of Peace (Islam).
Was Jesus the Shiloh?
As to Jesus (PBUH), he could not be fulfilling this messianic prophecy:
- Jesus (PBUH) is one of the Israeli tribes, and Shiloh has to be a stranger -as pointed above.
- The Jew expects a Messiah with the sword and temporal power, a conqueror who would restore and extend the kingdom of David (PBUH);
- Jesus (PBUH) himself repudiated the idea that the Messiah whom Israel was expecting was a son of David (PBUH) (Matt. xxii. 44, 45; Mark xii. 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44).
- He never dreamt of assuming the royal scepter; in fact, he advised the Jews to be loyal to Ceasar and pay him tribute (Mark 12:17), and on one occasion the crowds attempted to make him a king, but he escaped and hid.
- Besides, Jesus (PBUH) did not abrogate the Law of Moses (PBUH), but he distinctly declared that he had come to fulfill it (Matt 5:17)
Shiloh the City:
Shilōh, the one considered in the prophecy, is formed of four letters (shín, yod, lámed and hi) to be שִׁילֹה; but “Shiloh (שִׁלֹ֔ה without the letter yod),” the proper name of a town in Ephraim (1 Sam. i., etc.) is different in meaning even if close in writing (no yod in it).
Shiloh (the biblical figure) cannot be identical with, or refer to, the Shiloh City where the Ark of the Covenant or the Tabernacle was; for until then no scepter or lawgiver had appeared in the tribe of Judah. The word certainly refers to a person, and not to a place as most of the commentators are arguing. (See Gen 49, V. 10, The Pulpit Commentaries)
Hasn't Shiloh come yet?
Jews claim Shiloh has not come yet; It would follow, therefore, that both the Royal Sceptre and the Prophetical Succession were still in existence and belonged to that tribe. But:
- Both these institutions have been extinct for over thirteen centuries.
- The tribe of Judah also has disappeared together with its royal authority for so long. No Jewish can ever prove yourself to belong to one of the twelve tribes.
- Muslims at the time of the Prophet (PBUH) had crushed and put an end to the last vestiges of the Jewish principality of Qureihda and Khaibar, having destroyed all their castles and fortifications.
Conclusion: What is the meaning of Shiloh?
Shiloh prophecy refers to a person who will come and take religious and legislative authority from the Jews. This person cannot be one of the children of Israel (such as Jesus) because the prophecy says he would be a Stanger to them, and it also differs from the close word that refers to the ancient city of Shiloh.
This prophecy was not fulfilled with all its details and requirements except by Prophet Muhammad who was a stranger from Israel; he was the one who took the authority of legislation and the spiritual power from the Jews.
For a full and expanded discussion of this prophecy and many of the prophecies of Prophet Muhammad in the Bible, I would urge you to read the book written by the former Roman Catholic priest, Professor David Benjamin (later Abd al-Ahad Dawood) under the title: "Muhammad in the Torah and the Gospel". Click here and check it now!