Genesis 49:10 has more meaning than we previously thought. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet [meaning, this man would be a Jewish descendant], until Shiloh [Jesus Christ] come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.”
The first verse of Genesis 49 establishes the chapter’s end-time prophetic context: It describes “that which shall befall you in the last days.” This is for the time of Mr. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Church of God today.
But if you understand it, you see that when we get to verse 10, it is just about the Philadelphia Church of God.
“Until Shiloh come” would be better translated “until He comes to whom it belongs.” The throne of David really belongs to Christ! It is Christ’s throne.
This scepter promise refers to the throne of David—it is about the salvation of all mankind. As Jesus said in John 4:22, salvation will come to everyonethrough the Jews—through the scepter. Christ is going to sit on that throne and rule this Earth. And when He does, everybody will gather to Him. He will save all people who want to be saved and are willing to submit to His rule!
Genesis 49:10 explicitly leads up to the return of Jesus Christ, so you know absolutely that its context is the last era of God’s Church. The scepter promise is for the very time frame we are in now! The time referred to as “until Shiloh come” is this present sliver of time leading right up to the Second Coming—the last era of God’s true Church.
Wouldn’t it be appropriate for God to receive the throne from a people who keep the law?
One Coin, Two Sides
The Ferrar Fenton translation of Genesis 49:10 is rather fascinating. It formats the text in a poetic style, as it was in the original. It reads:
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Or the Giver of Law from between his [Judah’s] feet,
Till peace arrive, and the nations obey him [Christ].
Notice: Where the King James Version says “nor,” Ferrar Fenton says “or.” That is a better translation: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, Or the Giver of Law from between his feet ….” It’s like the two parts of that statement are interchangeable, like a coin with two sides. God is talking about the scepter and the law being together. The scepter is about God’s rulership. How do you rule? With the law of love! That is what this Church is all about.
Young’s Literal Translation, which is a literal Hebrew translation, reads, “The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his is the obedience of peoples.”
Ferrar Fenton says “or” and Young’s Literal says “and,” based on the Hebrew grammar. One of our staff who has studied Hebrew wrote me explaining, “The conjunction ‘and’ is similar to using ‘or’ since both of them combine two subjects together, rather than separating them, as ‘nor’ does.” This indicates that the two offices or individuals spoken of here—the scepter and lawgiver—are not separate; they are now combined into one. Genesis 49:10 combines the law and the scepter.
This is talking about us getting the new throne and the new stone with the law of God! Remember, if you have the law, Mr. Armstrong said, that presupposes government—or, in this context, the scepter. It is all together now—the scepter and the law!
This prophecy is specifically referring to the time when the new throne and the royal law combined, which happened on January 16, 2017. When God combines the scepter and the law, things really begin to be heightened spiritually. The scepter must be ruled by the royal law now, and the royal law must be applied to that scepter promise—“until Shiloh come.”
Before Christ’s return, we had to have David’s throne. We needed a new throne combined with God’s law to be appropriate for Jesus Christ to accept when He returns. Genesis 49:10 specifically describes the fact that we have the new throne of David in our possession when Christ comes!
Contrast With Jeremiah 33
Now compare the Genesis 49:10 promise with the twofold covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 33:17-18.
“In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely …. For thus saith the Lord; David shall never want [lack] a man [or woman] to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel” (verses 16-17). Jeremiah wrote this prophecy when Judah was being destroyed. He was about to transplant the throne to Israel—not Judah. Mr. Armstrong wrote about this promise: “During these more than 2,500 years, David shall not want for a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel …” (The United States and Britain in Prophecy). For that time period, the throne of David would be in Israel.
But what if Israel dies—then what? In this context, God didn’t say “until Shiloh come,” or until Christ returns—He simply said the throne of David would never lack someone to sit on it.
Remember, Hosea 3:4 speaks of a terrible time when Israel will lose its king and its stone of destiny. But there is still a good ending: “Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days” (verse 5).
Notice too that Jeremiah 33:17 is about a man on “the throne of the house of Israel”—then a semicolon follows, and then the narration introduces a second covenant: “Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually” (verse 18). Here are two separate subjects, two separate covenants.
That is different from the way it is in Genesis 49:10, where the two subjects are together.
We previously taught that Jeremiah 33:17 was a counterpart to Genesis 49:10. But Jeremiah 33:17 says that “David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel,” that is, as long as Israel exists—referring to physical Israel. But Genesis 49:10 refers to spiritual Israel. Jeremiah just says there will never lack a man to sit on the throne, whereas Genesis 49:10 shows the scepter combined with a “lawgiver.” Also, the verse shows this leading up to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, which Jeremiah 33 does not do.
In Who Is ‘That Prophet’?, I wrote this about Genesis 49:10: “Concerning the scepter promise, we have always believed it refers to a kingly line today that would rule right up to the Great Tribulation.” So I put it only up to the Great Tribulation because of the prophecies that God would give us the throne in the place of safety. But when would God give it to us?
Isaiah 16:1-5 show that we will have the throne of God by the time we arrive at the place of safety. It says the man on the throne will sit on it “in truth” and “hasting righteousness”—so it is obviously in God’s Church by that time; the lawgiver has to sit on the throne. The question is, when did we get it and how? Genesis 49:10 gives us more of the answer.