Who Or What Is Shiloh?

Q. Great work. I could not function in my studies without your web site. Concerning Gen 49:10 Is this a Messianic reference? In my searches I have not found a clear rendering of the meaning of the phrase “till Shiloh comes”.

A. The word Shiloh appears 33 times in two different forms. In Genesis 49:10 it refers to a person, and in the other 32 places it’s a location. While it’s meaning is somewhat obscure, the Genesis 49:10 version is thought by some to mean a combination of peace, prosperity and tranquility and refers to the Messiah in the sense that these will be characteristic of His Kingdom. Others say Shiloh means “He whose it is”. Regardless of how they interpret the word, most scholars believe the phrase “till Shiloh comes” in Genesis 49:10 refers to the Messiah coming to Israel.

The other 32 references are to a town in Israel about 20 miles north of Jerusalem where the Tabernacle stood for 400 years after the Jews entered the Promised Land (Joshua 18:1). There it means “a place of rest.” (Some, myself included, believe the next Temple will be located in Shiloh.)

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