Genesis Chapter 49  Judah

            Gen. 49:8 “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. 9 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? 10 The sceptre 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. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”

            The above prophecy of Judah appears to be pointing us unto the ruler ship of the tribe of Judah and especially unto Christ as the coming king and atoning sacrifice for his people.

            “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise…”  Certainly our praise today is and should be of Christ who descended from the tribe of Judah.

            “Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies;”  To have one’s hand in the neck of his enemies indicates that he has the victory over his enemies.  This certainly describes Christ who has the victory over sin, Satan, death, hell, and the grave.

            “Thy father's children shall bow down before thee.”  The scriptures teach us concerning Christ: Rom. 14:11 “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”  Every child of God will bow down in reverence and worship before Christ and confess that he is the eternal king and savior.

            “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?”  Lions are used in the scriptures as figures of kings.  The kingly line of the children of Israel was given to David of the tribe of Judah and descended through Solomon and his descending sons. 

            “The sceptre 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.”  Beginning with king David, his descendants were the lawful kings and rulers over the nation of Israel until Christ came.  Christ is symbolized in this passage as “Shiloh.”  That the elect people of God are gathered together unto Christ is confirmed by the words of Christ: John 6:37  “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”

            “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:”  The gospel declares unto us that Christ ascended into Jerusalem on a colt, the foal of an ass: Matt. 21:5 “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”  Christ not only came as a conquering king, but he also came as a redeemer.  Wine is symbolic of the blood of Christ.  That “he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes,” points us to the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary.  With the atoning sacrifice of Christ, the filthy garments of his elect children were exchanged for garments of righteousness: 2 Cor. 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 

            “His eyes shall be red with wine…”  His eyes being red with wine is not suggesting that Christ was drunken with wine, but rather is symbolic of Christ being filled with the Spirit: Eph. 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”  Also, Luke 1:15 reads: “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.” 

            “And his teeth white with milk.”  Milk is associated with the word of God: 1 Pet 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”  Moreover white is associated in the scriptures with righteousness.  This passage is suggesting that Christ would eat of the word of God and be altogether righteous.  Christ said concerning his keeping of the word:

                        1.  Matt. 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

                        2.  Matt. 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

            Christ is the one who was altogether righteous and through his blood atonement justified the elect family of God and made them righteous before a just and holy God.  Moreover, it is Christ who sits and reigns in an everlasting kingdom today, ruling and reigning over his children in his kingdom.


Genesis Chapter 49 Naphtali

            Gen. 49:21 “Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.”  The description of Naphtali is similar to the circumstance and condition of the gospel ministry in the Lord’s church. 

            The word Naphtali means wrestling.  The hind in the description is a young dear.  The hind in the above description is let loose or freed from captivity.  Goodly words are those that are found in the scriptures. 

            The gospel ministry is no different in his experiences from others of God’s born-again children.  First, they are freed from the bondage of the law of sin and death through the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in causing them to be born of the Spirit.  Next, they wrestle with their own conviction of sin and try to establish their righteousness through the works of the law or through the works of some religious system.  As they wrestle, they, by the grace of God, are freed from the bondage of the law and religious works systems by the gospel of the grace of God. 

            Being freed from the bondage of the law and religious works systems, they rejoice like the hind that is freed from the cage or pen that held her.  They experience great joy and exuberance at their new found freedom.  They have a desire to worship and serve the Lord with much zeal. 

            Next, experiencing a call to preach the gospel to God’s people, they engage in the study of God’s word and under the leadership of the Spirit, they speak goodly words to the Lord’s people who themselves have had similar experiences of grace. 


Genesis Chapter 49  Prophecy of Jacob

            Gen. 49:1 “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. 2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.”

            In the last day of Jacob’s life on earth, he called unto his sons and had them gather themselves around him as he spoke to them on his deathbed.  Jacob was blessed of God to prophecy concerning the “last days.”  While I am uncertain as to the meaning of the phrase “last days,” in this text, yet, there are things in this passage that speak to us of some events that surrounded the time of the coming of the Lord Jesus into the world the first time.  There are also some things that Jacob said that seem to resonate with us in this gospel day in which we live. 

            The prophecy seems to be adumbrated, i.e., to have more than one application.  However, it does not seem to have the application to the individuals, but unto their tribes and then, further beyond the end of the law dispensation with the children of Israel.  There is much concerning this prophecy I readily admit that I do not have understanding on. 

            I will take the prophecy concerning each son and his tribe and attempt to glean what I can from its teaching.