Sermon #30                              Series: Pictures of Grace in Genesis

          Title:            Jacob’s Prophecy Concerning Judah - A Picture of Grace

          Text:            Genesis 49:8-12


          Subject:       Judah as a type of Christ

          Date:            Tuesday Evening - March 17, 1992

          Tape #        



          Before the written Word of God was given, God revealed himself to chosen sinners, and spoke to them in various, supernatural ways concerning his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the great work of redemption and salvation he would accomplish (Heb. 1:1-3).


          We have no way of knowing how much those early believers knew about the Person and work of Christ; but they clearly knew and understood much more than most people seem to think!


·        Abel understood the necessity of blood atonement and brought a blood sacrifice to God by faith, showing that he knew salvation was by grace alone through the blood of Christ, the Substitute for sinners (Gen. 4).

·        Enoch walked with God by faith in Christ and even prophesied of Christ’s glorious second coming (Jude 14).

·        Abraham knew and believed much by God’s special revelation (Gen. 22). Our Lord said of Abraham, “He rejoiced to see my day” (John 8:56).

·        And Job, who probably lived about the same time as Abraham, spoke confidently of both redemption and resurrection by Christ (Job 19:25-27).


          Tonight, I want us to look at Jacob’s prophecy concerning Judah in Genesis 49:8-12. Here we have another picture of God’s grace in the book of Genesis. (Read vv. 8-12).


          Jacob had called his twelve sons before him to tell them, by the Spirit of prophecy, how God would deal with the twelve tribes of Israel in the future. The dying patriarch had a word from God for each of his sons and the tribes that would descend from them. But Judah is singled out and given special honor. Jacob praised him and prophesied many good things concerning him.


          Particularly, we are told that Jacob prophesied that Messiah, “Shiloh,” would spring from Judah. Both David and Solomon, Israel’s first and greatest kings, sprang from the tribe of Judah. And the Lord Jesus, the great King of God’s Israel, our Redeemer-King, is “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5).




          When Jacob spoke to Judah and made this prophecy concerning him, he was, by the Spirit of God, speaking about the Lord Jesus Christ. Judah was a type of Christ.




          Keep your Bibles open on your laps. I want to show you seven things in these twelve verses about Judah as a type of Christ.


1.     Judah must be praised by his brethren (v. 8).

2.     Judah must be victorious over his enemies (v. 8).

3.     All his father’s children must bow down before Judah (v. 8).

4.     “Judah is a lion’s welp” (v. 9).

5.     “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come” (v. 10).

6.     “To him shall the gathering of the people be” (v. 10).

7.     Judah shall be strong and fruitful (vv. 11-12).


I.     Judah must be praised by his brethren (v. 8).


          “Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise.” The name Judah means “praise”. Matthew Henry wrote, “God was praised for him (29:35), praised by him, and praised in him; and therefore his brethren shall praise him.”


          Certainly, this speaks of Christ, our Messiah, Redeemer, and King! He is worthy of praise and shall have the sincere praise of his people.


A.  Christ alone shall have our praise. “He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Cor. 1:31; Psa. 115:1).


“Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus our blessed Redeemer!”

Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!

Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever,

Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet and priest and King!”



1.     For the excellencies of his Person!

2.     For the wonders of redemption!

3.     For the abundance of his grace!

4.     For the goodness of his providence!


B.  All Christ’s brethren, all his people, give all praise to Christ.


          Some praise the pope, some praise the church, some praise preachers, and some praise themselves; but God’s saints praise Christ. They praise him forever in heaven (Rev. 5:9-10); but they learn to praise him on the earth! (Psa. 115:1).


          NOTE: Nothing is more inconsistent with our profession of faith in Christ than murmuring, complaining, and unhappiness.


II. Judah must be victorious over all his enemies (v. 8).


          “Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies.” When a man has his hand securely in the neck of his enemy, he has subdued him. He can, at his pleasure, force him to the ground, snuff out his breath, and destroy him. He is in complete control of his enemies; and he will bring them down. This, too, speaks of Christ (1 Cor. 15:25; Heb. 1:13; 10:13).


A.  Our Savior met Satan and defeated him!


·        In the wilderness!

·        In Gethsemane!

·        On the Cross!


B.  Christ took our sins to the cross and vanquished them!

C. The Son of God met death, bowed to it, and then conquered it!


          There is no enemy of Christ, or of his people, that shall not be finally destroyed.


III. All his father’s children must bow down before Judah (v. 8).


          “Thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.”


          Without question, this prophecy refers immediately to the whole nation of Israel bowing before David and Solomon as their kings. But, behold, a greater than David and a greater than Solomon is here! This is a prophecy of that glory and honor that belongs to and is reserved for Christ alone.


A.  Christ is Lord of all!


·        By virtue of his own deity!

·        By virtue of his Father’s decree!

·        By virtue of his death (Rom. 14:9)!


B.  All of God’s creation shall one day bow before the Lord Jesus Christ and confess that he is indeed Lord of all.


1.    All God’s elect bow to him in faith as their Lord (Rom. 10:9-10).

2.    All the universe shall bow and confess that Christ is Lord in the last day (Phil. 2:9-11).


IV. “Judah is a lion’s whelp” (v. 9).


          Our Lord Jesus is compared to a young lion, because he is strong and courageous. The lion is “the king of the jungle”. He goes where he wants to go, does what he wants to do, fears nothing, and is never in danger. Here is “The Lion of the tribe of Judah!”


          You will notice that he is not spoken of as a lion raging and ranging, but as a lion couching and resting.


A.  “From the prey, my son, thou art gone up.”


          Christ Jesus, the Son of God, left heaven and came to this earth to engage the enemy and redeem his people by his own mighty arm. Now, having accomplished his great work, he has “gone up,” ascended back into heaven again.


·        “It is finished!” (John 19:30).

·        “The Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed!” (Rev. 5:5).


          Note: There is no possibility of failure with Christ!


B.  “He stooped down!”


          What a great stoop he made! (Phil. 2:5-8; 2 Cor. 8:9).


1.     God became man!

2.     The Son of God became a servant to men!

3.     As a man, Christ was obedient to his Father in all things to establish righteousness for men!

4.     He was obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law!


C. “He couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?”


          He stooped, he conquered, he took his prey, he ascended, he sat down, having accomplished his pleasure, having gotten what he sought! Who shall dare rouse him? Who shall be able to disturb him? Behold, the sovereign serenity with which the Son of God sits in heaven!


V.  “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come.”


          Read verse 10. This is a great and notable prophecy. All of the ancient Jewish writers said that this verse is a prophecy of the coming of Christ, by which God assured his people that the kingdom and civil government of Judah would continue until the Christ, the Messiah came. That being the case, by their own instructors, the Jews should be convinced that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, because the kingdom and civil government of Judah ceased when Christ came!


          Notice the name which Jacob used for Christ, “Shiloh”. Where did he get that name? God gave it to him. It was a special name, given by special revelation, for a special Person, who would come at a special time. And it is a name full of meaning.


A.  Shiloh means “sent” (John 9:7).

Christ is truly the “sent One” (John 19:21).

B.  Shiloh means “Son” (Isa. 9:6-7).

·        Christ Jesus is the Son of God.

·        He is the Son of David.

·        He is the Son of Man.

C. Shiloh means “the one to whom it belongs”(Ezek. 21:25-27).

The sceptre, the crown, the throne, the kingdom, the worship, the praise belongs to Christ alone. All others are imposters! (Col. 1:14-19).

D. Shiloh also mean “peace”.

It comes from the same word as “Salem, King of Peace.” Christ is our Peace. He made peace for us by the blood of his cross. And we have peace by faith in him (Rom. 5:1).

E.  Once more, Shiloh means “prosperous”.

It is written concerning Christ that “the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand” (Isa. 53:10).


VI. “Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (v. 10).


          The object of Christ’s coming into the world, the object of his covenant engagements with the Father as our Surety, the object of his death upon the cross for his people, was that he might redeem a people by his blood and gather them by the arm of his omnipotent grace to himself forever.


          The people God has chosen shall be gathered unto him! (John 6:37-39; 10:14-16; 17:1-10).


·        By the irresistible power and grace of his Spirit!

·        In repentance and faith!

·        In love and devotion!


VII. Judah shall be strong and fruitful (vv. 11-12).


          Time will not allow me to fully expound these last two verses of our text, but they are so delightful that they cannot be passed over without comment. So give me your attention for just another minute or two.


A.  Without question, these two verses refer the glorious work of redemption by Shiloh, Christ.


1.     When he came to redeem us, he came into Jerusalem riding upon a colt, the foal of an ass (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 22:2, 5).

2.     When he suffered and died upon the cross as our Substitute, his garments, his human nature and the garments he wore were washed in blood (Isa. 63:1).

Illustration: Gethsemane!

3.     Yet, his eyes sparkled with joy, the joy of blood bought redemption for his people, as he endured the cross, despising the shame (Heb. 12:2).


B.  These two verses also refer to the manifold blessings of grace that are ours in Christ.


1.     Christ is the choice, true Vine, a Vine strong enough to have all burdens bound to him (v. 11).

2.     The blood of Christ is a fountain of cleansing and joyful refreshment for our souls (v. 11).

Bind your burden to Christ. Cling to him. And you will find strength.

3.     And there is an abundance of grace in Christ to meet all the needs of his people (v. 12).

·        Wine for joy and milk for purity!

·        Wine for men and milk for babes!




1.    Christ must be praised!

2.    Christ must be victorious!

3.    Christ is Lord!

4.    Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” has prevailed!

5.    Christ, our Shiloh, has come!

6.    Christ gathers his people to himself!

7.    Christ is a strong and fruitful Vine!

·        Bind yourself to him.

·        Find your souls needs in him.