Summary: A meditation before communion.

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Genesis 49:8-12

(A meditation before communion)

In prophesying that Judah (whose name means Praise) would be the one whom his brethren would praise, the dying patriarch Jacob was foretelling the coming of Messiah. More than this, he foresaw the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and even His death and resurrection. And even beyond that, the reunion of the tribes of Israel under Christ.

Genesis 49:8. “Judah, you are he whom your brethren shall praise.” This directs us immediately to the sovereignty of the house of David, and of great David's greater Son.

Genesis 49:9. “He lies down like a lion, who shall raise Him?” This speaks of Christ overcoming death. Jesus said, “I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it up again” (John 10:18).

Genesis 49:10. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah... until Shiloh comes.” Judah becomes a ruler and a lawgiver amongst his brethren. The crown remains with his tribe until the coming of Jesus. It is a historical fact that the Jews stubbornly refused to yield sovereignty to any invader, right until the moment that they cried out at Jesus' arraignment, “We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15). The sceptre had not departed from Judah, until He came whose right it is!

Genesis 49:11. “The donkey and its colt” remind us of Jesus' triumphal procession into Jerusalem. Having served their purpose, they are “tied to the vine.” The wine, and the “blood of grapes” point us to His sacrifice, and to the sacrament whereby we remember it.

Genesis 49:12. “His eyes are dark like wine, His teeth whiter than milk.” I take the darkness to signify strength, the whiteness health. The call of the gospel is stated in similar terms: “Come, buy wine and milk” (Isaiah 55:1); “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

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