Genesis 49:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:10, NIV: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Genesis 49:10, ESV: The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Genesis 49:10, KJV: 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.

Genesis 49:10, NASB: The scepter will not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Genesis 49:10, NLT: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.

Genesis 49:10, CSB: The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until he whose right it is comes and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.

What does Genesis 49:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is old and nearing his death (Genesis 48:1). He is pronouncing a prophetic oracle over each of his sons, in turn (Genesis 49:1–2). This passage focuses on the future of his fourth son, Judah and the tribe which will come from him (Genesis 49:8–9).

In a famous statement, Jacob's proclaims that Judah's tribe will not merely produce conquerors, but also kings; in fact, this tribe will be the source of a specific King. A scepter is held by a king as sign of authority. According to Jacob, this symbolic rulership will never leave the tribe of Judah. Each king, in turn holding the ruler's staff, will come from the genealogy of Judah—poetically phrased as "between his feet." This will be echoed by God, through Samuel, who will later say to King David of Judah, "Your throne shall be established forever" (2 Samuel 7:16).

The phrase translated in the ESV as "until tribute comes to him" is much debated by Bible scholars. Some read it as "until he—meaning the scepter—comes to whom it belongs." Others understand the key word to refer to a place called Shiloh: "until Shiloh comes" or "until he comes to Shiloh." Many commentators believe this is referring to the coming of the final King of Israel of the line of David, the Messiah Himself. He will reign forever. In that sense, then, a descendant of the tribe of Judah will rule eternally.

Finally, all people will obey this King. This may refer to the peoples of all the tribes, not just Judah. Or it may refer to the people of the earth during the future reign of Christ Himself, perhaps hinted at in the following verses.