Judah – The Lawgiver – Notes

1. Jewish sources: Interpretation of ‘Shiloh’

Ancient Jewish tradition identified this mysterious person called “Shiloh” in Genesis 49:10, as being the Messiah:

“Until Shiloh comes”: this alludes to the King Messiah” – Midrash Genesis Rabbah 98.8, ibid 99.9

“The Messiah’s name is Shiloh” – Midrash Lamentations Rabbah I.16.51

The Targums [Ancient Aramaic translations and paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible] are almost unanimous in giving “Shiloh” a Messianic interpretation for they rendered Genesis 49:10:

“Until the Messiah comes whose is the Kingdom” – Targum Onkelos

“Until the time King Messiah shall come, whose is the kingdom” – Targum Jerusalem

“Until the time King Messiah shall come whose is the kingship” – Targum Neofiti I

“Until King Messiah shall come, the youngest of his sons” – Targum Ps. Jonathan or Jerusalem I

There is great insight in the extensive Targumic and rabbinic tradition (see Rashi ad loc., Sanhedrin 98b B.T.; Midrash Genesis Rabbah 98.8; 99.8; Tanchumah Vayehi 10; Midrash haGadol I.735-739; Journal of Philology Vol. XIV [1885] pp.4-22), that ascribes a Messianic interpretation to the verse: “The scepter shall not depart from Judah…until Shiloh comes and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” They knew that the ancestral right to kingly leadership, resting in the Davidic line of the tribe of Judah, would cease at the coming of the “Messiah, the son of David” (a common appellation of King Messiah found in rabbinic writings). For the Messiah was the culmination of the royal line originating from David, the first king of the tribe of Judah. And just as King David was “the youngest” (1 Samuel 16:11; 17:14) of Jesse’s sons, so the Messiah at the end of the line of David’s “sons” may be said to be “King Messiah…the youngest of his [King David’s] sons” – Genesis 49:10. Targum Ps. Jonathan or Jerusalem Targum I.

The scribes knew that what belonged to him (the King Messiah) “whose it is,” was the scepter, the kingdom and the obedience of the peoples. Furthermore they also knew that this mysterious personage was to have a very precious heritage in store for him at his coming, which is why the later redactors of the Septuagint rendered Genesis 49:10 in their revisions:

There are abundant writings from the ancient rabbis that the name “Shiloh,” is an idiom for the Messiah. The word “Shiloh,” was frequently used to describe the Messiah.

“The world was created for the sake of the Messiah, what is this Messiah’s name? The school of Rabbi Shila said, “His name is Shiloh, for it is written: until Shiloh comes.” (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 98b, Rabbi Johanan)

The Targum Yerushalmi further states:

“Kings shall not cease from the house of Judah…until the time of the coming of the King Messiah….to whom all the dominions of the earth shall be subservient.”(The Search for the Messiah, Page 100, Dr. Mark Eastman)

All the three Targums interpret Shiloh of the Messiah. As many of the Jewish writers do, both ancient and modern {Zohar in Gen. fol. 32. 4. & in Exod. fol. 4. 1. & in Numb. fol. 101. 2. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 98. sect. 85. 3. Jarchi & Baal Hatturim, in loc. Nachmanidis Disputat. cum Paulo, p. 53. Abarbinel. Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 10. 1. R. Abraham Seba, Tzeror Hammor, fol. 36. 4. & 62. 2}. It also is the name of the Messiah in the Talmud { T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2}, and in other writings {Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2}., for he was of a quiet and peaceable disposition. He came to make peace between God and men, and made it by the blood of his cross. And he gives spiritual peace to all his followers. He brings them at length to everlasting peace and happiness. He is doing all this, b! ecause he has prospered and succeeded in the great work of their redemption and salvation he undertook.

2. Chock

Chock “statute; prescription; rule; law; regulation.” This word is generally used in Israel today for ‘the Law’ (government. municipal, traffic etc). This noun is derived from the verb chakak, “determine, decree.”  to which Mechoqeck is linked.  Chock occurs 127 times in Biblical Hebrew.

Ps 148:6 “Thus says YHVH, which gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances (Chockim – which is the plural form) of the moon and of the stars for a light by night … YHVH of hosts is His Name: If those ordinances (Chockim) depart from before Me, says YHVH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before Me for ever” Jeremiah 31:35-36. These ordinances of the moon includes the determining of Times for Feasts, and months (Gen. 1:14).  Note how divided those believers are who refuse to abide by the calculations and specifications of YHVH’s appointed M’Choqeckim – the Rabbis of Judah, YHVH’s appointed Lawgivers.

Moreover, the word chock denotes a “law” promulgated in a country: The Rabbis are constantly decreeing these also, according to their interpretations.

Our subject heading: ‘Lawgiver’ (Mechoqeck) is derived from the same root (chakak): thus Lawgiver = “determine, decree by Laws, rules, regulations and Statutes”.  Is this not what the rejection of, and the opposition against Rabbinical rule is all about?

In Exodus 18:13-23 we read about the original institution of the Jewish Beth Din (Law Court). .  Moses, because of the pressure of having to attend to the enquiries and disputes of the nation, to hear their case and bring it before YHVH and make a decision to satisfy them,  appointed judges over 1000’s, 100’s, 50’s and 10’s in order to cope with the daily demands.  Like any other nation, Israel had to have their own Law and Justice System.  In their case, it was underwritten by the Laws of YHVH.  It was Moses and the judges’ duty to “settle the differences between the people and teach them the Statutes [Chockey] of YHVH, and His Torah”. Ex 18:16.

Should it be any different for modern Hebraic Restorers in the 21st century?

The synonyms for Chock are: Mitzvah (Commandment); Mishpat (judgment); Brit (Covenant); Torah (Law); and Edah (Testimony). It is difficult to distinguish between these synonyms. They are often mixed and alternated – and translated differently by the various Bible versions.  For instance: Deut 6:17:  “You shall diligently keep the Commandments [mitzvot] of YHVH your God, and His testimonies [edut], and His Statutes [chockim], which He has commanded you”.

Chuqah – “statute; regulation; prescription; term.”  This noun occurs some 104 times in the Tanach.  It is also used for God’s “Law.” and is more specific in meaning than chock. denoting the “law” of a particular festival or ritual. There is the “chuqah” of the Passover Ex 12:14, Unleavened Bread Ex 12:17, Feast of Tabernacles Lev 23:41, the day of Atonement Lev 16:29 ff., the priesthood Ex 29:9, and the blood and fat Lev 3:17.

Deut 8:11  “Beware that you don’t forget YHVH your God, in not keeping His Commandments[Mitzvot], and His Judgments [Mishpatim], and His Statutes [Chockim], which I command you this day.”

Deut 11:1  “Therefore you shall love YHVH your God, and keep His charge [Mishmeret], and His Statutes [Chockim], and His Judgments [Mishpatim], and His Commandments [Mitzvot], always”