Genesis 49:8-15

Talks for Growing Christians

Jacob’s Blessing on Judah, Zebulun and Issachar

Genesis 49:8-15

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Lesson Number 107

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Blessing and leadership would come from the tribe of Judah.
  2. Kings and the Messiah would come from the line of Judah.

Practical Application

  1. Will we reach our full potential?


  1. What is the format of Jacob’s patriarchal blessing?
  2. How did Jacob group his sons for blessing?
  3. Which part of Jacob’s blessing went to Judah? Which part went to Joseph?
  4. Tying your donkey to a choice vine and washing your clothes in wine as you would in water does not seem to be a great blessing (Genesis 49:11-12). So what does this blessing to Judah mean?
  5. What was the scepter symbolize? Who is Shiloh?
  6. How did Judah become the line of the Messiah when Saul, the first king of Israel, came from the tribe of Benjamin?


  1. It is in the form of Hebrew poetry. It is the longest poem in the book of Genesis. Because it is Hebrew poetry, there is a lot of figurative language and plays on words.
  2. According to the order of his wives, not according to their birth order.
  3. Judah was given the responsibility and dominion aspect of the birthright. The inheritance aspect was given to Joseph.
  4. It means that grapes and wine would be so plentiful, so plentiful in fact that it wouldn’t matter if the donkey ate the grapes. There would be no scarcity of food and drink.
  5. The scepter is a symbol of kingship. Shiloh is the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  6. The first king of Israel was Saul, from the tribe of Benjamin, but he was removed and replaced by David, of the tribe of Judah. The scepter would remain in the tribe of Judah until the Messiah came.


  1. The Targum of Genesis (the ancient Aramaic translation of the Hebrew) translates Shiloh as Messiah. This is an amazing prophecy, and fulfilled in the line of kings, starting with David and culminating in Christ. What could this mean to your Jewish friends?
  2. The tribe of Zebulun seemed to take more advantage of its opportunities than did Issachar. Review this section of the tape.


  1. Are you taking advantage of the many opportunities the Lord gives you to redeem the time? How are you using the abilities He has bestowed upon you? Consider your potential, and don’t fall short.

Key Verses

  • “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah...until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” Genesis 49:10

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