generally understood as denoting the Messiah, "the peaceful one," as the word signifies ( Genesis 49:10 ). The Vulgate Version translates the word, "he who is to be sent," in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised Version, margin, "till he come to Shiloh;" and the LXX., "until that which is his shall come to Shiloh." It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the Authorized Version, "till Shiloh come," interpreting it as a proper name (Compare Isaiah 9:6 ).
Shiloh, a place of rest, a city of Ephraim, "on the north side of Bethel," from which it is distant 10 miles ( Judges 21:19 ); the modern Seilun (the Arabic for Shiloh), a "mass of shapeless ruins." Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest ( Joshua 18:1-10 ), where it remained during all the period of the judges till the ark fell into the hands of the Philistines. "No spot in Central Palestine could be more secluded than this early sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around; so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr. Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown." It is referred to by ( Jeremiah 7:12 Jeremiah 7:14 ; 26:4-9 ) five hundred years after its destruction.
In the Authorized Version of the Bible Shiloh is once used as the name of a person, in a very difficult passage, in ( Genesis 49:10 ) "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." Supposing that the translation is correct, the meaning of the word is peaceable or pacific , and the allusion is either to Solomon, whose name has a similar signification, or to the expected Messiah, who in ( Isaiah 9:6 ) is expressly called the Prince of Peace. [MESSIAH] Other interpretations, however, of the passage are given, one of which makes it refer to the city of this name. [See the following article] It might be translated "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the rulers staff from between his feet, till he shall go to Shiloh." In this case the allusion would be to the primacy of Judah in war, ( Judges 1:1 Judges 1:2 ; 20:18 ; Numbers 2:3 ; 10:14 ) which was to continue until the promised land was conquered and the ark of the covenant was solemnly deposited at Shiloh.
(place of rest ), a city of Ephraim. In ( Judges 21:19 ) it is said that Shiloh is "on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem and on the south of Lebonah." In agreement with this the traveller of our own city, going north from Jerusalem, lodges the first night at Beitin , the ancient Bethel; the next day, at the distance of a few hours, turns aside to the right, in order to visit Seilun , the Arabic for Shiloh; and then passing through the narrow wady which brings him to the main road, leaves el-Lebban , the Lebonah of Scripture, on the left, as he pursues "the highway" to Nublus , the ancient Shechem. [SHECHEM] Shiloh was one of the earliest and most sacred of the Hebrew sanctuaries. The ark of the covenant, which had been kept at Gilgal during the progress of the conquest, ( Joshua 17:1 ) seq., was removed thence on the subjugation of the country, and kept at Shiloh from the last days of Joshua to the time of Samuel. ( Joshua 18:10 ; Judges 18:31 ; 1 Samuel 4:3 ) It was here the Hebrew conqueror divided among the tribes the portion of the west Jordan region which had not been already allotted. ( Joshua 18:10 ; 19:51 ) In this distribution, or an earlier one, Shiloh fell within the limits of Ephraim. ( Joshua 16:5 ) The ungodly conduct of the sons of Eli occasioned the loss of the ark of the covenant, which had been carried into battle against the Philistines, and Shiloh from that time sank into insignificance. It stands forth in the Jewish history as a striking example of the divine indignation. ( Jeremiah 7:12 )
The prophecy in Genesis 49:10, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, .... until Shiloh come," etc., has been the subject of very diverse interpretations. the Revised Version margin gives as alternative renderings, " `Till he come to Shiloh having the obedience of the peoples' Or, according to the Syriac, `Till he come whose it is,' etc."
(1) From the earliest times the passage has been regarded as Messianic, but the rendering in the text, which takes "Shiloh" as a proper name, bearing a meaning such as "peaceful" (compare Isaiah 9:6, "Prince of Peace"), labors under the difficulty that Shiloh is not found elsewhere as a personal name in the Old Testament, nor is it easy to extract from it the meaning desired. Further, the word was not personally applied to the Messiah in any of the ancient VSS, which rather assume a different reading (see below). Apart from a purely fanciful passage in the Talmud (compare Driver, Gen, 413), this application does not appear earlier than the version of Seb. Munster in the 16th century (1534).
(2) The rendering, "till he come to Shiloh," where Shiloh is taken as the name of a place, not a person, is plausible, but is felt to yield no suitable sense in the context. It is, therefore, now also set aside by most recent scholars.
(3) The 3rd rendering, which regards Shiloh as representing the Hebrew shelloh = shiloh for 'asher low, "whose (it is)," has in its favor the fact that this is evidently the reading presupposed in the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and the this is evidently the reading presupposed in the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and the Jewish Targums, and seems to be alluded to in Ezekiel 21:27, "until he come whose right it is." In this view the passage has still a Messianic reference, though critics argue that it must then be regarded as late in origin. Other interpretations need not detain us. See for details the full discussions in Hengstenberg's Christology, I, 54, English translation, the commentaries of Delitzsch, Driver, and Skinner, on Genesis (especially Excursus II in Driver), and the articles in the various Bible dictionaries.
See also PROPHECY.
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(The most usual form is shiloh, but it appears 8 times as shilo, and 3 times as Shilow; Selo, Selom):
A town in the lot of Ephraim where Israel assembled under Joshua at the close of the war of conquest (Joshua 18:1). Here territory was allotted to the seven tribes who had not yet received their portions. A commission was sent out to "describe the land into seven portions"; this having been done, the inheritances were assigned by lot. Here also were assigned to the Levites their cities in the territories of the various tribes (Joshua 18-21). From Shiloh Reuben and Gad departed for their homes East of the Jordan; and here the tribes gathered for war against these two, having misunderstood their building of the great altar in the Jordan valley (Joshua 22). From Judges 18:31 we learn that in the period of the Judges the house of God was in Shiloh; but when the sanctuary was moved thither from Gilgal there is no indication. The maids of Shiloh were captured by the Benjamites on the occasion of a feast, while dancing in the vineyards; this having been planned by the other tribes to provide the Benjamites with wives without involving themselves in responsibility (21:21). While the house of the Lord remained here it was a place of pilgrimage (1 Samuel 1:3). To Shiloh Samuel was brought and consecrated to God's service (1 Samuel 1:24). The sanctuary was presided over by Eli and his wicked sons; and through Samuel the doom of their house was announced. The capture of the ark by the Philistines, the fall of Hophni and Phinehas, and the death of the aged priest and his daughter-in-law followed with startling rapidity (1 Samuel 3; 4). The sanctuary in Shiloh is called a "temple" (1 Samuel 1:9; 3:3) with doorpost and doors (1 Samuel 1:9; 3:15). It was therefore a more durable structure than the old tent. See TABERNACLE; TEMPLE. It would appear to have been destroyed, probably by the Philistines; and we find the priests of Eli's house at Nob, where they were massacred at Saul's order (1 Samuel 22:11). The disaster that befell Shiloh, while we have no record of its actual occurrence, made a deep impression on the popular mind, so that the prophets could use it as an effective illustration (Psalms 78:60; Jeremiah 7:12:14; 26:6). Here the blind old prophet Ahijah was appealed to in vain by Jeroboam's wife on behalf of her son (1 Kings 14:2,4), and it was still occupied in Jeremiah's time (Jeremiah 41:5).
The position of Shiloh is indicated in Judges 21:19, as "on the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah." This is very explicit, and points definitely to Seilun, a ruined site on a hill at the Northeast of a little plain, about 9 miles North of Beitin (Bethel), and 3 miles Southeast of Khan el-Lubban (Lebonah), to the East of the highway to Shechem (Nablus). The path to Seilun leaves the main road at Sinjil, going eastward to Turmus `Aya, then northward across the plain. A deep valley runs to the North of the site, cutting it off from the adjoining hills, in the sides of which are rock-hewn tombs. A good spring rises higher up the valley. There are now no vineyards in the district; but indications of their ancient culture are found in the terraced slopes around.
The ruins on the hill are of comparatively modern buildings. At the foot of the hill is a mosque which is going quickly to ruin. A little distance to the Southeast is a building which seems to have been a synagogue. It is called by the natives Jami` el-`Arba`in, "mosque of the Forty." There are many cisterns.
Just over the crest of the hill to the North, on a terrace, there is cut in the rock a rough quadrangle 400 ft. by 80 ft. in dimensions. This may have been the site of "the house of the Lord" which was in Shiloh.
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