Shiloh (1)


shi'-lo (shiloh):

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.

James Orr

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SHILOH (1)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.