Obscure Advent Verses: Week 1

Sunday was the first day of Advent – the time of year when Christians celebrate the incarnation of Christ and anticipate His return. In honor of the four weeks of Advent, I thought it might be fun each week to highlight some Messianic prophecies or allusions in the Old Testament that are not commonly talked about during the Christmas season.

This first week’s focus is on the blessing Jacob gave to his son Judah:

Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him up? The scepter shall 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: 9 – 10

The incarnation is anticipated by the promise of a coming ruler who will rule over the peoples. But this ruler, Jesus, would not claim the full obedience of the peoples during His first coming. We are all awaiting the return of Christ for His final kingdom to be established, when all tribes and nations will follow Him.

The New Testament notes that Jesus is the one from Judah who was prophesied:

I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.” Revelation 5: 1 – 5

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