Martin M. van Brauman
Jacob, who was about to die in Egypt, said to Joseph, Behold! – I am about to die; God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. Genesis 48:21. More than two hundred years later, Jacob’s remains were brought back for burial in the Land of Israel, when God brought the Jewish people out of bondage in Egypt.
Then Jacob called for his sons and said, ‘Assemble yourselves and I will tell you what will befall you in the End of Days. Gather yourselves and listen, O sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father. Genesis 49:1-2.
The “in the End of Days” is the ultimate conclusion of all the exiles of the Jewish people, not just the Egyptian captivity. And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion. Isaiah 35:10. Jacob was saying whatever future events may occur that it must be understood as a call from God for everything has a purpose with God.
However, Jacob could not tell his sons what will befall them in the End of Days, because God’s presence departed from him so that he could not make this revelation. Although “what will befall you in the End of Days,” or the Messianic time, was unknown, Israel would discover comfort in faith and performance of God’s commandments.
Judah received the spiritual blessing of the scepter of messianic leadership with the ultimate ingathering of all of the nations to Jerusalem and the world being at peace.
The scepter shall not depart from Judah nor a scholar from among his descendants, until Shiloh shall arrive and his will be an assemblage of nations. Genesis 49:10.
The scriptures indicate that the kingship, which is represented by the rod, will remain with Judah’s descendants until the one to whom “the rod” belongs will appear. Shiloh is the Messiah for the kingship is his. The word Shiloh is a composite of the words “a gift to him,” a reference to the Messiah to whom all nations will bring gifts. The “scholar” refers to the descendants of Judah who will teach the Word of God to the people.
. . . for the earth will be as filled with knowledge of the Lord as water covering the sea bed. Isaiah 11:9.
The coming of the Messiah and the ingathering of the exiles will cause the assemblage of nations, in which the people of the world will seek out the Messiah.
It shall be on that day that the descendant of Jesse who stands as a banner for the peoples, nations will seek him, and his resting place will be glorious. It shall be on that day that the Lord will once again show His hand, to acquire the remnant of His people, who will have remained, from Assyria and from Egypt and from Pathros and from Cush and from Elam and from Shinar and from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and assemble the castaways of Israel; and He will gather in the dispersed ones of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:10-12.
Although Jacob was not able to reveal the “End of Days” to his sons, he did provide them with a glimpse of Israel towards the Messianic Days.
He will tie his donkey to the vine; to the vine branch his donkey’s foal; he will launder his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes. Red eyed from wine, and white toothed from milk. Genesis 49: 11-12.
The “vine” represents Israel. Israel shall be productive and flow with wine like a fountain. So lush shall the vineyards be that a farmer will tie his donkey to a single vine, for it will produce as many grapes as a donkey can carry. The scripture continues with another illustration of the productivity of Israel by an abundance of milk, implying not just good pastures for flocks of sheep but the desert blooming. The Messiah is associated with a donkey rather than a horse ready for battle, because he is depicted not as a warrior but as a man of peace who represents prosperity with the image of the vineyard and that the final war will be won by God.
O Israel, that art saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation. Isaiah 45:17.