“Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
This is one of many remarkable Old Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah. For people like ourselves, reading these words centuries later, it is almost impossible not to see Jesus in them. The royal line was to come from Judah, and ultimately one of those Kings would be the Messiah.
‘Judah was a conquering tribe and a ruling tribe, and it stayed faithful to the Davidic line when the nation divided.’ Warren W, Wiersbe: ‘Old Testament Commentary’, p.137
‘Judah’s name signifies praise. God was praised for him, chap. 29:35 , praised by him, and praised in him; therefore his brethren shall praise him. Judah should be a strong and courageous tribe. Judah is compared, not to a lion raging and ranging, but to a lion enjoying the satisfaction of his power and success, without creating vexation to others; this is to be truly great. Judah should be the royal tribe, the tribe from which Messiah the Prince should come. Shiloh, that promised Seed in whom the earth should be blessed, “that peaceable and prosperous One,” or “Saviour,” he shall come of Judah. Thus dying Jacob at a great distance saw Christ’s day, and it was his comfort and support on his death-bed…
Much which is here said concerning Judah, is to be applied to our Lord Jesus. In him there is plenty of all which is nourishing and refreshing to the soul, and which maintains and cheers the Divine life in it. He is the true Vine; wine is the appointed symbol of his blood, which is drink indeed, as shed for sinners, and applied in faith; and all the blessings of his gospel are wine and milk, without money and without price, to which every thirsty soul is welcome. Isa. 55:1 .’ Matthew Henry.
‘The description in verses 11-12 certainly goes beyond Judah’s time and speaks of the blessings of the kingdom age when the Messiah shall reign over Israel. Nobody in Old Testament times would use a choice vine for a hitching post for his donkey, because such an act would certainly ruin the vine and probably cause the loss of the animal. Nor would the man’s wife waste their precious wine by washing clothes in it! This is the language of hyperbole. It describes a land so wealthy and a people so prosperous that they can do these outrageous things and not have to worry about the consequences. During the Kingdom Age, when the Messiah reigns, people will enjoy health and beauty (v.12), because the devastating enemies of human life will have been removed.’ W.W.Wiersbe.
Let us marvel again at the wonder of Biblical prophecy – and praise our Lord Jesus.