Monday, December 22, 2008

The Timing of the Birth of Jesus

Dr. David R. ReaganBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Every year at Christmas time I am reminded of the remarkable prophecies concerning the birth of Jesus and how they substantiate His deity and the faithfulness of God. Let's take a look at one of those prophecies.

The timing of the Messiah's birth had been indicated in Genesis 49:10 in words spoken by Jacob on his deathbed to his son Judah: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah... until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples."

The term "Shiloh" was recognized by the Jewish rabbis as a Messianic title. The "scepter" refers to the judicial power of the nation. Thus, this prophecy states that the Messiah will come at a time when the nation's judicial power has been removed.

Although Judah was deprived of its national sovereignty during the 70 year period of Babylonian captivity, it never lost its scepter, for the Jews were allowed to have their own judges even while in captivity.

Josh McDowell, in his book, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, points out that "the first visible sign of the beginning of the removal of the scepter from Judah came about when Herod the Great, who had no Jewish blood, succeeded the Maccabean princes who belonged to the tribe of Levi and who were the last Jewish kings to reign in Jerusalem."

The crucial turning point came soon after Herod's death when, in about 7 AD, the Romans removed the power of the Sanhedrin Council in Judah to pronounce the death penalty. Thus the scepter (the supreme judicial power) passed from Judah.

There is a notation about this in the Talmud (the Jewish oral tradition). The Talmud states that on this occasion the members of the Sanhedrin were overtaken by "a general consternation." Incredibly, it is further recorded that they "covered their heads with ashes and their bodies with sackcloth, exclaiming: 'Woe unto us, for the scepter has departed from Judah, and the Messiah has not come!'"

What they did not realize was that Jesus the Messiah had been born around 4 BC during the last years of Herod (Matthew 2:1), so "Shiloh" had arrived shortly before the scepter departed — just as prophesied!

2 comments:

Wayne_from_Jeremiah_Films said...

Thank you for your post, I've linked to it from What Christmas traditions do you want to keep? where I am collecting quotes from articles this year on Christmas Traditions.

Anonymous said...

Brothers and Sisters in the faith, fellow servants of the Lord, and all who believe. Peace and grace to you in the Lord Christ Jesus -


Over recent years I have been traveling across America proclaiming the words I was given for this generation and to voice what the Spirit of God has shown me for the benefit of the churches.

There is much to consider in this age, as we must be ready during this most precarious time, taking every step to be prepared, “fully clothed in the armor God”. Change is upon us and “the hour” is evermore pressing, as the Lord Himself has made it known by the power of His Word.

There is little time left, before the greatest increase of wayward men and of the fullness of falsehood, reach their heights. I bring these words to your attention not to cause alarm but as a way of encouragement for all of God’s people to live “pure and pleasing lives”.

As it is, we must set aside our differences and bind together in every way, as we will be faced with evil of every kind and from every direction. To be sure, now is the time for all of God’s chosen to bind together in His holy name.

Dear brothers, now is the time to unite and pursue with prayer and supplication the heart of God and fully understand God’s Word while we draw close to Him and to each other.

In the book of letters, “The Prophetic Word – A Voice”, you will find prophecies, revelations, visions, and exhortations given as encouragement to the churches. This is of great importance, as we must unite as one body in order to endure the coming events that lie ahead. For they will surely come!

Embrace this message as you embrace the Lord and desire much strength in the body, the church, and in this urgent time.

Now dear brothers, be lifted up with the words that are spoken and encourage each other while the end of the age draws ever more near.

To the glory of God and Lord Jesus Christ.


A witness of the Lord and to the truth of God -
Seth En Way


PS: I thank the Lord for the faith He has given you and pray your faith in Christ Jesus is ever strong. Thank you for the words you put forth here.

http://www.counseloftheprophet.org