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R0 RK What Christians Should Know About Shiloh In The Bible - Nobelie

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What Christians Should Know about Shiloh in the Bible

Posted by on April 23, 2021 — Drop A Comment

What Is the History and Meaning
of the Word Shiloh?
The word Shiloh is used 32 times in the Old
Testament to refer to a location—a city and one
other time to refer to the Messiah. The first
mention of Shiloh is found in Genesis 49:10 as
Jacob is giving blessings to each of his sons.
When he blesses Judah on his deathbed he says:
“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.” Here, Jacob is referring to a person—
the person who would bring peace and tranquility.

Shiloh as a Promise
Here, the name Shiloh would have derived from
shālâ, “to be at ease,” and would mean something
like “the peace-giver.” However, a great linguistic
debate continues to this day about the precise
meaning as others believe it may actually mean,
“the rightful Messiah,” or “the Messiah of
righteousness”. Ezekiel 21:27 echoes the
meaning of Genesis 49:10 too. Those who read
Genesis assumed that royal power belonged
forever to the house of David which was the tribe
of Judah—the tribe Jesus descended from.

Shiloh as a Person
Not only does Jacob give a blessing to his son
Judah, but the blessing turns into a prophecy. As
he continues to bless his son, he prophecies how
the Messiah, the coming savior will come into
power from this line and will continue to rule
forever. This Ruler will then be honored by all
nations and the scepter in this passage
symbolizes that power. This passage ties into the
New Testament as Jesus refers to Himself as,
“Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3 ).
Romans 15:12 references this passage as a ruler
who “arises to rule the Gentiles,” and the Apostle
Paul also writes in Ephesians 2:14 that Christ,
“Himself is our peace.” All three of these
passages have roots in “Shiloh.”
Verse 10 is referenced in Isaiah 11:1 , “the seed,”
John 17:3 , “the sent,” Ephesians 2:14 , “the
peaceable or prosperous one.” Prior to the
coming of the Savoir, this blessing was a
declaration to the other tribes that Judah would
continue to lead in strength and power and be a
symbol of authority. Even after the Israelites were
captured and lived in captivity in Babylon, they
continued to look back at these passages as
promises for their future Messiah.

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Shiloh as a Place
Not only was Shiloh a promise and a person—our
mighty Savior, but it was also a place. When it
was built, it was located a little northeast of the
center of Ephraim.
In 12 th -11 th century BC, the Israelites built the
Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant rested in
the city of Shiloh. Here, it rested for three
centuries where the tribes of Israel would visit for
feasts or peace offerings. From the time Israel
entered the land until the time of the prophet
Samuel, the Ark of the Covenant remained in the
Tabernacle at Shiloh. This was also the central
location where the land was divided up into the 12
sections for the 12 tribes (found in Joshua 18 ).
And this was the background for Hannah when
she visited the tabernacle to pour out her heart to
God, begging Him for a child—whom God gave
her Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1-28 ; 3:21 ).
When we first meet Hannah, we know she’s
barren and wept bitterly for a child. So much so,
the Priest Eli thinks she’s drunk. But God hears
her prayers and helps her birth one of the greatest
men in the Bible, Samuel.
She takes her son back to the tabernacle once
he’s weaned because she promised to dedicate
his life to God. At the time, Eli’s own sons were
wicked and didn’t fulfill their duties nor did they
honor God. But as the story goes, the hearts of
God’s people grew cold too. They turned their
backs on God and after many warnings, God
handed them over to the Philistines. After several
warnings from the Lord to turn back to Him, the
Ark was then captured by the Philistines and God
left His dwelling place, “He abandoned the
dwelling place at Shiloh, the tent which He had
pitched among men, and gave up His strength to
captivity and His glory into the hand of the
adversary,” Psalm 78:60-61 . The Ark was
captured, and the city was destroyed ( 1 Samuel
4:10-11 ).
Centuries later, the Prophet Jeremiah directs the
attention of God’s people back to the city because
the people have a new temple. A temple so grand,
they put their faith and security in Solomon’s
grand temple—not their mighty God. So, Jeremiah
gives them a warning, “Go now to My place which
was in Shiloh . . . and see what I did to
it,” ( Jeremiah 7:12 ) But God’s people refuse to
listen and twenty years later, the Babylonian’s
destroyed Solomon’s temple.

What Important Things Should
Christians Know About Shiloh?

That was a lot of history about one little word
woven throughout the Old and New Testament.
But, as we look back at the promise, the person,
and the place of Shiloh—the theme of God’s love
and sovereignty begins to emerge from the
rubble. Shiloh is a reflection of our sinful nature,
being surrounded by enemies, gathering as a
church, and needing a savior. Here’s what we
need to keep in mind as followers of Christ:

  1. God provided promises and a parable through
  2. God dwelled among the His people in the Holy
    of Holies in the Tabernacle of Shiloh.
  3. Only Priests could go into the Holy of holies
    during certain times of the year.
  4. All were required to atone for their sins via
  5. The tabernacle was like a modern-day church.
    It was the center of living.
  6. Hannah dedicated her son to the Lord.
  7. Samuel was a little child, weaned, dead with
    Christ, and presented to the Lord where he
    learned to listen for the voice of the Lord.
  8. The people continued to fall away from God so
    God left the Tabernacle.
  9. It was captured by the enemies & the
    tabernacle was destroyed.
  10. Later, a new grander temple was built by King
    Solomon. Once again people were placing their
    security in a building.
  11. The Prophet Jeremiah points out what
    happened to Shiloh, later so does Christ.
Read Also  Why Did God ‘Harden’ Pharaoh’s Heart in Exodus?

Shiloh is a representation of what happens when
we choose to put our sense of security in a
building. It also reveals how time and again,
God’s people faded away from total devotion to
lukewarm hearts to total corruption. Instead of
heeding God’s Word, they would fall prey to their
enemies only to become enslaved to their
But God’s promise to the tribe of Judah still
echoed through the centuries, promising a temple
that could never be destroyed, the true Shiloh but
not through stone, brick or mortar but through
Christ. Jesus (Jeremiah 7:1-15 ; 26:6 ; Mark
11:15-17 ; Luke 21:6 ) declared a new temple will
be built. Jesus showed the people that our
security would not come from the Tabernacle in
Shiloh or Jerusalem but through Christ himself.
Today, God’s temple is His Church, living in the
hearts of each of us ( 1 Corinthians 3:16 ; 6:19 ) and
He will never remove His spirit from us. We have
the responsibility to obey His Word and to live
lives that reflect what it means to be a follower of
Christ. May we as the temples of Christ remain a
vessel through which His glory can shine through

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