Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

TTE Advent Calendar Day Seven – December 7th


TTE Advent Calendar Day 7 – December 7th

Thank you for reading our seventh installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

In the last few days we have looked at the genealogy of the Messiah, we have narrowed it down from a woman, to a virgin, to being born in Bethlehem, to being from Abraham, Isaac and also Jacob and today we look at the prophecy that he was to come from the tribe of Judah. We learned yesterday all about why the LORD was called a scepter. We see this also in this scripture in Genesis chapter forty nine.

Genesis 49:8 (ESV) “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion’s cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. 11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

So we read here that “the scepter shall not depart from Judah” so in one sentence we have just stated that the messiah will not come from any other tribe than the tribe of Judah, that is 11/12ths of the tribes taken away in one fell swoop.

But prophecy is so vague?

If you look at today’s article coupled with the articles from the last few days then you will see that these articles really combat that sweeping statement and generalization. With each article we are becoming more and more specific and adding more criteria that really can only be fulfilled by one man.

If it was just some vague prediction it would not call for 11/12th of the candidates to be dismissed completely. God had a plan all along and he set it up so that only Jesus could fulfill this prophecy. So as you can see, it is not so vague after all!

Did Judah deserve this blessing?

Sounds like Judah was a stand-up guy then? Actually he wasn’t, in Genesis 37 when his brother Joseph was being sold into slavery that eventually took him all the way into Egypt, as we look at the passage, they had thrown him into a pit and then Judah had a great idea.

Genesis 37:25 (ESV) Then they sat down to eat. And looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to Egypt. 26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? 27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him. 28 Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.

So he sold Joseph in the same way that Jesus was sold, for a few coins of silver. He also did not deal righteously with Tamar his daughter in law in Genesis 38, she was supposed to be promised to Shelah and she was without heir, let’s look at this passage.

Genesis 37:13 (ESV) And when Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she took off her widow’s garments and covered herself with a veil, wrapping herself up, and sat at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. For she saw that Shelah was grown up, and she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 16 He turned to her at the roadside and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?” 17 He answered, “I will send you a young goat from the flock.” And she said, “If you give me a pledge, until you send it—” 18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. 19 Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. 20 When Judah sent the young goat by his friend the Adullamite to take back the pledge from the woman’s hand, he did not find her. 21 And he asked the men of the place, “Where is the cult prostitute who was at Enaim at the roadside?” And they said, “No cult prostitute has been here.” 22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I have not found her. Also, the men of the place said, ‘No cult prostitute has been here.’” 23 And Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, or we shall be laughed at. You see, I sent this young goat, and you did not find her.” 24 About three months later Judah was told, “Tamar your daughter-in-law has been immoral. Moreover, she is pregnant by immorality.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.” 25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “By the man to whom these belong, I am pregnant.” And she said, “Please identify whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.” 26 Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again.

So basically we can say that he did not deserve this accolade. He is about as righteous as you and I. Prior to needing a plank-ectomy I would have to say that God extends his favor regardless of the performance of the said individual. This is true of Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Isaac and now Judah.

I love this about the Bible, there are no “Super heroes” the characters are there and they show the flaws as well as the good stuff. To a guy like me that is really encouraging.

The New Testament confirmation

In the same way that we can confirm the family tree of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we see that Jesus came through the tribe of Judah in verse thirty three of the third chapter of Luke. We also know that it was the Judah that we are talking about as in Genesis 37; one of the twins that were born of Tamar was called Perez.

Luke 3:23 (ESV) Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

With all of this entire flawed DNA in the family, I see that the LORD came into a family that was far from perfection. However this was not required for the messiah as he was just as much God as he was man. He was perfection. Let’s look at the epistle to the Hebrews in chapter seven to see the contrast between heavenly perfection and man-made perfection.

Hebrews 7:11 (ESV) Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

The Levitical priests were there to help people worship the LORD and to conduct the worship in a correct way. The priests were selected from a select few, these men knew the law, and they had it memorized. They were the ones that visited the Holy of Holies; they tied a bell around their ankle with a rope in case there was any sin in their lives and they had to leave feet first, that is how holy they strived to be.

But regardless of how holy they strived to be, this was nothing compared to the holiness of the messiah. The SON OF GOD. A priest could not give you eternal life, but Jesus can. This is the point of these blog articles, to show you the messiah that I believe in is the fulfillment of prophecy and the only way to ensure eternal life with your God your creator. I pray this article leads you to investigate further.

Melchizedek had a unique place in the order of things, he was named “Priest of the Most High God” (Genesis 14:18-20) He blessed Abraham, but regardless of his exalted state, he still was not in the same ballpark of holiness as Jesus. Such as Jesus special place as the messiah of the world. I am reminded of the lyrics of the song “How many Kings” by the band Downhere.

“Cause how many kings, stepped down from their thrones?
How many lords have abandoned their homes?
How many greats have become the least for me?
How many Gods have poured out their hearts
To romance a world that has torn all apart?
How many fathers gave up their sons for me?”

That is how much God wants to see you in heaven!

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.

One response to “TTE Advent Calendar Day Seven – December 7th

  1. Pingback: What’s in a family tree? Jesus in the book of Matthew | Taking the Epistle

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