SIIILOH (riny), the epithet applied, in the prophetic benediction of Jacob on his death-bed (Gen. XliX. I 0), to the personage to whom the gathering of the nations should be,' and which has ever been regarded by Christians and by the ancient Jews as a denomination of the Messiah. The oracle occurs in the blessing of Judah, and is thus worded : 'The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come : and unto him the gathering of the people shall be.' The term itself, as well as the whole passage to which it belongs, has ever been a fruitful theme of controversy between Jews and Christians ; the former, although they admit for the most part the Messianic reference of the text, being still fertile in expedients to evade the Christian argu ment founded upon it. Neither our limits nor our object will permit us to enter largely into the theo logical bearings of this prediction ; but it is perhaps scarcely possible to do justice to the discussion as a question of pure philology, without at the same time displaying the strength of the Christian inter pretation, and trenching upon the province occupied by the proofs of Jesus of Nazareth being the Mes siah of the O. T. prophecies.
Before entering upon the more essential merits of the question, it may be well to recite the ancient versions of this passage, which are mostly to be re ferred to a date that must exempt them from the charge of an undue bias towards any but the right construction. Influences of this nature have, of course, become opemtive with Jews of a later period. The version of the Sept. is peculiar : A prince shall not fail from Judah nor a captain out of his loins, gays av Men re, CoroKell.cepa abriii, until the things come that are laid up for him.' In some copies another reading is found, c,5 rim-karat, for whom it is laid ; meaning doubtless hz the king dom—for whom the kingdom is laid up in reserve. This rendering is probably to be referred to an erroneous lection, iwN, whose it is. Targ. Onk.: One having the principality shall not be taken from the house of Judah, nor a scribe from his children's children, until the Messiah come, whose the kingdom is.' Targ. Jerus. Kings shall not fail from the house of Judah, nor skilful doctors of the law from their children's children, till the time when the King's Messiah shall come.'
Syr. : The sceptre shall not fail from Judah, nor an expounder from between his feet, till he come whose it is ;' i.e. the sceptre, the right, the dominion. Arab. : The sceptre shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a lawgiver from under his rule, until he shall come whose it is.' Sam. : The sceptre shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a leader froon his banners, until the Pacific shall come.' Lat. Vulg. : The sceptre shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a leader from his thigh—donec veniet qui mittendus est, until he shall come who is to be sent.' This is evidently founded upon mistaking in the original rik,” for ri9V, which latter comes from the root rbv, signifying to sena'. lt is, however, adopted by Grotius as the truest reading, the present form of the word being owing, in his opinion, to the error of transcribers in sub stituting it for 11.
Various other etymolog,ies have been assigned to the term, the advocates of which may be divided into two classes : those who consider the word r6+tv as a compound ; and those who deem it a radical or simpie derivation. Those of the first class coincide, for the most part, with the ancient interpreters, ing ;19+C) as equivalent to 19ty, and this to be made up of 2,, the contraction of 10,N, who, and 19, the dative of the third personal pronoun. The render ing, accordingly, in this case, would be cujus est, or cui est, whose it is, to whom it belongs—i.e. the sceptre or dominion. This interpretation is de fended by Jahn (Einl. in A. T. i. p. 5o7, and Vat. Ales. p. 179). It is approved also by Hess, De Wette, Krummacher, and others. The authority of the ancient versions, already alluded to, is the principal ground upon which its advocates rely. But to this sense it is a serious objection, that there is no evidence that the abbreviation of -cti into L'.4 was known in the time of Moses. There is no other instance of it in the Pentateuch, and it is only in the book of Judges that we first meet with it However the rendering of the old translators is to be accounted for, there is no sufficient ground for the belief that the form in question was the received one in their time. If it was, we should doubtless find some traces of it in existing manuscripts.