What or Who is Shiloh?

The mysterious word “Shiloh” first appears in the Bible in the prophecy of Jacob regarding his sons:

"The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." – Genesis 49:10
The Hebrew word Shiloh used in this verse is only used this one time in the Bible. It is defined as “he whose it is, that which belongs to him, tranquility,” and is thought to refer to the coming Messiah, the Lord Jesus.

Although similar in English, another Hebrew word, Shiloh, is a place name in Israel and is found thirty-two times in the Bible. This word is defined as a “place of rest.” The Hebrew root for both of these words is shalah, which means “to be at rest, prosper, be quiet, be at ease.” This is appropriate because the Lord first set His name at Shiloh, where the Children of Israel under the leadership of Joshua, placed the Tabernacle of God. Of course, the reign of the Lord Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords will be a time of rest, prosperity, quiet and ease.

Shiloh also presents a lesson and shows us why the Lord allowed Jerusalem and the Temple to be destroyed. Psalm 78:51-62 recites some of the history of the Children of Israel. This passage reminds us that the Israelites provoked the Lord to anger with their high places, and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images, or idols. Because of this the Lord forsook His tabernacle at Shiloh.

The Prophet Jeremiah had the thankless task of trying to tell the people of Judah that the Lord was again angry because of their dishonest treatment of strangers, widows and orphans, and the shedding of innocent blood, and the worship of Baal(!?!). The Lord concludes His statement through the prophet in Jeremiah 7:1-12 by telling the leaders of Judah to go to Shiloh, “where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.” There is a village today on the hill of Shiloh, but there is no indication that this was once a place holy to the Lord.

The Lord was trying to warn Judah that they, their city and the Temple would suffer the same result if they did not repent and turn to Him. We know from Bible history that they did not repent and this resulted in destruction and the captivity by Babylon.

At this point I cannot help but think of Second Chronicles 7:14:

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
The Lord has blessed America and has been very gracious and patient with us. Pray for our nation and our leaders. May we heed the warnings of the Lord. May His name be praised forever!

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