T HE S ECRET OF H IS P URPOSE …. T HE P LAN FOR THE F ULLNESS OF THE T IMES
TO HEAD UP ALL THINGS IN THE KING,
E VERYTHING IN THE H EAVENS AND ON THE E ARTH ,
IN JESUS ….
By – Stuart H. Pouliot
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This article is about sonship in the kingdom of God as seen through Jacob-Israel's blessing of his
favored son Joseph, who is the fruitful son of Israel. As a type, Joseph is a mighty shadow of Jesus
who is Shiloh in His first and second manifestations to humanity. Jesus is not only the fulfillment
of Judah's blessing but also of Joseph's, who is Shiloh. At the heart of this is sonship.
Sonship
At the outset, let us be clear that sonship is about the Father having many sons and daughters.
Paul makes it very clear to us.
For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk
among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27
Because of this, "come out from among them and be separated," says the Lord, "and do
not touch the unclean thing, and I will receive you." Isa. 52:11 "And I will be a Father to
you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord Almighty. 2 Sam. 7:8, 14; Isa.
43:6 (2 Corinthians 6:16-18 LITV)
Sonship is a collective term that speaks of position in God's kingdom; it is not based on gender,
for both men and women qualify to be sons in the kingdom of God. Individually, believers are a
temple of the living God; but, collectively, all believers are being fitted together, growing into a
holy temple in the Lord, being built together into a dwelling of God in spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22).
And, this dwelling of God in spirit is what John records in his Patmos as New Jerusalem.
Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, dressed
like a bride ready for her husband. (Revelation 21:2 GW)
Further, sonship speaks mightily of God's purpose and plan of the ages to become all in all new
through a family of sons.
The person who conquers will inherit these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.
(Revelation 21:7 ISV)
To build the case presented in the opening lines, I take a different course than the usual one
followed by many commentators. This course starts with Jacob promising God a tenth.
Jacob Promises the Tenth to God
Before looking at the promise of the tenth, let us consider the number 10, which is one of the
perfect numbers.
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As E.W. Bullinger, in his book titled Number in Scripture , states:
"Ten is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order ,
commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. The first decade is the
representative of the whole numeral system, and originates the system of calculation
called "decimals," because the whole system of numeration consists of so many tens , of
which the first is a type of the whole. Completeness of order, marking the entire round of
anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten . It implies that
nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is
complete."
This is a vital point in our understanding of the tenth that Jacob-Israel gave to God.
As an aside, the tenth is usually associated with what is called the tithe under the old covenant
and that, unfortunately, has been carried over to the new covenant as a legal requirement, when
it should never be such. For some insight into true new covenant giving, see the following.
Giving by the Spirit—Not by the Tithe http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art26.pdf
Now, in a dream, Jacob saw a ladder on earth and its top reaching to heaven, and then he heard
the Lord promise to give him and his descendants the land upon which he stood. When he awoke
from his sleep, Jacob knew he had met the Lord in that place, which he called Bethel , meaning
"house of God."
He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven;
and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD
stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of
Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants." (Genesis
28:12-13 NASB)
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew
it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the
house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and
took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon
the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was
called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep
me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come
again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: and this stone, which
I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely
give the tenth unto thee. (Genesis 28:16-22 KJV [bold italic added])
Jacob knew that he had met the Lord, but given his character as a supplanter and a deceiver, he
made a deal, so to speak, with God. I can imagine God laughing. If God would keep him, bless
him, and provide for him, then the Lord would be his God and he would give God the tenth of
what God had given him. Notice that his vow to God was based on God giving to him. "If God!" It
was a conditional vow that God had to agree to and do for Jacob. We could say that the ball was
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in God's court and He caught the ball, so to speak. Jacob was rather brazen in his request, but
God honored it, knowing his heart and knowing that Jacob, one day, would be changed into Israel .
But the question is: Did God bless Jacob, and if so, did Jacob ever fulfill his promise to give God
the tenth of what God had blessed him with? If so, what was the tenth that he gave back to God?
Was it a material possession? Or, was it something of an entirely different nature? I propose the
possibility it was of the latter.
The answer to this question is rather fascinating. I build the answer with eight points.
1. The birthright and the two mandates.
God most assuredly did bless Jacob. When God met him at Paddam-aram and gave him the name
Israel , meaning "God rules," God blessed Israel. Jacob was named Israel not on the basis of
physical requirements (i.e., genealogy) but based on a changed heart. The name indicates that
his heart was circumcised, and the divine law of God was written upon his heart. Simply, he had
a new nature that desired to obey and serve God.
Consider the blessing that God gave Israel.
God also said to him, "I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company
of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. The land which I gave
to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after
you." (Genesis 35:11-12 NASB)
Does this blessing look familiar? It should, for it was first spoken to Adam, the son of God (Luke
3:28), and the first man (1 Corinthians 15:35) and king of the earth.
God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth,
[fruitfulness mandate] and subdue it; and rule [dominion mandate] over the fish of the sea
and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." (Genesis
1:28 NASB)
Adam, by right of his creation in the image of Elohim , was given two mandates, one pertaining to
procreating, that is, begetting sons and daughters, and the other pertaining to ruling or having
dominion over the earth.
The first one is called the fruitfulness mandate and the second one is called the dominion
mandate . Together, they form what could be called the birthright , for Adam was given these
mandates by right of his birth as a son of God. It is the right to have dominion in the kingdom of
God on earth as a son of God (King Adam) and to produce more sons to fill the kingdom. Thus,
the two mandates signify a king (ruler) and a kingdom (sons and citizens). The two are inseparable
if God is to fulfill His plan to have a kingdom of many sons with His only begotten Son on the
throne.
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God the Father is after a large family, and this is expressed through His desire for many sons
(Exodus 4:22-23; Hebrews 2:10; Revelation 21:7). The birthright speaks of sonship, and the
birthright name is Israel .
When Adam died, the birthright and its mandates were passed down to his descendants from
generation to generation, and this can be seen throughout Hebrew scripture in types and
shadows. The two mandates were passed on together to make up the birthright; that is, they
were not separated, and, together, they were passed on to a son in each generation. As revealed
through the blessing from God, Jacob was the recipient of the birthright and its two mandates,
for he was blessed to produce many sons (i.e., fruitfulness), which, in turn, would lead to the
coming forth of many nations and kings (i.e., dominion).
2. The law of the inheritance .
Under the law of inheritance, the birthright was reserved for the first son born in a family;
however, it was not guaranteed, for it could be forfeited, which is what happened to Esau, Jacob's
twin brother who entered the world first. Esau was famished and wanted Jacob to give him some
lentil stew. Being the shrewd one that he was, Jacob said: "First sell me your birthright." Esau
thought he was about to die and saw no value in the birthright, so he sold it to his younger
brother. Thus, Esau despised his birthright (Genesis 25:27-34), and it passed on to Jacob.
When their father was old and his eyes were too dim to see, Isaac wanted to bless Esau, his older
son—as the story goes, Jacob, at the prodding of his mother, deceived his father and received
Esau's blessing. Esau cried out over what his brother had done to him : "Is he not rightly named
Jacob, for he has supplanted me these two times? He took away my birthright, and behold, now
he has taken away my blessing" (Genesis 27:36).
Notice that the first supplanting pertained to the birthright and the second one pertained to
blessing. The birthright establishes who has the right to rule over a father's estate, that is, who
will either become the successor to the estate when the father dies or, perhaps, while he still
lives. However, to receive the right to rule, the son must be appointed or placed by the father as
the successor or, in kingdom terms, the ruler. Generally, the first son to be born is the recipient
of the birthright; however, he must be placed as the ruler.
In the day of the patriarchs, it was customary for a father who was near the end of his life to
formally establish his successor, the one who would rule over his estate after he was gone, and
he did this as a blessing. In the case of Esau, not only had he sold the blessing of the birthright
(fruitfulness) to Jacob, but Jacob stole the blessing of the dominion mandate from him. So, when
Esau cried out over his loss, he was crying over his loss of sonship and rulership.
We see the same principle applying to believers in our day. When we are by grace given the faith
to believe in Jesus, we are given a new life, called the new creation , and we become children of
God being raised up as sons of God. This is what Paul meant as he wrote that God predestined
us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself (Ephesians 1:5), that we might receive the
adoption as sons (Galatians 4:5), that you have received a spirit of adoption as sons (Romans
8:15), and that we are waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body
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(Romans 8:23). By the way, Paul picked up the theme of adoption from Jacob-Israel when he took
Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, as his own (Genesis 48:5).
3. Jacob-Israel prophesied over his sons.
As his life was coming to a close, Jacob-Israel called his sons together to give them a word that
would explain or sum up their lives. We could say that he prophesied over their lives by telling
them what would befall them. The word befall refers to what one will encounter.
Then called Jacob unto his sons,—and said—Gather yourselves together, and let me tell
you, that which shall befall you in the afterpart of the days. Assemble yourselves and hear
ye sons of Jacob,—And hearken unto Israel your father! (Genesis 49:1-2 Rotherham)
The fading elder spoke to his sons as Jacob, their natural father, who was a supplanter, and as
Israel, their spiritual father, who came to know God and His rule. One of his responsibilities, if not
the most important one, was to pass on the birthright to one of his sons.
4. Judah received the dominion mandate .
However, in prophesying over his sons, Israel did not pass on the dominion mandate as part of
the birthright. He altered the rules, so to speak, and gave the dominion mandate to his fourth
son Judah.
"Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down to you. Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son,
you have gone up. He couches, he lies down as a lion, and as a lion, who dares rouse him
up? 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." (Genesis 49:8-10
NASB)
In other words, Israel removed the dominion mandate from the birthright, which was all in accord
with the plan of God. It pointed to the fact that dominion or kingship would come through the
house of Judah (Psalm 78:68; Revelation 5:5).
When He came the first time, Jesus was born of the Davidic line of Judah in the region of Judea
in the town of Bethlehem. He is the son of David and through His birth (born as king) and
subsequent death and resurrection secured the scepter of the kingdom and the right to rule over
the house of Judah. This is prophesied in the picture of Judah couching down as a lion that died
and needed to be roused up.
Shiloh, the place where God first placed His name, refers to God's Son ruling over the nations,
that is, when the people (nations) will be obedient to Him. But according to Jacob's prophetic
word, Shiloh is not a place but a person, and it appears that the scepter will pass from Judah to
Shiloh, which means that, in type, both Judah and Shiloh refer to Jesus. The record does not
indicate that Judah had a son by this name, but as we will see, the sons of Joseph were linked to
the town of Shiloh.
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Please hold this thought; we will come back to it in a moment, for it is significant in regard to
reuniting the two mandates with the birthright.
5. Disqualification of Jacob's sons.
When it came to Jacob's sons, there are two ways to look at the matter of the firstborn son.
Strictly speaking, Rueben, who was born of Leah, was the first son out of the twelve sons
begotten of Jacob. Simply numbering the brothers in the order of their birth reveals that the
birthright bypassed most of his sons that stood in line of birth.
Rueben lost the birthright because of his immoral act of defiling his father's bed (Genesis 35:22;
49:4; 1 Chronicles 5:1). Simeon and Levi were next in line but were disqualified because of their
violence and anger as evidenced by their massacre of Shechem's house (Genesis 34:25-31; 49:5-
7). Judah was next in line, but he too was disqualified from receiving the birthright, for it was his
idea to sell his brother Joseph into slavery. Judah was a deceiver like his father, for he deceived
Jacob into believing that Joseph was dead by dipping Joseph's tunic in the blood of a goat (Genesis
37:26-36). The fact of the matter is that the first ten brothers in the line of succession were
disqualified from receiving the birthright.
However, there was another way to determine the firstborn in Jacob's household. Jacob had four
wives. Rachel was the one he truly loved and for whom he labored in Laban's camp all those
years. The firstborn of Rachel was Joseph.
6. Joseph received the birthright.
Israel loved Joseph, the eleventh in line but the firstborn of his wife Rachel, and he chose him as
the firstborn of his twelve sons.
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and
he made him a varicolored tunic. (Genesis 37:3 NASB)
Joseph's status as the birthright son was proven by the varicolored tunic given to Joseph by his
father (Genesis 37:3). In those days, it was customary for the father to make known to all the
identity of his birthright son by giving him a multi-colored coat to wear.
Obviously, Jacob's other sons knew that Joseph was favored, and they resented him, even more
so when he recounted a dream of his brothers bowing down to him. Their jealousy led them to
sell their 17-year-old brother to some Ishmaelites heading to Egypt, who, in turn, sold him into
Egyptian bondage at the age of 18. However, the blessing of God was upon him, and, after a
period of trial, he rose in power to become the Prime Minister of Egypt at the age of 30; only
Pharaoh exceeded him in authority. He was in God's place (Genesis 50:19).
For 21 years, Jacob thought his son was dead. However, when Joseph was 39 years of age, he
was reunited with his father, and the entire family joined Joseph in Egypt during the time of the
great famine.
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When it came time for him to die, Israel did three things. First, he summoned Joseph to himself
and made Joseph pledge not to bury him in Egypt. Second, he met with Joseph and his two sons,
Ephraim and Manasseh. He took (adopted) the two sons as his own and blessed them with his
name, the name of Israel.
"Bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on…." (Genesis 48:16 ESV)
As a result of this blessing, the name Israel was forever attached to the house of Joseph. This is
an important point that is easily missed. The name Israel was not attached to the house of Judah.
As long as the house of Judah remained with the house of Joseph, which became known as the
house of Israel , the name of Israel stood over all twelve tribes, including Judah. After the reign of
Solomon, the kingdom was split into the house of Judah [southern nation comprised of the tribes
of Judah and Benjamin] and the house of Israel [northern nation comprised of the remaining ten
tribes] (1 Kings 12:16-24).
Judah alone cannot claim the right to the name Israel , something that the present state of Israel
has done. They have usurped the name Israel that rightfully belongs to what Jesus referred to as
the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:6; 15:24). Prophetically and typologically
speaking, Joseph had to be found and reunited with Judah for the kingdom of God's true Israel
to be one once again.
Now, as we have already seen, the third thing that Israel did as he was about to die was to
assemble his sons to speak a word over their lives. The prophetic blessing given to Joseph stands
out in its length and breadth, and is rather unique, for it is the only one that includes blessings
from Israel and God the Almighty. To his other sons, Jacob simply intimated the future character
of their lives, but not so in the case of his son that had been separated from him for 21 years; the
son who, allegorically speaking, came back from the dead.
"Joseph is a fruitful bough [ ben meaning "son"], a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches
run over a wall. The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; but
his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), from the God of your father who helps
you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the
deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your
father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the
everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the
one distinguished among his brothers." (Genesis 49:22-26 NASB)
Israel prophesied that Joseph would be a fruitful bough, meaning the fruitfulness mandate was
passed on to him. The Hebrew word for bough is ben , meaning "son." Thus, Joseph would be a
son who bore much fruit, that is, one who would bring forth many sons. However, Israel did not
stop with fruitfulness, for he proceeded to bless his son, something he did not do for the others.
In fact, the words bless or blessing are not to be found in the prophetic words given to Israel's
other sons.
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The Hebrew word for bless is barak , which is a primitive root meaning "to kneel' and, by
implication, "to bless God." The Hebrew word for blessing is brakah , which is derived from the
root word barak , meaning "benediction" and, by implication, "prosperity." These words only
appear in the prophecy pertaining to Joseph.
There are two parts to the blessing given to Joseph. The first part was the blessing of the Almighty
that had been on Joseph. For about 13 years, Joseph was attacked and harassed, but God was
with him, strengthened him, and helped him. God had blessed him with blessings of heaven,
blessings of the deep, and blessings of the breasts and wombs. God's blessing upon Joseph
extended from heaven to earth and beneath the earth, and to the womb, which, again, speaks
of fruitfulness in producing sons.
The question is: How do we know that the blessing given to Joseph by Israel was the blessing of
the birthright? We see the fruitfulness mandate in the blessing but how do we know that this
refers to the birthright? The answer is found in the Chronicles.
Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn, but because he
defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; so
that he is not enrolled in the genealogy according to the birthright. Though Judah prevailed
over his brothers, and from him came the leader, yet the birthright belonged to Joseph )
…. (1 Chronicles 5:1-2 NASB)
These two verses pretty much sum up what Israel spoke over his son as he was about to die. The
birthright belonged to Joseph and was given to his sons. The name Israel was upon the sons of
Joseph. This is not only the birthright but also the name of the birthright. Notice how Judah is
singled out and identified with the leader, which refers to the dominion mandate.
At this point, it appears that the dominion mandate was separated from the birthright and the
fruitfulness mandate, essentially, became the birthright; that is, the two became synonymous.
As long as Judah and Israel are separated this appears to be true; however, in that day it was only
a temporary situation. This is what is called the breach that required repair.
Obviously, the prophets that would come later foretold of their reunification (Jeremiah 3:18;
31:31; 33:14; Isaiah 14:1; Zechariah 8:16; Hebrews 8:8), but Israel was the first to prophesy of it.
The fact of the matter is that he foretold of their split and their reunification when he spoke over
the life of Judah. The split (breach) was foretold when Israel gave the scepter to Judah and not
to Joseph. However, the reunification also was foretold with the mention of Shiloh within the
prophecy spoken over Judah's life. Of course, all of this points to the unitymaker, peacemaker,
and repairer of the breach, Jesus, the Messiah of the true Israel in God's heart. Today, the two
houses are reunited in the kingdom of the Messiah Jesus.
7. Until Shiloh comes.
To continue along this line, we need to bring Judah back into the picture.
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"Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down to you. … 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." (Genesis 49:8, 10 NASB)
Notice that the scepter will not depart until Shiloh comes, meaning Judah's retention of the
ruler's staff was temporary, for it would be relinquished upon the arrival of Shiloh. In other words,
Shiloh would replace Judah as the rightful holder of the scepter. But who is Shiloh? No one by
that name appears in scripture. When this occurs, the general rule is to consider the meaning of
the name.
According to A.R. Fausset's Bible Encyclopedia and Dictionary , Shiloh means "the Peacemaker,"
as it comes from the word shalah , meaning "to be at peace" or "to be tranquil or at rest." Thus,
prophetically speaking, Shiloh is the name of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). There is only one
person who fits this descriptive title, and it is none other than the Son of God, our Lord Jesus. He
alone is Shiloh, for the nations are destined to bow the knee to Him and confess Him as Lord.
Being from the line of Judah, with His death and resurrection, Jesus rightfully took the scepter of
the kingdom and fulfilled Jacob's prophecy regarding Judah. It seems that the prophecy regarding
Judah ended with the first coming of the Son of God, and the emphasis shifted to Shiloh and its
meaning. God's king had to come from the line of Judah, but once He did come and take the
scepter, the emphasis shifted from Judah to Shiloh, and this shift has to do with Joseph and the
birthright.
By the way, Jesus had to come from the line of Judah in order to fulfill the promise of the Lord
regarding King David, a descendant of Judah.
"For thus says the LORD, 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of
Israel….'" (Jeremiah 33:17 NASB)
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to
him the throne of his father David…. (Luke 1:32 ESV)
Further, Jesus could not have come from the line of Levi, for if He were, He would not be a high
priest according to the order of Melchizedek. The fact that Shiloh means "prince of peace" and
Melchizedek means "king of peace" should catch our attention, for this links Shiloh to
Melchizedek, which, again, shifts the emphasis from Judah to Shiloh.
There are two other significant facts about Shiloh that shift the emphasis from Judah to Joseph
and that is discovered in the history and location of Shiloh. According to scripture, Shiloh does
not appear in history until Joshua led the sons of Israel out of the wilderness and into their
inheritance in the land of promise.
Joshua is a type of Christ who leads the sons of God into their inheritance of immortal spirit-
animated bodies. Shiloh was where Joshua and company pitched the tent of meeting and then
divided up the land that had not yet been allotted to the tribes (Joshua 18:1-3). Shiloh was within
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the territory of the sons of Joseph, specifically, the sons of Ephraim (Joshua 16:4-10), Joseph's
younger son. Although it was within Ephraim's territory, a biblical map of that area in that day
reveals that Shiloh was nearly on the border of the territory of Manasseh, the firstborn son of
Joseph, as if to signify that it refers to both sons of Joseph. However, Israel purposely gave the
greater blessing to Joseph's younger son Ephraim. Consequently, it appears the greater blessing
that fell upon Ephraim is also connected to the coming of Shiloh.
Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right
hand on his head." But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know; he also will
become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater
than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations." He blessed them that
day, saying, "By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, 'May God make you like Ephraim
and Manasseh!'" Thus, he put Ephraim before Manasseh. (Genesis 48:18-20 NASB)
God later removed His name and departed from Shiloh because of the disobedience of the sons
of Israel (Joshua 18:1; Jeremiah 7:12; Psalm 78:60-61); nonetheless, His name was destined to
rest, not on a piece of earth but on His Son, the Prince of Peace, and upon a people (Revelation
3:12) that rule and reign with Him as a kingdom and priests (Revelation 5:10). Again, this should
remind us of Melchizedek, the king of Salem, the king of peace; the type of Christ and the many
sons chosen as a kingdom and priests.
Putting these facts together indicate that Shiloh appeared in the prophecy over Judah's life to
reveal that the line of Judah was necessary to bring forth the Messiah, the king-priest to fulfill
the promise to David, but this was not the endpoint, for something greater was to follow and
that has to do with Shiloh—not only in Jesus' inaugural or first arrival in the first century AD but
also, and more importantly, the consummational or second arrival of Jesus that we are eagerly
waiting for that we trust will come very soon, for this is when the sons of God come into their
inheritance of immortal, glorified, celestial, spiritual bodies—spirit-animated bodies.
Now, with this in mind, let us return again to the blessing given to Joseph by Israel, for here we
see a reference to a crown, and further indication of the blessing that Joseph received.
The blessings of thy father, have prevailed, Over the blessings of the perpetual mountains,
The charm of the age-abiding hills,—They turn out to be, for the head of Joseph, And for
the crown of the head of him who was set apart from his brethren. (Genesis 49:26
Rotherham)
Strictly speaking, in this case, the Hebrew word for crown refers to the top of the head. However,
by inference, I believe that the crown also points to a kingly crown. Part of the blessing is the
crown of kingship. Thus, we have Shiloh following Judah and a blessing on the crown of Joseph's
head. Both speak of kingship, and both point to only one king—our beloved Lord Jesus.
I find it curious that the prophecy given to Judah is not called a blessing . Truly, receiving the
scepter is a glorious blessing. So why wasn't it called a blessing. I do not want to minimize Judah's
scepter, but it seems to me that Judah, in fact, did not receive a blessing because the blessing
truly belongs to Joseph. Judah was given the scepter as a temporary measure until Shiloh arrived,
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because the entire original birthright as given to Adam belonged to Joseph alone. Joseph alone
brings reunification of the house of Judah and the house of Israel to bring forth the true Israel of
God. The key to our understanding is in the fact that Joseph-Shiloh is a type of Messiah Jesus
coming, in both His first and second arrival to manifest Himself to humanity.
As an aside, of the commentary I have read, all of them see Joseph-Shiloh referring to only Jesus'
second coming not His first. I see it differently, as explained in another article.
See Until Shiloh Comes http://www.kingdomandglory.com/art/art66.pdf
Again, consider Israel's blessing of Joseph, for in this we see Jesus. Read the following with Jesus
in mind and take note of the references to suffering, to heaven and earth, to the womb, which
speaks of children or, to be more precise, sons, and to the crown on the head.
"Joseph is a fruitful bough [ ben meaning "son"], a fruitful bough by a spring; its branches
run over a wall. The archers bitterly attacked him, and shot at him and harassed him; but
his bow remained firm, and his arms were agile, from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), from the God of your father who helps
you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the
deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. The blessings of your
father have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors up to the utmost bound of the
everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of the
one distinguished among his brothers." (Genesis 49:22-26 NASB [emphasis added])
Consider what we are told in the new testament: After His resurrection, Jesus declared to His
disciples: All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make
disciples (i.e., sons ) of all the nations (Matthew 28:18-19). The Hebrews were given the word of
sonship: For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in
bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings (Hebrews
2:10). And, when heaven is opened and the King of kings is revealed, He is clothed with a robe
dipped in blood, and on His head are many diadems (i.e., crowns) (Revelation 19:12-13).
Under Pharaoh, Joseph had all authority in Egypt; with His Father, Jesus has all authority. Joseph
suffered and brought forth sons; Jesus suffered and is bringing forth many sons to glory. Joseph
saved all of Egypt; Jesus saves the whole world. Joseph's birthright coat was dipped in blood;
Jesus is clothed in a robe dipped in blood. Joseph had a blessing on the crown of his head; Jesus
has many diadems (crowns) upon His head. Also, take note that within Joseph's blessing is the
mention of the Stone of Israel, which, not only speaks of Christ the Rock but also of Christ as the
king of the stone kingdom (Daniel 2:35; 7:9-14).
God's plan has not been thwarted, for it was inaugurated in His Son's first arrival and will be
consummated in His second. The dominion and the fruitfulness mandates have been joined
together once again with the first century arrival of Israel's Messiah and will become crystal clear
in His second arrival. The two mandates are fulfilled and reunited in Jesus alone, and Joseph-
Shiloh is the type.
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One further note, God's plan all along has been to restore the birthright as first given to Adam.
The first Adam was a type (Romans 5:14) of the last Adam and, ultimately, both mandates are
fulfilled for all of humanity in Jesus—the second man, the Son of God.
Since Calvary, all who by grace have been given the faith to believe on Jesus are joined to the
king of Judah and come under His reign. Thus, the dominion mandate speaks of the king, the one
who holds the scepter of the kingdom. In essence, this mandate was settled at the cross and has
been fulfilled in King Jesus. But he also came as Joseph-Shiloh the peacemaker, unitymaker, and
repairer of the breach, the fruitful son who will bring forth many sons unto glory.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let
not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:27 ESV)
For His kingdom to take root among the nations, the king had to first receive the nations as His
inheritance (and, so He has; Psalm 2:8), and in this inheritance, He has many sons of God growing
up to rule and reign over the nations with Him. These sons are conquerors (overcomers) that will
sit upon His throne (Revelation 3:21). Simply, He needs a kingdom and priests (Revelation 5:10;
20:4-6). And He has been raising up this very kingdom since His first arrival to be fully manifested
in His second arrival.
Joseph was sold into bondage and suffered for a period of time, but he overcame or conquered
through his trials. He is a type of the conquerors who overcome the trials of life and are counted
worthy to sit upon the throne of the King of kings. Just as Joseph rose to be Prime Minister so will
the conquerors rise to be kings and lords in the kingdom of King Jesus.
Children of God must grow up in the Messiah to be placed (adopted) as sons (Romans 8:12-25;
Galatians 4:4-7); they must be trained and disciplined (Hebrews 12:4-11), and God's divine laws
written on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10), so that they can judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2) in
righteousness and with justice and equity and full of lovingkindness (Psalm 32:5; 96:10, 13; 97:2;
98:9). But first, they must grow up and mature to be complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28), to be
conformed to His image (Romans 8:29), to become His complement or fullness (Ephesians 1:23;
3:19). Many sons must be brought to glory for the kingdom of the Son of God's love to be fully
manifested to the nations.
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in
bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
(Hebrews 2:10 NASB)
To whom did God will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this secret [mystery]
among the nations―which is Christ in you, the hope of the glory. (Colossians 1:27 YLT)
When the king is revealed (and he is your life, remember), then you too will be revealed
with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4 Kingdom NT)
In other words, without sons, the kingdom of King Jesus cannot and will not come to the nations.
The Son's inheritance begins with the inheritance of many sons of glory. The fruitfulness mandate
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must be fulfilled for the king to establish His kingdom. This glorious building of His was
inaugurated in 33 AD, but it must be consummated, and it will be in his second arrival. Again, the
dominion mandate speaks of the king, and the fruitfulness mandate speaks of His kingdom of
many sons. The two mandates must be consummated in order for the kingdom of Christ to openly
manifest to the nations, and this will take place with the resurrection and transfiguration
(glorification) of His people.
Dear brethren, this is our hope and with perseverance and patience we wait eagerly for it. Paul
tells us so.
For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together
until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even
we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the
redemption of our body. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with
perseverance we wait eagerly for it. (Romans 8:22-25 NASB)
The redemption of our body comes through resurrection and transfiguration. We need to be like
Paul who is an example of one who endured to the end and who will be counted worthy of the
kingdom (2 Timothy 4:7-8, 18). Paul was truly a conqueror looking toward bodily resurrection.
I'm not implying that I've already received "resurrection," or that I've already become
complete and mature! No: I'm hurrying on, eager to overtake it, because King Jesus has
overtaken me. My dear family, I don't reckon that I have yet overtaken it. But this is my
own aim: to forget everything that's behind, and to strain every nerve to go after what's
ahead. I mean to chase on toward the finishing post, where the prize waiting for me is the
upward call of God in King Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 Kingdom NT)
8. The tenth prophetic blessing.
Finally, back to the point made at the beginning: Did Jacob give the tenth to God as promised?
A quick read of Jacob's life might indicate that he never did give God the tenth. However, on
careful examination, Jacob indeed did give God the tenth, but it is not the usual tithe or tenth
that comes to the mind of most trained by the tradition of men, of which the Lord Jesus was most
critical (Mark 7:8). In fact, we must throw off the shackles of the "church tithe" of our day in order
to understand what follows. It is not about 10% of one's income or even 10% of the increase of
production from the physical land. It is far greater.
As we consider the answer, let us be reminded that the tenth is based on the number 10, which
signifies "the perfection of Divine order." Again, according to E.W. Bullinger, "it implies that
nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete."
The tenth that Jacob gave completes a mighty and glorious perfect order.
As I was meditating on this question, I felt a prod from the spirit of God to number the prophecies
Israel spoke over his sons. When I did, I realized that the tenth was more than a future view of
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what would befall one of his sons; it contained a prophetic blessing, and it is none other than the
blessing given to Joseph and all that we have seen in regard to this blessing in relation to the
birthright.
In the line of sons, Joseph was the eleventh in order of the prophecies, but he was the tenth in
prophetic order because Jacob-Israel prophesied over Simeon and Levi together. In other words,
one and the same blessing went to these two brothers. This was one prophecy for two brothers.
"Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are implements of violence. "Let my soul not
enter into their council; let not my glory be united with their assembly; because in their
anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it is
fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel. I will disperse them in Jacob, and scatter them in
Israel. (Genesis 49:5-7 NASB)
Thus, the first prophecy was for Reuben, the second for Simeon and Levi together, the third for
Judah, who, as we have already seen, is a type of Christ in His first coming when He took the
scepter as the king of Judah; the fourth for Zebulun, and the fifth for Issachar, and so on, until we
come to the tenth prophecy, which was for Joseph.
The tenth prophecy given by Jacob for his beloved son Joseph exceeds all the other prophecies
spoken over the lives of Joseph's brothers because this tenth prophecy spoke of the blessing of
the birthright that is fulfilled in God's Son. The tenth is the blessing of sonship that reunites the
two mandates of the birthright! In essence, the tenth signifies the birthright .
To add more proof to this answer, let us return to Jacob's promise to God.
And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of
God, and this is the gate of heaven. … And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be
God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
(Genesis 28:17, 22 KJV)
Notice that before he promised the tenth, Jacob acknowledged that the place was the house of
God and he stood at the gate of heaven. In other words, he saw the kingdom of the heavens in
relation to God's heart to have a spiritual house. So, Jacob set up a pillar of stone and called it
God's house .
This is another prophetic picture that speaks of the kingdom of the heavens coming to earth and
the stone kingdom that crushes all the kingdoms of men (Daniel 2:35, 44) when the saints (sons)
shall take possession of the kingdom (Daniel 7:18, 22, 27). God's stone kingdom is God's spiritual
house constructed of living stones who are priests (1 Peter 2:5) and the many sons of God who
reign with Christ as kings, lords, judges, and administrators. God's blessing of Jacob will be
fulfilled: I am God Almighty; be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall
come from you, and kings shall come forth from you (Genesis 35:11).
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Thus, when Israel gave the tenth blessing to his son Joseph—a type of the Messiah and His two
arrivals, reuniting the birthright consisting of fruitfulness and dominion—he was fulfilling his
promise to give God the tenth of all that God had blessed him with. Amazing!
Spiritually speaking, with his tenth blessing, Israel blessed God with his son who was a type of
the Son of God. Joseph, who was thought dead for 21 years, came back into Israel's life; he was
likened unto the dead, but then he was found alive, just as the Son of God died and rose from
among the dead to appear to many. Prophetically speaking, Israel blessed God's Son with many
sons. The Son of God will bring forth many sons of glory to reign in the kingdom of God.
This is the meaning of the tenth. "It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order
are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete." The birthright of the first Adam is fulfilled in the
last Adam, and the kingdom has come.
Two Closing Thoughts
First, in scripture, the old covenant tenth is associated with the land. Given this, how could the
tenth refer to the birthright and sonship in the coming kingdom? We need spiritual sight that
moves our thinking beyond the natural and into the spiritual, but probably not in the way many
have been taught to think.
The physical land of Canaan was promised to the ancient Israelites, and they tithed from this
land, but the land we are promised is a new body, a dwelling from heaven (2 Corinthians 5:2);
not that we go to heaven to get it, but that it comes to us on earth when Jesus comes in His
second consummational, new creational arrival. Our future land of promise is a spirit-animated
body that can traverse both heaven (or, the celestials) and earth. It will be a material body
energized by the spirit of God.
According to Paul, the nature ( psuche )-animated body comes first, then the spirit ( pneuma )-
animated body (1 Corinthians 15:46). Notice that Paul speaks of bodies, implying physicality for
both types. In both cases there is a body, the difference being what energizes the body. Paul
makes no assertion that the spirit-animated body is a disembodied spirit with no form or shape,
or, more explicitly, no physical structure. Again, what he does differentiate is what makes the
two bodies work.
Our human bodies came from the soil of the earth. We were sown a natural body. The first man
was out of the earth, soilish; the second Man is the Lord out of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:47 CLV).
We are destined to wear the image of the celestial one in which our mortal body is swallowed up
by life, for flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 15:48-49; 50). This
new creation body will be like Jesus' body, perhaps as displayed in Luke 24:39. Consequently, our
land is not a patch of dirt on earth or in heaven; rather, it is a new body constituted of both
heaven and earth. This is our kingdom inheritance.
The redemption of our body, our heavenly land, is required for us to be placed as a son in the
kingdom to manifestly rule and reign with King Jesus. In Romans 8:23, Paul links our adoption as
sons of God (sonship) with the redemption of our bodies.
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Thus, the tenth is the completion of the whole cycle from the soilish to the heavenly and the
joining of the two into one. It is heaven kissing earth and the two becoming one in some defined
form of physicality in the image of the resurrected Jesus. It is the gate of heaven opened up so
that heaven and earth truly become one. It is the perfection of divine order.
We have not arrived at this divine destiny, so we press on toward the goal for the prize of the
upward call (rising up in resurrection) of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14). As Paul sought to
attain to the out-resurrection from among the dead (Philippians 3:11), in the likeness of Jesus'
resurrection, being counted worthy of the kingdom of Christ in the next age and encouraging
others to do likewise (1 Corinthians 9:26-27; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 18; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12), so
must we.
Just as Joseph is a type of God's Son who conquered to become the ruler of the kings of the earth,
so too is Joseph a type of the sons of God who conquer while occupying mortal bodies with a
view to manifestly ruling with King Jesus in spirit-animated bodies. The time is approaching when
this company will be revealed and the kingdom of our Lord and of all of His anointed (head and
body) will be manifested among the nations.
"The one who is conquering, to him will I be granting to be seated with Me on My throne
as I, also, conquer, and am seated with My Father on His throne." (Revelation 3:21 CLV)
Second, as great as this is for those who, throughout our present age, have been given the faith
to believe and have gone on to conquer through the active life of Jesus worked out in us, we
would be woefully remiss if we missed the heart of the Father.
The blessing of the tenth is for God the Father, for He desires many sons like His only begotten
Son. It is not about earthly possessions and giving a tenth of our income; it is about God receiving
the increase from among men that he formed from the soil of the earth. His harvest or, if you
will, crop that He desires to come forth from His soil is a living, spiritual house of sons conformed
to the image of His only begotten Son.
God's increase is an increase of sons. He started with one Son, and His kingdom will be filled with
many sons like the Son.
John not only heard the words from the one who sits on the throne, but he also heard the very
heart and passion of God for sons.
And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said,
"Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the
Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from
the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes [conquers] will inherit these
things, and I will be his God and he will be My son ." (Revelation 21:5-7 NASB)
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