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What and who is…
Hebrew: שִׁילֹה —transliteration: Shiloh —probable meaning: “he whose it is”
This is the name of a very important Biblical person and place.
Shiloh, a name of the Messiah
Shiloh is an ancient Hebrew word and appears to mean “He whose it is” or “he who is to be sent” or “that which belongs to him.”
The name appears in Genesis 49:10:
The sceptre 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.
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh comes [or Until he comes to Shiloh; or Until he comes to whom it belongs],
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” —Genesis 49:10 NASB
The Vulgate Version translates the word, “he who is to be sent,” in allusion to the Messiah; the Revised King James Version, margin, “till he come to Shiloh;” and the Septuagint, “until that which is his shall come to Shiloh.”
It is most simple and natural to render the expression, as in the King James Version, “till Shiloh come,” interpreting it as a proper name.
Compare Isaiah 9:6 KJV:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Shiloh, an Israelite city in Ephraim
For 300 years, it served as the spiritual capital of the Hebrew people, the home of the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant.
Shiloh was a city of the Tribe of Ephraim, 10 miles (16km) north side of Bethel (Judges 21:19). Archaeologists have positively identified Shiloh’s location, which is called Khirbet Seilun (Arabic name), an archaeological mound, called in Modern Hebrew Tel Shiloh. The modern inhabited city is called Shiloh or Seilun.
Tel Shiloh and modern Shiloh—satellite view
Here the tabernacle was set up after the Conquest of Canaan (Joshua 18:1-10), and it remained here during all of the period of the judges till the ark fell into the hands of the Philistines.
500 years after its destruction, it was referred to by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 7:12; Jer. 7:14; 26:4-9).
“But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the Lord, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.” —Jeremiah 7:12-14 NASB
“No spot in Central Palestine could be more secluded than this early sanctuary, nothing more featureless than the landscape around; so featureless, indeed, the landscape and so secluded the spot that from the time of St. Jerome till its re-discovery by Dr. Robinson in 1838 the very site was forgotten and unknown.”
Christian Answers Team Member Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) has done much archaeological work at Shiloh and has ongoing digs there—collecting additional evidence that supports the reliability of Scripture.
One of ABR’s archaeological excavation teams at Shiloh
Article Version: September 19, 2019