Judah's Scepter

Genesis 49:1-15 In this lesson we begin examining the third major faith event at the conclusion of Jacob's life, the blessing of his twelve sons. The passage is both prophetic and poetic. How should these aspects of the passage influence the way we understand the blessings? What caused Reuben to forfeit his preeminence in the family? Why did Jacob not want his family's glory to be associated with Simeon or Levi? In what way would the tribe of Issachar relinquish some of the blessings that were intended for it in the land of promise? How is that analogous to how we as Christians sometimes live? What animal is representative of the future of the tribe of Judah? Who or what is "Shiloh?" What does the reference to Judah tying his donkey to a grape vine represent? To what does all this talk about Judah ultimately point? (60 min)