Jacob prophesied about the Messiah coming from Judah.
When Jacob was near death, he prophesied to each of his sons regarding their family’s future in “the last days.” Jacob’s prophecy for Judah was regarding the Messiah:
8 “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;Genesis 49:8-12 OSB
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s cub;
From being a shoot, my son, you have grown up.
He bows down, and slept as a lion and a cub;
And who shall rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor a lawgiver from his loins,
Until Shiloh comes;
And to Him shall be the expectation of the nations.
11 Binding his colt to a vine,
And his donkey’s colt to its branch,
He will wash his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are gladdened from the wine,
And his teeth are whiter than milk.
The fulfillment of these statements can be seen later in the Scriptures in the Person of Jesus. Perhaps the clearest reference to Jacob’s prophecy can be found in Revelation 5:
5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scrollRevelation 5:5-10 NIV
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
The prophecy of Genesis 49 is deep, multifaceted, and relates to many events recorded later in the Bible.