God’s promise of a Messiah is progressively revealed in Scripture. Jacob’s prophecy concerning Jesus was made 19 centuries before Jesus was born. We can submit to Jesus’ rule in our lives because He is God’s promised ruler.
49:9 You are a lion’s cub [young and full of vigor], O Judah [Jacob’s fourth son; Reuben was oldest and Joseph was favorite]; you return from the prey [describes lion feasting on flesh taken as prey; protective/defensive of its food], my son. Like a lion [common in Israel in Bible times; imagery of lion conveys power and authority] he crouches and lies down, like a lioness [fierce in defending its young] — who dares to rouse him?
49:10 The scepter [symbol of power and authority] will not depart from Judah [the royal tribe; cf. Matt. 1:2], nor the ruler’s staff [symbol of power and authority] from between his feet [when king sat down the scepter rested between his feet], until [Judah would hold a leadership status among tribes of Israel] he [ future ruler would come from tribe of Judah; anticipates rise of Davidic monarchy (cf. 2 Sam. 7:15-16); ultimately fulfilled in coming of Messiah] comes to whom it [the kingdom] belongs [no other has a legitimate claim to royalty through Judah] and the obedience of the nations [leadership, kingship, sovereignty over Israel and non-Israelite peoples] is his.
49:29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers [in the promised land] in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
49:30 the cave in the field of Machpelah [name means “the double cave”], near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought [Abraham paid 400 shekels of silver; cf. Gen. 23:17-20] as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field.
49:31 There Abraham [cf. Gen. 25:9] and his wife Sarah [cf. Gen. 23:19] were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah.
49:32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites [Noah’s great grandson (original ancestor of the Hittites), a people group living in Canaan].”
49:33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up [perhaps suggests a fetal position] into the bed, breathed his last [died] and was gathered to his people [joined his ancestors].