In Jacob' blessing to Judah (Genesis 49:9-12) both ancient Rabbinic and ancient Christian commentators have assigned the Messiah to be 'him' (in Hebrew 'Shiloh'). However, starting at 'Binding his foal to the vine' several Christian commentators say it no longer applies to the Messiah, even though ancient rabbinic and early Christian fathers still carry the words in respect to the Messiah.
My question is where should the words be interpreted as principally meaning the Messiah and where should they stop and simply mean the literal Judah?
For example, with regard to the pre-Christian era, the whole section is treated to be as Messianic according to some ancient rabbinic literature:
The expression ‘lion’s whelp,’ is explained of the Messiah in Yalkut 160 (vol. 1. p. 49 c), no less than five times; while the term ‘he couched,’ is referred to the Messiah in Ber. R. 98....Jerusalem Targum, as well as Sanh. 98 b, the Midrash on the passage, and that on Prov. 19:21, and on Lam. 1:16, where it is rendered shelo, ‘whose it is,’ refer the expression ‘Shiloh,’ and, indeed, the whole passage, to the Messiah; the Midrash Ber. R. (99, ed. Warsh. p. 178 b) with special reference to Is. 11:10, while the promise with reference to the ass’s colt is brought into connection with Zech. 9:9 ('The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah', by Alfred Edersheim, Appendix 9)
For example, under the Christian era, Luther thinks similar to many church fathers that Shiloh will bring so much spiritual blessing that even an ass will be drunk on abundance:
Nor is an ass usually tied to a vine to carry the grapes, but this is done in order that the ass may drink and be filled with wine. Therefore the words seem to have the following meaning: The ass is to feed on grapes and wine as nourishment and to get drunk. The ass shall have good days for once and guzzle wine. (Luther's Works, Vol 8, Page 2427)
However Calvin and many other conservative commentators take the mention of wine and milk as simply hyperboles for Judah's literal prosperity in Canaan and so end the direct application to the Messiah earlier.
Here are the Bible verses in question:
Judah is a lion 's cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey' s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk. (Genesis 49:9-12, ESV)