A baton or rod carried by a ruler as an emblem of royal authority. At times “scepter” is used in a figurative sense to represent kings (Ezek. 19:10, 11, 14) or authority (Zech. 10:11), especially royal authority.
Jacob’s prophetic words that the ‘scepter would not turn aside from Judah’ indicated that the kingship would come to be and remain the possession of the tribe of Judah. (Gen. 49:10; see COMMANDER’S STAFF.) Centuries later the Babylonians, acting as Jehovah’s executional “sword,” destroyed the kingdom of Judah and took its king captive. This is alluded to by Jehovah’s words through Ezekiel: “A sword, a sword! It has been sharpened, and it is also polished. . . . Is it rejecting the scepter of my own son, as it does every tree? . . . For an extermination has been made, and what of it if it is rejecting also the scepter?” (Ezek. 21:9, 10, 13) Thus the “sword” treated the Judean “scepter” of the Davidic dynasty like every tree (to be chopped down) or like other kings or kingdoms that it brought to ruin.
The second psalm, a prophecy that Peter applied to Jesus Christ (Acts 4:25-27), showed that Jehovah’s anointed one would use an iron scepter to break the nations to pieces. (Ps. 2:2, 6, 9; compare Revelation 12:5; 19:15.) As Jesus Christ always uses his royal authority in the right way, his scepter is one of uprightness.—Ps. 45:6, 7; Heb. 1:8, 9.
Psalm 125:3 states that the “scepter of wickedness will not keep resting upon the lot of the righteous ones.” These words give assurance that the righteous will not always be oppressed by those who exercise authority in a wicked way.