2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’
Micah 4:6-5:5New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
The Lord’s plan
6 ‘In that day,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. 7 I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and for ever. 8 As for you, watchtower of the flock, stronghold[a] of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.’
9 Why do you now cry aloud – have you no king?[b] Has your ruler[c] perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labour? 10 Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labour, for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon; there you will be rescued. There the Lord will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies.
11 But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, ‘Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!’ 12 But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing-floor. 13 ‘Rise and thresh, Daughter Zion, for I will give you horns of iron; I will give you hooves of bronze, and you will break to pieces many nations.’ You will devote their ill-gotten gains to the Lord, their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.
A promised ruler from Bethlehem
5 [d]Marshal your troops now, city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod.
2 ‘But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[e] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’
3 Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labour bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.
4 He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.
5 And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders,
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