5 So, ·strong city [L daughter of troops], ·gather [marshal; muster] your ·soldiers [troops] together, because we are ·surrounded and attacked [besieged]. They will ·hit [strike] the ·leader [ruler; judge] of Israel ·in the face [on the cheek] with a ·club [rod; or scepter].
The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem
2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are ·too small to be [or small; insignificant] among the ·army groups from [clans of] Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me [C the Messiah; Is. 9:1–7; 11:1–16; Matt. 2:6]. ·He comes [His origins are; L His goings out are] from ·very old [ancient] times, from days long ago.”
3 The Lord will ·give up [abandon] his people until the one who is ·having a baby [in labor] gives birth; then the rest of his ·relatives [brothers] will return to the people of Israel. 4 At that time ·the ruler of Israel [L he] will stand and ·take care of his people [L shepherd his flock] with the Lord’s strength and with the ·power [majesty] of the name of the Lord his God. ·The Israelites [L They] will live in safety, because his greatness will reach ·all over [L to the ends of] the earth.
Rescue and Punishment
5 He will ·bring [L be] peace. ·Assyria will surely [or When the Assyrians…; or If the Assyrians should…] come into our ·country [land] and ·walk over [march through] our ·large buildings [fortresses]. We will ·set up [raise against them] seven shepherds [C symbolic of completeness], eight ·leaders [princes] of the people. 6 They will ·destroy [or rule; shepherd] the Assyrians with their swords; they will ·conquer [or rule; shepherd] the land of ·Assyria [L Nimrod; C a famous hunter, said to have founded Assyria; Gen. 10:8–9] ·with their swords drawn [or at its gates]. They will rescue us from the Assyrians when they come into our land, when they ·walk [march] over our borders.
7 Then the ·people of Jacob who are left alive [remnant of Jacob] will be ·to other [L in the midst of many] people like dew from the Lord or ·rain [showers] on the grass— it does not wait for human beings; it does not pause for ·any person [L the sons/children of man/Adam]. 8 ·Those of Jacob’s people who are left alive [The remnant of Jacob] will be scattered among many nations and [L in the midst of many] peoples. They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion in a flock of sheep: As it goes, it jumps on them and tears them to pieces, and no one can ·save [rescue] them. 9 So ·you will raise your fist in victory [L your hand will be lifted] over your ·enemies [adversaries], and all your enemies will be ·destroyed [L cut off].
10 The Lord says, “·At that time [L In that day], I will ·take [L cut off; destroy] your horses from you and destroy your chariots. 11 I will destroy the cities in your ·country [land] and tear down all your ·defenses [strongholds; fortresses]. 12 I will ·take away [destroy] ·the magic charms you use [your sorcery/witchcraft] so you will have no more fortune-tellers. 13 I will destroy your ·statues of gods [carved images] and the stone pillars you worship so that you will no longer ·worship [bow down to] what your hands have made. 14 I will ·tear down [uproot your] ·Asherah idols [L Asherahs; C sacred trees or poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah] from you and destroy your cities. 15 In my anger and ·rage [wrath], I will ·pay back [seek vengeance on] the nations that have not ·listened [obeyed].”
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