Birth of the King in Bethlehem
1“Now gather yourself in troops, O daughter of troops;
A state of siege has been placed against us.
They shall strike the ruler of Israel on the cheek with a rod (scepter).
2But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Too little to be among the clans of Judah;
From you One shall come forth for Me [who is] to be Ruler in Israel,
His goings forth (appearances) are from long ago,
From ancient days.”
3Therefore, He will give them up until the time
When she who is in labor has given birth to a child.
Then what is left of His kinsmen
Shall return to the children of Israel.
4And He shall stand and shepherd and guide His flock
In the strength of the Lord,
In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God;
And they shall dwell [secure in undisturbed peace],
Because at that time He shall be great [extending His authority]
[Even] to the ends of the earth.
5This One [the Messiah] shall be our peace.
When the Assyrian invades our land
And tramples on our citadels and in our palaces,
Then shall we raise against him
Seven shepherds and eight princes [an overpowering force] among men.
6They shall devastate the land of Assyria with the sword and
The land of Nimrod within her [own] gates.
And He (the Messiah) shall rescue us from the Assyrian (all enemy nations)
When he attacks our land
And when he tramples our territory.
7Then the remnant of Jacob
Shall be among many peoples
Like dew from the Lord,
Like showers on the grass [a source of blessing]
Which [come suddenly and] do not wait for man
Nor delay for the sons of men.
8The remnant of Jacob
Shall be among the nations,
In the midst of many peoples
Like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
Like a young lion [suddenly appearing] among the flocks of sheep
Which, if he passes through,
Tramples down and tears into pieces [the nations in judgment],
And there is no one to rescue.
9Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries,
And all your enemies shall be cut off and destroyed.
10“And in that day,” says the Lord,
“I will cut off your horses from among you
And destroy your chariots [on which you depend].
11I will cut off the cities of your land
And tear down all your fortifications.
12I will cut off witchcrafts and sorceries from your hand,
And you shall have no more fortune-tellers.
13I will also cut off your carved images
And your sacred pillars from among you,
So that you will no longer worship and bow down
To the work of your hands.
14I will root out your Asherim (symbols of the goddess Asherah) from among you
And destroy your cities [which are the centers of pagan worship].
15And in anger and wrath I shall execute vengeance
On the nations which have not obeyed [such vengeance as they have not known before].”