A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem 5 1[L]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[M] 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.”   3Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor bears a son, and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites.   4He 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.   5And 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, 6who will rule[N] the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword.[O] He will deliver us from the Assyrians when they invade our land and march across our borders.   7The remnant of Jacob will be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or depend on man. 8The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, in the midst of many peoples, like a lion among the beasts of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which mauls and mangles as it goes, and no one can rescue. 9Your hand will be lifted up in triumph over your enemies, and all your foes will be destroyed.   10“In that day,” declares the Lord,   “I will destroy your horses from among you and demolish your chariots. 11I will destroy the cities of your land and tear down all your strongholds. 12I will destroy your witchcraft and you will no longer cast spells. 13I will destroy your idols and your sacred stones from among you; you will no longer bow down to the work of your hands. 14I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[P] when I demolish your cities. 15I will take vengeance in anger and wrath on the nations that have not obeyed me.”
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