1 NOW GATHER yourself in troops, O daughter of troops; a state of siege has been placed against us. They shall smite the ruler of Israel with a rod (a scepter) on the cheek.
2 But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; [yet] out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days (eternity). [Gen. 49:10; Matt. 2:5-12; John 7:42.]
3 Therefore shall He give them up until the time that she who travails has brought forth; then what is left of His brethren shall return to the children of Israel.
4 And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall dwell [secure], for then shall He be great [even] to the ends of the earth. [Ps. 72:8; Isa. 40:11; Zech. 9:10; Luke 1:32, 33.]
5 And this [One] shall be our peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land and treads upon our soil and in our palaces, then will we raise against him seven shepherds and eight princes among men. [Isa. 9:6; Eph. 2:14.]
6 And they shall rule and waste the land of Assyria with the sword and the land of Nimrod within her [Assyria's own] gates. Thus shall He [the Messiah] deliver us from the Assyrian [representing the opposing powers] when he comes into our land and when he treads on our borders.
7 Then the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers upon the grass which [come suddenly and] tarry not for man nor wait for the sons of men. [Ps. 72:6; 110:3.]
8 And the 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, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, and there is no deliverer.
9 Your hand will be lifted up above your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off.
10 And in that day, says the Lord, I will cut off your horses [on which you depend] from among you and will destroy your chariots. [Ps. 20:7, 8; Zech. 9:10.]
11 And I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds.
12 And I will cut off witchcrafts and sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers.
13 Your carved images also I will cut off and your statues or pillars out of your midst, and you shall no more worship the work of your hands.
14 And I will root out your Asherim [symbols of the goddess Asherah] and I will destroy your cities [the seats of false worship]. [Deut. 16:21.]
15 And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance upon the nations which would not obey [vengeance such as they have not heard of before].
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