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So, strong city, gather your soldiers together.
    We are surrounded and attacked.
The enemy will swing his club.
    He will hit the leader of Israel in the face.

The Ruler to Be Born in Bethlehem

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    are one of the smallest towns in Judah.
But from you will come one who will rule Israel for me.
    He comes from very old times,
    from days long ago.”
The Lord will leave his people in Babylon
    until Jerusalem, who is in labor, gives birth to her children.
Then his brothers who are in captivity will return.
    They will come back to the people of Israel living in Judah.
Then the ruler of Israel will stand
    and take care of his people.
He will lead them with the Lord’s power.
    He will lead them in the wonderful name of the Lord his God.
They will live in safety.
    And his greatness will be known all over the earth.
    He will bring peace.

Rescue and Punishment

The Assyrian army will come into our country.
    They will destroy our large houses.
But we will choose seven or eight leaders.
    They will shepherd our people.
They will destroy the Assyrians with their swords.
    They will conquer the land of Assyria with their swords drawn.
The Assyrians will come into our land.
    They will come within our borders.
But the leaders of Israel
    will save us from them.

Then the people of Jacob who are left alive
    will be like dew from the Lord to many people.
They will be like rain which does not wait for man.
    They will be like showers which do not wait for human beings.
Those left alive of Jacob’s people
    will be scattered among the nations.
    They will be among many peoples.
They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest.
    They will be like a young lion going through the flock.
He steps on what is in his way.
    No one can save the nations from God’s people.
So you will raise your fist in victory over your enemies,
    and you will destroy them.

10 The Lord says, “At that time,
    I will take your horses from you.
    I will destroy your chariots.
11 I will destroy the walled cities in your country.
    I will tear down all your defenses.
12 You will no longer be able to do witchcraft.
    You will not have anyone who can tell the future.
13 I will destroy your statues of false gods.
    I will tear down the stone pillars you worship.
You will no longer worship
    what your hands have made.
14 I will destroy the Asherah idols.
    I will destroy your cities.
15 Some people won’t obey me.
    I will show my anger and punish them.”

A Promised Ruler From Bethlehem

[a]Marshal your troops now, city of troops,
    for a siege is laid against us.
They will strike Israel’s ruler
    on the cheek(A) with a rod.

“But you, Bethlehem(B) Ephrathah,(C)
    though you are small among the clans[b] of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler(D) over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,(E)
    from ancient times.”(F)

Therefore Israel will be abandoned(G)
    until the time when she who is in labor bears a son,
and the rest of his brothers return
    to join the Israelites.

He will stand and shepherd his flock(H)
    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(I)
    will reach to the ends of the earth.

And he will be our peace(J)
    when the Assyrians invade(K) our land
    and march through our fortresses.
We will raise against them seven shepherds,
    even eight commanders,(L)
who will rule[c] the land of Assyria with the sword,
    the land of Nimrod(M) with drawn sword.[d](N)
He will deliver us from the Assyrians
    when they invade our land
    and march across our borders.(O)

The remnant(P) of Jacob will be
    in the midst of many peoples
like dew(Q) from the Lord,
    like showers on the grass,(R)
which do not wait for anyone
    or depend on man.
The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,
    in the midst of many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,(S)
    like a young lion among flocks of sheep,
which mauls and mangles(T) as it goes,
    and no one can rescue.(U)
Your hand will be lifted up(V) 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.(W)
11 I will destroy the cities(X) of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.(Y)
12 I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.(Z)
13 I will destroy your idols(AA)
    and your sacred stones from among you;(AB)
you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.(AC)
14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[e](AD)
    when I demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance(AE) in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”


  1. Micah 5:1 In Hebrew texts 5:1 is numbered 4:14, and 5:2-15 is numbered 5:1-14.
  2. Micah 5:2 Or rulers
  3. Micah 5:6 Or crush
  4. Micah 5:6 Or Nimrod in its gates
  5. Micah 5:14 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah

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