But for now, prepare for the worst, victim daughter! The siege is set against us. They humiliate Israel's king, slapping him around like a rag doll.
But you, Bethlehem, David's country, the runt of the litter - From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He'll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.
Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes until the birth pangs are over and the child is born, And the scattered brothers come back home to the family of Israel.
He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God's strength, centered in the majesty of God-Revealed. And the people will have a good and safe home, for the whole world will hold him in respect - Peacemaker of the world!
And if some bullying Assyrian shows up, invades and violates our land, don't worry. We'll put him in his place, send him packing, and watch his every move.
Shepherd-rule will extend as far as needed, to Assyria and all other Nimrod-bullies. Our shepherd-ruler will save us from old or new enemies, from anyone who invades or violates our land.
The purged and select company of Jacob will be like an island in the sea of peoples. They'll be like dew from God, like summer showers Not mentioned in the weather forecast, not subject to calculation or control.
Yes, the purged and select company of Jacob will be like an island in the sea of peoples, Like the king of beasts among wild beasts, like a young lion loose in a flock of sheep, Killing and devouring the lambs and no one able to stop him.
With your arms raised in triumph over your foes, your enemies will be no more!
"The day is coming" - God's Decree - "When there will be no more war. None. I'll slaughter your war horses and demolish your chariots.
I'll dismantle military posts and level your fortifications.
I'll abolish your religious black markets, your underworld traffic in black magic.
I will smash your carved and cast gods and chop down your phallic posts. No more taking control of the world, worshiping what you do or make.
I'll root out your sacred sex-and-power centers and destroy the God-defiant.
In raging anger, I'll make a clean sweep of godless nations who haven't listened."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)