Mobilize! Marshal your troops! The enemy is laying siege to Jerusalem. With a rod they will strike the leader of Israel in the face.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.
The people of Israel will be abandoned to their enemies until the time when the woman in labor gives birth to her son. Then at last his fellow countrymen will return from exile to their own land.
And he will stand to lead his flock with the LORD's strength, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored all around the world.
And he will be the source of our peace. When the Assyrians invade our land and break through our defenses, we will appoint seven rulers to watch over us, eight princes to lead us.
They will rule Assyria with drawn swords and enter the gates of the land of Nimrod. They a will rescue us from the Assyrians when they pour over the borders to invade our land.
Then the few left in Israel b will go out among the nations. They will be like dew sent by the LORD or like rain falling on the grass, which no one can hold back.
The remnant of Israel will go out among the nations and be as strong as a lion. And the other nations will be like helpless sheep, with no one to rescue them.
The people of Israel will stand up to their foes, and all their enemies will be wiped out.
"At that same time," says the LORD, "I will destroy all your weapons -- your horses and chariots.
I will tear down your walls and demolish the defenses of your cities.
I will put an end to all witchcraft; there will be no more fortune-tellers to consult.
I will destroy all your idols and sacred pillars, so you will never again worship the work of your own hands.
I will abolish your pagan shrines with their Asherah poles and destroy the cities where your idol temples stand.
I will pour out my vengeance on all the nations that refuse to obey me."
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)