1 But from you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,[a]
among the tiniest of the clans of Judah,
from you will come forth for me
one who is to be a ruler in Israel,
one whose origins are from the distant past,
from ancient times.
2 Therefore, the Lord will abandon them
only until she who is in labor has given birth.
Then those of the people who survive
will be reunited with the Israelites.
3 He will rise up to shepherd his flock
by the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name
of the Lord his God.
And they will live in security,
for then his greatness will be renowned
to the ends of the earth.
4 He will ensure their peace.
If Assyria Invades Our Country . . .
If the Assyrians invade our country
and set foot upon our land,
we shall raise against them seven shepherds
and appoint eight[b] men to serve as rulers.
5 They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,
and the land of Nimrod with drawn swords.
And we will be delivered from Assyria
if it invades our country
or treads upon our borders.
The Remnant of Jacob
6 Then the remnant of Jacob,
surrounded by many peoples,
will be like dew from the Lord,
like showers on the grass,
which do not depend upon man
or wait for any man’s bidding.
7 And among the nations the remnant of Jacob
will be surrounded by many peoples,
like a lion among the beasts of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
trampling and tearing to pieces as it goes,
with no one able to stop the carnage.
8 Your hand will be lifted up over your foes,
and all your adversaries will be destroyed.
9 On that day, says the Lord,
I will slaughter your horses
and destroy your chariots.
10 I will demolish the cities of your land
and raze all your fortresses to the ground.
11 I will eliminate your sorcerers,
and there will be no more soothsayers among you.
12 I will cut down your images
and the sacred pillars in your midst;
you will no longer worship
the work of your hands.
13 I will uproot your sacred poles[c]
and destroy your cities.
14 In anger and fury, I will wreak vengeance
on the nations that have disobeyed me.
- Micah 5:1 Bethlehem Ephrathah: the second name distinguishes this Bethlehem from a Bethlehem in Galilee. Ephrathah was the name of the family group that settled there; it then came to signify the city.
- Micah 5:4 Seven . . . eight: a way of signifying a sizeable number; here it indicates the superiority of Israel.
- Micah 5:13 Sacred poles: sacred poles symbolizing the female Canaanite divinity of the vegetation.