1 A Ruler Will Come From Bethlehem
2 The Lord says, 2 "Bethlehem, you might not be 2 an important town in the nation of Judah. 2 But out of you will come 2 a ruler over Israel for me. 2 His family line goes back 2 to the early years of your nation. 2 It goes all the way back 2 to days of long ago." 2 Bethlehem was also called Ephrathah.
3 The Lord will hand his people over to their enemies. 3 That will last until the promised ruler is born. 3 Then his relatives in Judah 3 will return to their land. 3 The Lord will rule over them 3 and the people of Israel.
4 The promised ruler will stand firm 4 and take care of his flock. 4 The Lord will give him the strength to do it. 4 The Lord his God will give him 4 the authority to rule. 4 His people will live safely. 4 His greatness will reach 4 from one end of the earth to the other. 5 And he will bring them peace.
6 The Lord Will Save His People From Their Enemies 6 The Assyrians will attack our land. 6 Enemies will march through our forts. 6 But we will raise up many shepherds against them. 6 We'll send out against them 6 as many leaders as we need to.
6 They will use their swords to rule over Assyria. 6 They'll rule the land of Nimrod 6 with swords that are ready to strike. 6 The Assyrians will march across our borders 6 and attack our land. 6 But the promised ruler will save us from them.
7 Jacob's people who are still left alive 7 will be scattered among many nations. 7 They will be like dew the Lord has sent. 7 It doesn't wait for a human command. 7 They will be like rain that falls on the grass. 7 Rain doesn't wait for someone to give it orders.
8 So Jacob's people will be scattered 8 among many nations. 8 They will be like a lion 8 among the animals in the forest. 8 They'll be like a young lion 8 among flocks of sheep. 8 Lions attack and tear as they move along. 8 No one can keep them 8 from killing what they want.
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