A Promised Ruler
1 Jerusalem, enemy troops
have surrounded you;
they have struck Israel's ruler
in the face with a stick.

2 Bethlehem Ephrath,
you are one of the smallest towns
in the nation of Judah.
But the Lord will choose
one of your people
to rule the nation—
someone whose family
goes back to ancient times.
3 The Lord will abandon Israel
only until this ruler is born,
and the rest of his family
returns to Israel.
4 Like a shepherd
taking care of his sheep,
this ruler will lead
and care for his people
by the power and glorious name
of the Lord his God.
His people will live securely,
and the whole earth will know
his true greatness,
5 because he will bring peace.
Assyria Will Be Defeated
Let Assyria attack our country
and our palaces.
We will counterattack,
led by a number of rulers
6 whose strong army will defeat
the nation of Assyria.
Yes, our leaders will rescue us,
if those Assyrians
dare to invade our land.
The Survivors Will Be Safe
7 A few of Jacob's descendants
survived and are scattered
among the nations.
But the Lord will let them
cover the earth like dew and rain
that refreshes the soil.
8 At present they are scattered,
but later they will attack,
as though they were fierce lions
pouncing on sheep.
Their enemies will be torn
to shreds,
with no one to save them;
9 they will be helpless,
completely destroyed.
Idols Will Be Destroyed in Israel
10 The Lord said:
At that time I will wipe out
your cavalry and chariots,
11 as well as your cities
and your fortresses.
12 I will stop you
from telling fortunes
and practicing witchcraft.
13 You will no longer worship
the idols or stone images
you have made—
I will destroy them,
14 together with the sacred poles
and even your towns.
15 I will become furious
and take revenge on the nations
that refuse to obey me.