Micah 5

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.   

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary