We are besieged!
on the side of his face.
seemingly insignificant 7 among the clans of Judah –
from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, 8
Then the rest of the king’s 16 countrymen will return
to be reunited with the people of Israel. 17
by the sovereign authority of the Lord his God. 20
even in the distant regions of 23 the earth.
Should the Assyrians try to invade our land
and attempt to set foot in our fortresses, 25
make that eight commanders. 29
Our king 33 will rescue us from the Assyrians
should they attempt to invade our land
and try to set foot in our territory.
in the midst of many nations. 36
They will be like the dew the Lord sends,
like the rain on the grass,
that does not hope for men to come
or wait around for humans to arrive. 37
5:8 Those survivors from Jacob will live among the nations,
in the midst of many peoples.
They will be like a lion among the animals of the forest,
like a young lion among the flocks of sheep,
which attacks when it passes through;
may all your enemies be destroyed! 41
5:10 “In that day,” says the Lord,
“I will destroy 42 your horses from your midst,
and smash your chariots.
5:11 I will destroy the cities of your land,
and tear down all your fortresses.
and you will no longer have omen readers living among you. 45
5:13 I will remove your idols and sacred pillars from your midst;
you will no longer worship what your own hands made.
and destroy your idols. 47
5:15 I will angrily seek vengeance
on the nations that do not obey me.” 48
1 sn Beginning with 5:1, the verse numbers through 5:15 in the English Bible differ by one from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 5:1 ET = 4:14 HT, 5:2 ET = 5:1 HT, 5:3 ET = 5:2 HT, etc., through 5:15 ET = 5:14 HT. From 6:1 the verse numbers in the English Bible and the Hebrew Bible are again the same.
2 tn The Hebrew verb גָדַד (gadad) can be translated “slash yourself” or “gather in troops.” A number of English translations are based on the latter meaning (e.g., NASB, NIV, NLT).
3 tn Heb “daughter of a troop of warriors.”
sn The daughter surrounded by soldiers is an image of the city of Jerusalem under siege (note the address “Daughter Jerusalem” in 4:8).
4 tn Or “staff”; KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “rod”; CEV “stick”; NCV “club.”
sn Striking a king with a scepter, a symbol of rulership, would be especially ironic and humiliating.
5 tn Traditionally, “the judge of Israel” (so KJV, NASB).
7 tn Heb “being small.” Some omit לִהְיוֹת (lihyot, “being”) because it fits awkwardly and appears again in the next line.
8 tn Heb “from you for me one will go out to be a ruler over Israel.”
9 tn Heb “his goings out.” The term may refer to the ruler’s origins (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT) or to his activities.
10 tn Heb “from the past, from the days of antiquity.” Elsewhere both phrases refer to the early periods in the history of the world or of the nation of Israel. For מִקֶּדֶם (miqqedem, “from the past”) see Neh 12:46; Pss 74:12; 77:11; Isa 45:21; 46:10. For מִימֵי עוֹלָם (mimey ’olam, “from the days of antiquity”) see Isa 63:9, 11; Amos 9:11; Mic 7:14; Mal 3:4. In Neh 12:46 and Amos 9:11 the Davidic era is in view.
sn In riddle-like fashion this verse alludes to David, as the references to Bethlehem and to his ancient origins/activities indicate. The passage anticipates the second coming of the great king to usher in a new era of national glory for Israel. Other prophets are more direct and name this coming ideal ruler “David” (Jer 30:9; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Hos 3:5). Of course, this prophecy of “David’s” second coming is actually fulfilled through his descendant, the Messiah, who will rule in the spirit and power of his famous ancestor and bring to realization the Davidic royal ideal in an even greater way than the historical David (see Isa 11:1, 10; Jer 33:15).
11 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
12 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the people of Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
13 tn The words “to their enemies” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
16 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
17 tn Heb “to the sons of Israel.” The words “be reunited with” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
sn The rest of the king’s brothers are the coming king’s fellow Judahites, while the sons of Israel are the northern tribes. The verse pictures the reunification of the nation under the Davidic king. See Isa 11:12-13; Jer 31:2-6, 15-20; Ezek 37; Hos 1:11; 3:5.
18 tn Heb “stand up”; NAB “stand firm”; NASB “will arise.”
19 tn The words “the people” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
20 tn Heb “by the majesty of the name of the
21 tn The words “in peace” are supplied in the translation for clarification. Perhaps וְיָשָׁבוּ (vÿyashavu, “and they will live”) should be emended to וְשָׁבוּ (vÿshavu, “and they will return”).
22 tn Heb “be great.”
23 tn Or “to the ends of.”
25 tc Some prefer to read “in our land,” emending the text to בְּאַדְמָתֵנוּ (bÿ’admatenu).
26 tn Heb “raise up.”
27 sn The numbers seven and eight here symbolize completeness and emphasize that Israel will have more than enough military leadership and strength to withstand the Assyrian advance.
28 tn Heb “shepherds.”
29 tn Heb “and eight leaders of men.”
30 tn Or perhaps “break”; or “defeat.”
32 tc The MT reads “in her gates,” but the text should be emended to בַּפְּתִיחָה (baptikhah, “with a drawn sword”).
33 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the coming king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
35 tn Heb “will be.”
36 tn This could mean “(scattered) among the nations” (cf. CEV, NLT) or “surrounded by many nations” (cf. NRSV).
37 tn Heb “that does not hope for man, and does not wait for the sons of men.”
sn Men wait eagerly for the dew and the rain, not vice versa. Just as the dew and rain are subject to the
38 tn The words “its prey” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
39 tn Heb “and there is no deliverer.”
40 tn Heb “let your hand be lifted against your adversaries.”
41 tn Heb “be cut off.”
42 tn Heb “cut off” (also in the following verse).
44 tn Heb “from your hands.”
45 tn Heb “and you will not have omen-readers.”
46 tn Or “Asherah poles.”
sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4). The
47 tn The MT reads “your cities,” but many emend the text to צִרֶיךָ (tsirekha, “your images”) or עֲצַבֶּיךָ (’atsbbekha, “your idols”).
48 tn Heb “I will accomplish in anger and in rage, vengeance on the nations who do not listen.”