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Micah 5:4-7

Context

5:4 He will assume his post 1  and shepherd the people 2  by the Lord’s strength,

by the sovereign authority of the Lord his God. 3 

They will live securely, 4  for at that time he will be honored 5 

even in the distant regions of 6  the earth.

5:5 He will give us peace. 7 

Should the Assyrians try to invade our land

and attempt to set foot in our fortresses, 8 

we will send 9  against them seven 10  shepherd-rulers, 11 

make that eight commanders. 12 

5:6 They will rule 13  the land of Assyria with the sword,

the land of Nimrod 14  with a drawn sword. 15 

Our king 16  will rescue us from the Assyrians

should they attempt to invade our land

and try to set foot in our territory.

5:7 Those survivors from 17  Jacob will live 18 

in the midst of many nations. 19 

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. 20 

1 tn Heb “stand up”; NAB “stand firm”; NASB “will arise.”

2 tn The words “the people” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

3 tn Heb “by the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.”

4 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”).

5 tn Heb “be great.”

6 tn Or “to the ends of.”

7 tn Heb “and this one will be peace”; ASV “and this man shall be our peace” (cf. Eph 2:14).

8 tc Some prefer to read “in our land,” emending the text to בְּאַדְמָתֵנוּ (bÿadmatenu).

9 tn Heb “raise up.”

10 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.

11 tn Heb “shepherds.”

12 tn Heb “and eight leaders of men.”

13 tn Or perhaps “break”; or “defeat.”

14 sn According to Gen 10:8-12, Nimrod, who was famous as a warrior and hunter, founded Assyria.

15 tc The MT reads “in her gates,” but the text should be emended to בַּפְּתִיחָה (baptikhah, “with a drawn sword”).

16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the coming king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 tn Heb “the remnant of” (also in v. 8).

18 tn Heb “will be.”

19 tn This could mean “(scattered) among the nations” (cf. CEV, NLT) or “surrounded by many nations” (cf. NRSV).

20 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 Lord, not men, so the remnant of Israel will succeed by the supernatural power of God and not need the support of other nations. There may even be a military metaphor here. Israel will overwhelm their enemies, just as the dew completely covers the grass (see 2 Sam 17:12). This interpretation would be consistent with the image of v. 7.



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