Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops;
siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel
on the cheek. Comment: Israel is told to be prepared for their coming Judgement!
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel, Comment: We know that this refers to Jesus’ first coming. The scribes used this passage to tell Herod, when the Wisemen from the East came, where Jesus was to be born.
whose coming forth is from of old,
from ancient days. Comment: unfolded this means that Jesus was to come according to God’s old longtime plan. And He didn’t begin at this promised Bethlehem birth, but was ‘from old’, which Bible believing scholars take to mean from the very beginning of even eternity.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
to the people of Israel. Comment: I think that this has a double meaning. Someone is going to come to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity. But even more the birth of the One from ancient times would be of even greater significance for the people of Israel and beyond them, for all men for ever.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD,
in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace. Comment: This may refer in part to the deliverer who rescues them from Babylon, but much more to the work of Jesus. A work now seen begun in the lives of those who are true believers in Him but later, as prophesied earlier, to be completely fulfilled when He comes back as God’s Eternal King.
Prayer: As always I pray that You will help me to see Your truth and let it master my life, O Lord.