Shepherd of the Nations

Jesus is the promised ruler from the line of David, the Shepherd of ALL nations  Revelation 12:5

Shepherd - Photo by joseph d'mello on Unsplash
The “
son” born from the woman is the Messiah destined to “shepherd the nations.” Following his enthronement, heaven declared: “Now is come the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ.” His defeat of Satan meant the commencement of his reign over the “nations” from the messianic throne - [Photo by joseph d'mello on Unsplash].

However, the Book of Revelation adds a new twist, for he will rule the “nations” by “shepherding” them rather than through force and coercion.
  • (Revelation 12:5) – “And she brought forth a son, a male, who was to shepherd all the nations with a scepter of iron; and her child was caught away to God and to his throne.”
She brought forth a son, a male” - (eteken huion arsen). This clause echoes a prophecy from Isaiah where “Zion” represented as a female figure who “brought forth a male” - (Greek Septuagint - eteken arsen). Here, the book adds “son” to the promise, making his identity clear – He is the “son” who was “caught up to the Throne of God” - (Isaiah 66:5-8).

The “son” was destined to “shepherd all the nations with a scepter of iron,” a clear allusion to the second Psalm, a messianic prophecy:
  • (Psalm 2:6-9) - “Yet I have installed my king on Zion my holy mountain. Let me tell of a decree; Yahweh said to me, You are My son; I, today, have begotten you. Ask of me and let me give nations as your inheritance, and as your possession the ends of the earth. YOU WILL SHEPHERD THEM WITH A SCEPTER OF IRON, as a potter’s vessel you will dash them in pieces.”
The passage follows the Greek text from the Septuagint version of the Psalm, where the Hebrew verb for “break” has been replaced by the Greek verb that means “shepherd.” The mission of the “son” is to “shepherd” the nations, NOT to crush them. In the end, judgment may come, but not before the “son” completes his task of filling “New Jerusalem” with multitudes of redeemed men and women from ALL nations (Revelation 21:24-26, 22:1-3).

The Psalm was employed at the start of the book when Jesus was declared the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” Because of his death and resurrection, he reigns supreme even now - (Revelation 1:5).
  • The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against Yahweh and against his Christ…I have set my king on my holy hill of Zion. I will tell of the decree: Yahweh said to me: You are my son; This day have I begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, And the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.” - (Psalm 2:2-8).
The same Psalm is applied to Jesus several more times in Revelation, including its promise that he will “shepherd the nations” - (Revelation 2:26-27, 19:15-16).

When did his enthronement occur? Following his arrival at the throne, Satan was expelled from heaven and a voice declared, “Now is come…the authority of His Christ!” “Now” represents the emphatic Greek adverb arti, meaning “just now, now, this day.” The same event was portrayed previously when the “slain Lamb” approached the Throne and all creation declared him worthy:
  • (Revelation 5:7-12) – “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain and purchased for God with your blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation… Worthy is the Lamb that has been slain to receive the power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing.
Thus, the victory and exaltation of the “son” took place following his death and resurrection. As stated at the start of the book, Jesus is the “ruler of the kings of the earth,” present tense. That is good news for the nations, for even now, he is “shepherding them” from the throne of God.

The marginalized churches of Asia only formed a starting point. With Jesus reigning on the throne, the trickle of converts to the new faith would become a flood. At the end of Revelation, a vast innumerable multitude” of men and women from every nation, including the “kings of the earth,” is found standing before the Lamb” in “New Jerusalem.” The messianic “son” accomplishes this feat by “shepherding the nations,” not by destroying them.

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