Shepherd of the Nations

Jesus is the promised ruler from the line of David, the Shepherd of ALL nations – Revelation 12:5, Pslam 2:6-8. 

The “son” born from the “woman clothed with the sun” is the Messiah who is destined to “shepherd the nations.” Following his enthronement, heaven declares that “now is come the kingdom of God and the authority of His Christ.” His victory over the “Dragon” results in the commencement of his reign over the “nations” from his Father’s throne.

However, the book of Revelation adds a new twist to the prophetic story. The “son” will rule the “nations” by “shepherding” them, and not 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 the prophecy in the book of Isaiah when “Zion” is represented as a female figure who “brings forth a male” - (Greek Septuagint - eteken arsen - Isaiah 66:5-8).

In the present passage, the label “son” is added to the promise, making his identity clear – He is the “son” who is “caught up to the Throne of God.” And this “son” is destined to “shepherd all the nations with a scepter of iron,” a clear allusion to the second Psalm with its clear messianic prediction:
  • (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.”

In Revelation, the quoted passage follows the Greek text found in the Septuagint translation of the Psalm in which the Hebrew verb for “break” is replaced by the Greek verb for “shepherd.”

Thus, the messianic 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 second Psalm is employed at the start of the book when Jesus is 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).


And 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!

And here, the term “now” represents the emphatic Greek adverb arti, meaning “just now, now, this very 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, riches, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing.

Thus, the victory and exaltation of the “son” take place following his death and resurrection. As stated at the start of the book, Jesus is now 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 divine throne.

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


Suffering Servant

The Living Word