“What will you say [O Jerusalem] when the Lord appoints [foreign nations to rule] over you— Those former friends and allies whom you have encouraged [to be your companions]— Will not pain seize you Like [that of] a woman in childbirth?
What will you say [O Jerusalem] when He [the Lord] sets over you as head those [tyrannical foreign nations] whom you yourselves [at intervals] have taught to be lovers (allies) with you [instructing them, even your friends, to be head over you]? Will not pangs take hold of you like that of a woman in travail?
What will you say when ·they [or God] appoint as your ·heads [rulers] those you had thought were your ·friends [allies]? Won’t ·you have much pain and trouble [L pain seize you], like a woman giving birth to a baby [4:31; 6:24; 22:23; 30:6; 48:41; 49:22, 24; 50:43]?
Look, look, Jerusalem! Look at the enemies coming out of the north! What will become of your flocks of people, the beautiful flocks in your care? How are you going to feel when the people you’ve played up to, looked up to all these years Now look down on you? You didn’t expect this? Surprise! The pain of a woman having a baby! Do I hear you saying, “What’s going on here? Why me?” The answer’s simple: You’re guilty, hugely guilty. Your guilt has your life endangered, your guilt has you writhing in pain.
What will you say when the Lord appoints as rulers over you those allies that you, yourself, had actually prepared as such? Then anguish and agony will grip you like that of a woman giving birth to a baby.
What shalt thou say, when he shall visit thee? for thou hast taught them against thee, and thou hast taught against thine head. Whether sorrows have not taken thee, as a woman travailing of child? (What shalt thou say, when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be thy leaders, but now they be against thee. Shall sorrows not take hold of thee, like a woman in labour?)
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