Isaiah 42:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"For a long time I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.

New Living Translation
He will say, "I have long been silent; yes, I have restrained myself. But now, like a woman in labor, I will cry and groan and pant.

English Standard Version
For a long time I have held my peace; I have kept still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor; I will gasp and pant.

New American Standard Bible
"I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant.

King James Bible
I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I have kept silent from ages past; I have been quiet and restrained Myself. But now, I will groan like a woman in labor, gasping breathlessly.

International Standard Version
"I have certainly stayed silent for a long time; I've kept still and held myself back. Now, like a woman giving birth, I'll cry out. All of a sudden I'll gasp and pant.

NET Bible
"I have been inactive for a long time; I kept quiet and held back. Like a woman in labor I groan; I pant and gasp.

New Heart English Bible
"I have been silent a long time. I have been quiet and restrained myself. Now I will cry out like a travailing woman. I will both gasp and pant.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I have been silent for a long time. I kept quiet and held myself back. But like a woman in childbirth I will cry out. I will gasp and pant.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I have long time held My peace, I have been still, and refrained Myself; Now will I cry like a travailing woman, Gasping and panting at once.

New American Standard 1977
“I have kept silent for a long time,
            I have kept still and restrained Myself.
            Now like a woman in labor I will groan,
            I will both gasp and pant.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I have long time held my peace; I have been still and refrained myself; now will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

King James 2000 Bible
I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and restrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

American King James Version
I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

American Standard Version
I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will gasp and pant together.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I have always held my peace, I have I kept silence, I have been patient, I will speak now as a woman in labour: I will destroy, and swallow up at once.

Darby Bible Translation
Long time have I holden my peace; I have been still, I have restrained myself: I will cry like a woman that travaileth; I will blow and pant at once.

English Revised Version
I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry out like a travailing woman; I will gasp and pant together.

Webster's Bible Translation
I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and restrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

World English Bible
"I have been silent a long time. I have been quiet and restrained myself. Now I will cry out like a travailing woman. I will both gasp and pant.

Young's Literal Translation
I have kept silent from of old, I keep silent, I refrain myself, As a travailing woman I cry out, I desolate and swallow up together.
Study Bible
A New Song of Praise
13The LORD will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. 14"I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant. 15"I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds.…
Cross References
Psalm 50:21
"These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.

Isaiah 30:18
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.

Isaiah 57:11
"Of whom were you worried and fearful When you lied, and did not remember Me Nor give Me a thought? Was I not silent even for a long time So you do not fear Me?

Isaiah 64:12
Will You restrain Yourself at these things, O LORD? Will You keep silent and afflict us beyond measure?

Isaiah 65:6
"Behold, it is written before Me, I will not keep silent, but I will repay; I will even repay into their bosom,

Jeremiah 4:31
For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor, The anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, The cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, Stretching out her hands, saying, "Ah, woe is me, for I faint before murderers."
Treasury of Scripture

I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.

long time

Job 32:18,20 For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constrains me…

Psalm 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God has shined.

Psalm 83:1,2 Keep not you silence, O God: hold not your peace, and be not still, O God…

Ecclesiastes 8:11,12 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore …

Jeremiah 15:6 You have forsaken me, said the LORD, you are gone backward: therefore …

Jeremiah 44:22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your …

Luke 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to …

2 Peter 3:9,10,15 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; …

devour. Heb. swallow, or sup up

(14) I have long time holden my peace . . .--The change of person indicates that Jehovah is the speaker. "Long time," literally, for an age, or an eternity. What is actually meant is the period of the exile, during which, till the advent of the deliverer, there had been no interposition on behalf of Israel. To the exiles this had seemed endless in its weariness. Now there were the travail-pangs of a new birth for the nation. (Comp. Matthew 24:8.) Was it strange that there should be the convulsions and catastrophes which are as the thunder-roaring of the voice of Jehovah?

I will destroy and devour.--Better, I pant and gasp. The verbs express strong emotion, the cries of the travailing woman rather than destructive acts.

Verse 14. - I have long time holden my peace; literally, for an eternity. God's love for his people is forcibly expressed by his saying that he has felt it "an eternity" - though it was but some five or six decades - while he was waiting for his chastisement to have such due effect as would allow of his bringing it to an end, and showing them mercy. He has chafed, as it were, under the necessity of inaction, and has with difficulty refrained himself. Now he will refrain no longer. A travailing woman. A woman in her travail, after long endurance, at last gives free vent to her natural feelings, and utters loud cries (compare the preceding verse). I will destroy and devour at once (so Gesenius, Kay, and the ancient versions). But the bulk of modern commentators render, "I will pant and gasp," as does a travailing woman. I have long time holden my peace,.... For many hundred years the Lord suffered the Gentile world to walk in their own ways, to worship their idols, and took no notice of them; he winked at and overlooked their times of ignorance, and did not bring down his vengeance upon them, nor stir up all his wrath; nor indeed did he send any among them, to reprove and convince them of their errors, and threaten them with "ruin", in case of their continuance in them:

I have been still, and refrained myself; had been silent, and said nothing against them in a providential way, but curbed and kept in his wrath and displeasure at their idolatry, as a woman in travail "holds in" (y) her breath as long as she can; to which the allusion is, as appears by what follows:

now will I cry like a travailing woman; when sharp pains are upon her, and just going to be delivered; and that so loud as to be heard all over the house. This may be taken in a good sense; the ministers of the Gospel travail in birth, and Christ in them, until he is formed in the hearts of men by regenerating and converting grace, Galatians 4:19 and in an ill sense; for swift and sudden destruction, which should come on his enemies, as travail on a woman with child. So the Targum,

"as pains on a woman with child, my judgment shall be revealed (or exposed) upon them.''

I will destroy and devour at once; all enemies that should oppose him in the spread of the Gospel, in the destruction of Paganism, and establishment of Christianity in the Roman empire, who are described in the next verse.

(y) "continebam me", Pagninus, Montanus; "continui me", Junius & Tremellius, Vitringa; "diu continui iram meam sicut halitum foeminae parturientis", Grotius. 14. long time—namely, during the desolation of Israel (Isa 32:14).

holden my peace—(Compare Ps 50:21; Hab 1:2).

cry like a travailing woman, etc.—Like a woman in parturition, who, after having restrained her breathing for a time, at last, overcome with labor pain, lets out her voice with a panting sigh; so Jehovah will give full vent to His long pent-up wrath. Translate, instead of "destroy … devour"; I will at once breathe hard and pant, namely, giving loose to My wrath.42:13-17 The Lord will appear in his power and glory. He shall cry, in the preaching of his word. He shall cry aloud in the gospel woes, which must be preached with gospel blessings, to awaken a sleeping world. He shall conquer by the power of his Spirit. And those that contradict and blaspheme his gospel, he shall put to silence and shame; and that which hinders its progress shall be taken out of the way. To those who by nature were blind, God will show the way to life and happiness by Jesus Christ. They are weak in knowledge, but He will make darkness light. They are weak in duty, but their way shall be plain. Those whom God brings into the right way, he will guide in it. This passage is a prophecy, and is also applicable to every believer; for the Lord will never leave nor forsake them.
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