Jeremiah 13:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
What will you say when the LORD sets over you those you cultivated as your special allies? Will not pain grip you like that of a woman in labor?

New Living Translation
What will you say when the LORD takes the allies you have cultivated and appoints them as your rulers? Pangs of anguish will grip you, like those of a woman in labor!

English Standard Version
What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you? Will not pangs take hold of you like those of a woman in labor?

New American Standard Bible
"What will you say when He appoints over you-- And you yourself had taught them-- Former companions to be head over you? Will not pangs take hold of you Like a woman in childbirth?

King James Bible
What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
What will you say when He appoints close friends as leaders over you, ones you yourself trained? Won't labor pains seize you, as they do a woman in labor?

International Standard Version
What will you say when the LORD appoints over you as your head those whom you taught to be your allies? Pain will seize you like that seizing a woman about to give birth, will it not?

NET Bible
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.

New Heart English Bible
What will you say, when he shall set over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you? Shall not sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
What will you say when God makes the people you thought were your friends your new masters? Won't pain grip you like a woman in labor?

JPS Tanakh 1917
What wilt thou say, when He shall set the friends over thee as head, Whom thou thyself hast trained against thee? Shall not pangs take hold of thee, As of a woman in travail?

New American Standard 1977
“What will you say when He appoints over you—
            And you yourself had taught them—
            Former companions to be head over you?
            Will not pangs take hold of you,
            Like a woman in childbirth?

Jubilee Bible 2000
What wilt thou say when he shall visit thee? For thou hast taught them to be princes and as head over thee; shall not sorrows take thee as a woman in travail?

King James 2000 Bible
What will you say when he shall punish you? for you have taught them to be captains, and as chief over you: shall not sorrows take you, as a woman in travail?

American King James Version
What will you say when he shall punish you? for you have taught them to be captains, and as chief over you: shall not sorrows take you, as a woman in travail?

American Standard Version
What wilt thou say, when he shall set over thee as head those whom thou hast thyself taught to be friends to thee? shall not sorrows take hold of thee, as of a woman in travail?

Douay-Rheims Bible
What wilt thou say when he shall visit thee? for thou hast taught them against thee, and instructed them against thy own head: shall not sorrows lay hold on thee, as a woman in labour?

Darby Bible Translation
What wilt thou say when he shall visit thee, since thou thyself hast trained them to be princes in chief over thee? Shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

English Revised Version
What wilt thou say, when he shall set thy friends over thee as head, seeing thou thyself hast instructed them against thee? shall not sorrows take hold of thee, as of a woman in travail?

Webster's Bible Translation
What wilt thou say when he shall punish thee? for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?

World English Bible
What will you say, when he shall set over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you? shall not sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail?

Young's Literal Translation
What dost thou say, when He looketh after thee? And thou -- thou hast taught them to be over thee -- leaders for head? Do not pangs seize thee as a travailing woman?
Study Bible
Captivity Threatened
20"Lift up your eyes and see Those coming from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, Your beautiful sheep? 21"What will you say when He appoints over you-- And you yourself had taught them-- Former companions to be head over you? Will not pangs take hold of you Like a woman in childbirth? 22"If you say in your heart, 'Why have these things happened to me?' Because of the magnitude of your iniquity Your skirts have been removed And your heels have been exposed.…
Cross References
Matthew 24:8
All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Isaiah 13:8
They will be terrified, Pains and anguish will take hold of them; They will writhe like a woman in labor, They will look at one another in astonishment, Their faces aflame.

Jeremiah 2:25
"Keep your feet from being unshod And your throat from thirst; But you said, 'It is hopeless! No! For I have loved strangers, And after them I will walk.'

Jeremiah 4:30
And you, O desolate one, what will you do? Although you dress in scarlet, Although you decorate yourself with ornaments of gold, Although you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you make yourself beautiful. Your lovers despise you; They seek your life.

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."

Jeremiah 6:24
We have heard the report of it; Our hands are limp. Anguish has seized us, Pain as of a woman in childbirth.

Jeremiah 38:22
'Then behold, all of the women who have been left in the palace of the king of Judah are going to be brought out to the officers of the king of Babylon; and those women will say, "Your close friends Have misled and overpowered you; While your feet were sunk in the mire, They turned back."
Treasury of Scripture

What will you say when he shall punish you? for you have taught them to be captains, and as chief over you: shall not sorrows take you, as a woman in travail?

wilt.

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Jeremiah 22:23 O inhabitant of Lebanon, that make your nest in the cedars, how gracious …

Isaiah 10:3 And what will you do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation …

Ezekiel 28:9 Will you yet say before him that slays you, I am God? but you shall …

punish. Heb. visit upon for.

2 Kings 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, …

Isaiah 39:2-4 And Hezekiah was glad of them, and showed them the house of his precious …

shall not.

Jeremiah 4:31 For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish …

Jeremiah 6:24 We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish has …

Jeremiah 30:6 Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? why do …

Jeremiah 48:41 Kerioth is taken, and the strong holds are surprised…

Isaiah 13:8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; …

Isaiah 21:3 Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold on …

1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction …

(21) What wilt thou say?--The verse is difficult, and requires an entire retranslation. What wilt thou (the daughter of Zion) say? for He (Jehovah) shall set over thee as head those whom thou taughtest (=tried to teach) to be thy familiar friends. This was to be the end of the alliance in which Judah had trusted. She had courted the Chaldean nobles as her lover-guides and friends (the word is the same as in Jeremiah 3:4; Psalm 55:13; Proverbs 2:17; Proverbs 16:28). Another possible construction gives, shall set over thee those whom thou delightest to be thy friends as head over thee, i.e., those whose supremacy Judah had acknowledged in order that she might court their alliance. What could come then but that which was to the Hebrew the type of extremest anguish (Isaiah 13:8; Isaiah 21:3; Psalm 48:6), the travail-pangs which were followed by no joy that a man was born into the world (John 16:21)?

Verse 21. - What wilt thou say, etc.? The rendering of the verse is uncertain, though the Authorized Version undoubtedly requires correction. The alternatives are, What wilt thou say when he shall appoint over thee (but thou thyself hast trained them against thee) familiar friends as thy head? and, What wilt thou say when he shall appoint over thee those whom thou hast taught thy familiar friends as thy head? The rendering "familiar friends" is justified by Psalm 55:13; Proverbs 16:28; Proverbs 17:9; Micah 7:5. The "captains" of Authorized Version, or rather "tribal chiefs," is unsuitable. What will thou say when he shall punish thee?.... Or, "visit upon thee" (f); that is, either when God shall punish thee for thy sins, thou canst bring no charge of injustice against him, or murmur and repine at the punishment inflicted on thee; so Jarchi; to which agrees the Targum,

"when he shall visit on thee thy sin;''

or else, to which the following words seem to incline, when the enemy shall visit upon thee; so Kimchi and Abarbinel, when the Chaldeans shall come upon thee, and pay thee a visit, an unwelcome one; yet who wilt thou have to blame but thyself? so the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "when they shall visit thee"; these words are directed, not to the king, nor to the queen neither; but to the body of the people, the Jewish state, represented as a woman; who, upon consideration of things past, would have a great deal of reason to reflect upon themselves for what they had done in former times, which had led on to their ruin and destruction:

(for thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee;) the Jews showed the Assyrians the way into their country, used them to come thither, and taught them how to conquer them, and be masters over them; or, "hast taught them against thee" (g); to thy hurt and detriment, to be captains or governors;

for an head, to have the rule over them: this was done by Ahaz, when he sent to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria to come and save him out of the hands of the kings of Syria and Israel, 2 Kings 16:7 and by Hezekiah, when he showed the messengers of the king of Babylon all his treasures; these were invitations and temptations to come and plunder them:

shall not sorrows take thee as a woman in travail? denoting the suddenness of their calamities; the sharpness and severity of them; and that they would be inevitable, and could not be prevented.

(f) "quando visitabit super te"; Cocceius; "quum visitaverit super te", Schmidt. (g) "docuisti istos contra te", Piscator. 21. captains, and as chief—literally, "princes as to headship"; or "over thy head," namely, the Chaldeans. Rather, translate, "What wilt thou say when God will set them (the enemies, Jer 13:20) above thee, seeing that thou thyself hast accustomed them (to be) with thee as (thy) lovers in the highest place (literally, 'at thy head')? Thou canst not say God does thee wrong, seeing it was thou that gave occasion to His dealing so with thee, by so eagerly courting their intimacy." Compare Jer 2:18, 36; 2Ki 23:29, as to the league of Judah with Babylon, which led Josiah to march against Pharaoh-necho, when the latter was about to attack Babylon [Maurer].

sorrows—pains, throes.13:18-27 Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen. Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore come these things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacy in sin. We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and so is it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sin is the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; we were shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by any power of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change the Ethiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habits of sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creating Spirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determined not be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he could as soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, let him not despair; for things impossible to men are possible with God. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.
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