John 16:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

New Living Translation
It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.

English Standard Version
When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

New American Standard Bible
"Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.

King James Bible
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When a woman is in labor she has pain because her time has come. But when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the suffering because of the joy that a person has been born into the world.

International Standard Version
When a woman is in labor she has pain, because her time has come. Yet when she has given birth to her child, she doesn't remember the agony anymore because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.

NET Bible
When a woman gives birth, she has distress because her time has come, but when her child is born, she no longer remembers the suffering because of her joy that a human being has been born into the world.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because the day for her delivery has arrived, but when she has delivered a son, she does not remember the distress for the joy that a son has been born into the world.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A woman has pain when her time to give birth comes. But after the child is born, she doesn't remember the pain anymore because she's happy that a child has been brought into the world.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The woman, when she is in travail, has pain, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers the anguish no more, for joy that a man is born into the world.

King James 2000 Bible
A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour has come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

American King James Version
A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

American Standard Version
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

Darby Bible Translation
A woman, when she gives birth to a child, has grief because her hour has come; but when the child is born, she no longer remembers the trouble, on account of the joy that a man has been born into the world.

English Revised Version
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world.

Webster's Bible Translation
A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

Weymouth New Testament
A woman, when she is in labour, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has given birth to the babe, she no longer remembers the pain, because of her joy at a child being born into the world.

World English Bible
A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn't remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world.

Young's Literal Translation
'The woman, when she may bear, hath sorrow, because her hour did come, and when she may bear the child, no more doth she remember the anguish, because of the joy that a man was born to the world.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

16:16-22 It is good to consider how near our seasons of grace are to an end, that we may be quickened to improve them. But the sorrows of the disciples would soon be turned into joy; as those of a mother, at the sight of her infant. The Holy Spirit would be their Comforter, and neither men nor devils, neither sufferings in life nor in death, would ever deprive them of their joy. Believers have joy or sorrow, according to their sight of Christ, and the tokens of his presence. Sorrow is coming on the ungodly, which nothing can lessen; the believer is an heir to joy which no one can take away. Where now is the joy of the murderers of our Lord, and the sorrow of his friends?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - The next illustration is very remarkable, and surely cannot be a simple analogy of the supervening of joy on sorrow. The woman (the article does not point to any special γυνή, but refers to a universal fact and law of womanhood, cf. ὁ δοῦλος, John 15:15) when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come. So now there are the travail-pangs of the new humanity, the new theocracy, bitter and terrible, But as soon as she has brought forth the child, she remembereth no longer the anguish, for the joy that a man is born into the world. The old prophets often compared the grief of Israel or her peril to the pangs of a travailing woman preluding deliverance (Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 26:17; Isaiah 66:6, 7; Hosea 13:13) and even joy - the joy of bringing manhood into the world and the new consciousness of maternity. Meyer and others rebel against any meaning beyond that of the following of joy upon sorrow; but Tholuck, De Wette, Ebrard, and Moulton see here the obvious reference to those "travail-pangs of death" with which St. Peter (Acts 3:24) said that the Holy One could not be restrained, agonies in which for a while every apostle must have wept and lamented, dying and being crucified with him, and to the glorious deliverance of all who suffered with him, when they live again in newness of life by the power of his resurrection.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow,.... As was said she should have, Genesis 3:16; This is God's ordination and appointment for sin:

because her hour is come; is at hand; the fixed time in nature is up, and there is no avoiding it:

but as soon as she is delivered of the child; for though the sorrow is great, yet there is a deliverance, and she is saved in child bearing: when

she remembereth no more the anguish; the sharp pains she has endured in her travail;

for joy that a man is born into the world. Much such a way of speaking is used by the Jews (z), who observe,

"if a woman brings forth a male child, all is forgot, and she repents (i.e. of her impatience, or any unbecoming expression in the time of labour), , "for the joy of a man child".''

And our Lord seems to have respect to a prevailing notion among them, as well as many others, of the felicity of male children: it is a common saying with them (a),

"blessed is he whose children are males, and woe to him whose children are females:''

for they say (b),

"when , "that a man child comes into the world", peace comes into the world.''

Now our Lord, by this instance, illustrates the sorrow his disciples should have by his departure, and the joy that they should be possessed of upon his return to them; that as the pains of a woman in travail are very sharp and severe, and the distress of her mind, about the issue of things respecting herself and offspring, is very great, so would be the grief and trouble of the disciples on account of the death of their Lord and master: but as when a woman is safely delivered of a man child, she is so filled with joy, that her sorrow is remembered no more so should it be with them, when Christ should appear to them; all their trouble, concern, anxiety of mind, and fears, that attended them, would all vanish away, and they be distressed with them no more.

(z) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 98. 2.((a) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 65. 1. Kiddushin, fol. 82. 2. Bava Bathra, fol. 16. 2. Sanhedrin, fol. 100. 2.((b) T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 31. 2.



John 16:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Disciples' Grief will Turn to Joy
20"Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy. 21"Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. 22"Therefore you too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Cross References
Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."

Isaiah 13:8
Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame.

Isaiah 21:3
At this my body is racked with pain, pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor; I am staggered by what I hear, I am bewildered by what I see.

Isaiah 26:17
As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we in your presence, LORD.

Isaiah 66:7
"Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.

Hosea 13:13
Pains as of a woman in childbirth come to him, but he is a child without wisdom; when the time arrives, he doesn't have the sense to come out of the womb.

Micah 4:9
Why do you now cry aloud-- have you no king? Has your ruler perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?

1 Thessalonians 5:3
While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
Treasury of Scripture

A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

woman.

Genesis 3:16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your …

Isaiah 26:16-18 LORD, in trouble have they visited you, they poured out a prayer …

Jeremiah 30:6,7 Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? why do …

Hosea 13:13,14 The sorrows of a travailing woman shall come on him: he is an unwise son…

Micah 4:10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a …

Revelation 12:2-5 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to …

for.

Genesis 21:6,7 And Sarah said, God has made me to laugh, so that all that hear will …

Genesis 30:23,24 And she conceived, and bore a son; and said, God has taken away my reproach…

1 Samuel 1:26,27 And she said, Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman …

Psalm 113:9 He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother …

Luke 1:57,58 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and …

Galatians 4:27 For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth …

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