Ask you now, and see whether a man does travail with child? why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
paleness—properly the color of herbs blasted and fading: the green paleness of one in jaundice: the sickly paleness of terror.
And all faces are turned into paleness; and all men’s faces look as if they had the yellow jaundice; or are of the colour of blasted corn, as the word signifieth, Deu 28:22.
wherefore do I see every man with his hands his loins, as a woman in travail; the usual posture of women in such a condition, trying hereby to abate their pain, and ease themselves. This metaphor is made use of, both to express the sharpness and shortness of this distress; as the pains of a woman in travail are very sharp, yet short, and, when over, quickly forgotten; and so it wilt be at this time; it will be a sharp trial of the church and people of God; but it will last but for a short time; and the joy and happy times that will follow will soon cause it to be forgotten:
and all faces are turned into paleness? at the departure of the blood, through fear and trembling. The Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions render it "the yellow jaundice"; their faces were of the colour of such persons that have that disease upon them; or, as others, the green sickness. Some render it, "the king's evil" (q).Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. Men do not suffer the pangs of child-bearing. Why then do all shew signs of pain and terror? Cp. Isaiah 13:8.Verse 6. - Whether a man doth travail with child. Great, indeed, must be the terror when no adequate figure suggests itself but that of a woman in her pangs (comp. Jeremiah 6:24; Jeremiah 13:21; Jeremiah 22:23; Isaiah 13:8). All faces are turned into paleness. So Joel (Joel 2:6) and Nahum (Nahum 2:10), "All faces withdraw their colour." For "paleness" the Septuagint has "jaundice" - a possible meaning of the Hebrew; comp. χλωρὸς, "pale, bilious looking" in medical writings, but properly "greenish-yellow," like the Hebrew noun. Jeremiah 29:31, cf. Jeremiah 28:15. The punishment is this: Shemaiah shall have no posterity among his people, i.e., of his children none shall be left amongst the people, nor shall he see, i.e., experience, have any share in the blessings which the Lord will yet bestow upon His people. The extinction of his race and his own exclusion from the privilege of seeing the day of Israel's redemption are the punishment that is to fall on him for his rebellion against the commandment of the Lord. With 'כּי סרה cf. Jeremiah 28:16.
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