Jeremiah 30:6
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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30:1-11 Jeremiah is to write what God had spoken to him. The very words are such as the Holy Ghost teaches. These are the words God ordered to be written; and promises written by his order, are truly his word. He must write a description of the trouble the people were now in, and were likely to be in. A happy end should be put to these calamities. Though the afflictions of the church may last long, they shall not last always. The Jews shall be restored again. They shall obey, or hearken to the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of David, their King. The deliverance of the Jews from Babylon, is pointed out in the prophecy, but the restoration and happy state of Israel and Judah, when converted to Christ their King, are foretold; also the miseries of the nations before the coming of Christ. All men must honour the Son as they honour the Father, and come into the service and worship of God by him. Our gracious Lord pardons the sins of the believer, and breaks off the yoke of sin and Satan, that he may serve God without fear, in righteousness and true holiness before him all the remainder of his days, as the redeemed subject of Christ our King.Better, as in the margin. The prophet places his hearers in the center of Babylon, and describes it as convulsed with terror as the armies of Cyrus draw near. The voice of trembling is the war-cry of the advancing host: while fear and no peace implies that even among the exiles there is only alarm at the prospect of the city, where they had so long dwelt, being destroyed. 6. Ask—Consult all the authorities, men or books, you can, you will not find an instance. Yet in that coming day men will be seen with their hands pressed on their loins, as women do to repress their pangs. God will drive men through pain to gestures more fitting a woman than a man (Jer 4:31; 6:24). The metaphor is often used to express the previous pain followed by the sudden deliverance of Israel, as in the case of a woman in childbirth (Isa 66:7-9).

paleness—properly the color of herbs blasted and fading: the green paleness of one in jaundice: the sickly paleness of terror.

The voice which I hear is not the voice of women, but of men, and those the strongest and stoutest men, yet it is a voice like the voice of women in travail, roaring out through their pains; and the posture I see the generality of men are in is like the posture of women in travail, who hold their hands upon their loins, hoping thereby to abate their pain. Was it ever heard that males had the pains that use to attend child-bearing women?

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. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child?.... Look into the histories of former times, inquire of those most versed in them, whether ever there was such a thing in the world as that a man should travail with child; ask one and, another you see in distress, whether that is their case or not, which looks so much like it; and since there never was such an instance, nor is it possible that there should:

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).

(q) "in speciem morbi regii", Junius & Tremellius; "in morbum regium", Piscator.

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?
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. In consequence of this, Jeremiah received from the Lord the commission to predict to Shemaiah his punishment at the hand of God, and to send the prediction to all that are in Babylon in banishment. With 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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