Jeremiah 13:21

21 What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you have trained to be your allies? Will not pangs take hold of you, like those of a woman in labor?

Jeremiah 13:21 Meaning and Commentary

Jeremiah 13:21

What will thou say when he shall punish thee?
&c.] Or, "visit upon thee" F6; 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" F7; 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.
FOOTNOTES:

F6 (Kyle dqpy yk) "quando visitabit super te"; Cocceius; "quum visitaverit super te", Schmidt.
F7 (Kyle Mta tdml taw) "docuisti istos contra te", Piscator.

Jeremiah 13:21 In-Context

19 The towns of the Negeb are shut up with no one to open them; all Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile.
20 Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you have trained to be your allies? Will not pangs take hold of you, like those of a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart, "Why have these things come upon me?" it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up, and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians change their skin or leopards their spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.