18:3 All you who live in the world,
who reside on the earth,
you will see a signal flag raised on the mountains;
you will hear a trumpet being blown.
my spirit within me seeks you at dawn,
for when your judgments come upon the earth,
those who live in the world learn about justice. 3
26:18 We were pregnant, we strained,
we gave birth, as it were, to wind. 4
We cannot produce deliverance on the earth;
people to populate the world are not born. 5
1 tn Heb “with my soul I.” This is a figure for the speaker himself (“I”).
3 tn The translation understands צֶדֶק (tsedeq) in the sense of “justice,” but it is possible that it carries the nuance “righteousness,” in which case one might translate, “those who live in the world learn to live in a righteous manner” (cf. NCV).
4 tn On the use of כְּמוֹ (kÿmo, “like, as”) here, see BDB 455 s.v. Israel’s distress and suffering, likened here to the pains of childbirth, seemed to be for no purpose. A woman in labor endures pain with the hope that a child will be born; in Israel’s case no such positive outcome was apparent. The nation was like a woman who strains to bring forth a child, but can’t push the baby through to daylight. All her effort produces nothing.
5 tn Heb “and the inhabitants of the world do not fall.” The term נָפַל (nafal) apparently means here, “be born,” though the Qal form of the verb is not used with this nuance anywhere else in the OT. (The Hiphil appears to be used in the sense of “give birth” in v. 19, however.) The implication of verse 18b seems to be that Israel hoped its suffering would somehow end in deliverance and an increase in population. The phrase “inhabitants of the world” seems to refer to the human race in general, but the next verse, which focuses on Israel’s dead, suggests the referent may be more limited.