“You hear cries of panic and of terror;
there is no peace in sight. 2
Have you ever seen a man give birth to a baby?
Why then do I see all these strong men
grabbing their stomachs in pain like 4 a woman giving birth?
And why do their faces
turn so deathly pale?
There has never been any like it.
It is a time of trouble for the descendants of Jacob,
but some of them will be rescued out of it. 6
1 tn The particle כִּי (ki) is functioning here as loosely causal or epexegetical of the preceding introduction. For this usage cf. BDB 473-74 s.v. כִּי 3.c. This nuance borders on that of the intensive use of כִּי. See the discussion in BDB 472 s.v. כִּי note and כִּי 1.e.
2 tn Heb “We have heard the sound of panic and of fear, and there is no peace.” It is generally agreed that the person of the verb presupposes that this is an unintroduced quote of the people.
3 tn Heb “Ask and see/consider.”
4 tn Heb “with their hands on their loins.” The word rendered “loins” refers to the area between the ribs and the thighs.
5 tn Heb “Alas [or Woe] for that day will be great.” For the use of the particle “Alas” to signal a time of terrible trouble, even to sound the death knell for someone, see the translator’s note on 22:13.
sn The reference to a terrible time of trouble (Heb “that day”) is a common shorthand reference in the prophets to “the Day of the
6 tn Heb “It is a time of trouble for Jacob but he will be saved out of it.”
sn Jacob here is figurative for the people descended from him. Moreover the figure moves from Jacob = descendants of Jacob to only a part of those descendants. Not all of his descendants who have experienced and are now experiencing trouble will be saved. Only a remnant (i.e., the good figs, cf., e.g., Jer 23:3; 31:7) will see the good things that the