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God Compared to a Travailing Woman

“now will I cry like a travailing woman”   Isaiah 42:14

This is a kind of metaphor called an anthropopathy, as all places are that attribute any thing human to God.  In this text we are to note, that His lenity, patience, and long forbearance, are changed into a severe vengeance:  because a Travailing Woman, though in great pain, yet patiently endures it, to the utmost extremity of her throes; and then being overcome by the violence of her pangs, breaks out into cries and vociferation:  which most elegantly expresses the patience and long forbearance of God, and the extremity of His wrath, when provoked (Psalm 78:65-66; Romans 2:4-5)

Simile Parallel
A Travailing Woman is in pain, pain, great pain; when pangs come upon thee like the pain of a woman in Travail. God is pleased to speak after this manner, as if He was in pain:  "I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:"  Isaiah 1:24.  The adversaries of God seem to hurt, and put Him to pain.  "In all their affliction he was afflicted" Isaiah 63:9.  When the foot is afflicted, the head is afflicted.  God is pleased to condescend so low, as to sympathize with His church; when she is pained, He is pained.
A Woman in Travail cries out; her pains are so great she cannot restrain; her pangs make her cry bitterly. God will visibly demonstrate (to speak after the manner of men) how His soul is pained and distressed for His church and people; hence saith He, "now will I cry like a travailing woman”  Isaiah 42:14 
A Woman in Travail strives to bring forth. When God stirs up Himself, and begins to cry and roar, it is that He may bring forth deliverance for His church.
It is not long when great pain and pangs come upon a Travailing Woman, ere she is delivered. When God begins to roar in His thundering judgments, pouring forth the vials of His wrath upon the beast, and to cry like a Travailing Woman, deliverance will soon follow the Church.


It shows the great affection and love of God to His people, the truth and certainty of their deliverance, and the utter confusion and downfall of their enemies.

Benjamin Keech

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 16:26

He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.