The Lord says, “For a long time I have ·said nothing [kept silent/still]; I have been ·quiet [still] and held myself back. But now I will cry out and ·strain [pant and gasp] like a woman giving birth to a child.
Sing to God a brand-new song, sing his praises all over the world! Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, with all the far-flung islands joining in. Let the desert and its camps raise a tune, calling the Kedar nomads to join in. Let the villagers in Sela round up a choir and perform from the tops of the mountains. Make God’s glory resound; echo his praises from coast to coast. God steps out like he means business. You can see he’s primed for action. He shouts, announcing his arrival; he takes charge and his enemies fall into line: “I’ve been quiet long enough. I’ve held back, biting my tongue. But now I’m letting loose, letting go, like a woman who’s having a baby— Stripping the hills bare, withering the wildflowers, Drying up the rivers, turning lakes into mudflats. But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the things I’ll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”
I was still, ever I held [my] silence; I was patient, (but now) I shall speak as a woman travailing of child (but now I shall cry like a woman labouring with child); I shall scatter, and I shall swallow (up) (al)together.
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