12:2 delivered. There is a general application here to the whole world, “because the [creation] itself [must] be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:21-22). The more specific application, however, must be to Israel and then Mary herself: “Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail.” “But thou Bethlehem Ephrata,…out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 4:10; 5:2). Note also such tangentially related passages as Galatians 4:26 and I Timothy 2:15.
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