Jesus sounds angry towards the women who were mourning,

"Daughters of Jersualem do not weep for me, weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say "blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore, the breast that never nursed."

Why did he admonish them, they were powerless women in this situation, like all 1st century women. They were just grieving about what was going to happen. What am I missing?

  • Out of curiosity, are you an ESL speaker? Because, as a native speaker, and one who has been preached to by many native speakers, "Why did he admonished them?" is a wholly novel interpretation of that verse.
    – RonJohn
    Commented May 29 at 2:13

3 Answers 3


Here is the passage in question:

26 And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Tone or emotion is often difficult to discern from the written word.
My practice is to only assign emotion if the text says there is emotion.
For example, Acts 12:20

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon,....

The text says that Herod was angry.

In this case Jesus is going to be crucified, Simon is carrying Jesus' cross and a "great multitude" of people and of women who are lamenting for Jesus are also following.

We have no indication in the text what emotion Jesus has when he warns the women lamenting him that horrible days are coming and that they should save their weeping for themselves and their children.

I don't read Jesus as admonishing - reprimanding them for weeping. He was telling them that hard times were coming when they would weep for themselves. Jesus shares this information out of concern for them in spite of his dire current circumstances.

  • I upvoted this answer but here is a caveat. I think there are indeed times when emotion can be read into the passage even without the text directly indicating it. You do so yourself when you say that Jesus was motivated by his concern for the future suffering of those who wept for him - not anger that they wept for him. Commented May 29 at 1:43

Jesus was not angry, he was just warning the woman and the people! That for what they have done , theres greater to weep for.when the Day comes that no woman may be able to conceive a child this will be a terrible emotional experience and she will be in such despair and have sorrow. Not to cry now ..He is here to save us from our sins to Stop us from despair and this is why Jesus says Do not cry I am the Resurrection I came to save you for your Sins to be forgiven.

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    Commented May 29 at 2:49

I agree with @David D, but I am more willing than he to state that Jesus was definitely not angry with the women who wept for him. These were women of compassion, moved by Jesus' suffering and rejection. By saying "do not weep for me," Jesus comforted them, while at the same time warning that they and their children would themselves suffer soon enough.

Conclusion: Jesus foresaw the coming tumult of the Great Jewish Revolt of 66-70 c.e., when tens of thousands of Jerusalem residents would be slaughtered by the Romans. Already there revolt against Rome. Problem the two criminals crucified with him were involved - after all it was Barnabas (their leader?) who was original schedule to be in Jesus' position on the Cross. Within a few decades, the Zealots would gain enough traction to make the threat to Rome a reality, with disastrous consequence. Jesus was not admonishing the women of Jerusalem he was warning them with the heart of a brotherly heart.

  • I think Barabbas (literally son of the father) rather than Barnabas.
    – Henry
    Commented May 29 at 2:34

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