As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you; and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
several great Oriental scholars believe that in the earliest times the Semitic religions had a goddess, but no god. The matriarchal state of society came before the patriarchal. Whatever historic value this opinion may have, there can be little doubt, to a careful reader, that much of the Old Testament imagery and poetry, which seek to cheer the hearts of men with promises of Divine comfort, can be best realized as we read into them the idea of the Motherhood of God. There is a New Testament reference to those wilderness ways in which the children of God were led in ancient days which at least suggests a lingering recognition of this idea. The margin of Acts 13:18 reads — and the reading has considerable support: "About the time of forty years He bore or fed them as a nurse beareth or feedeth her child." Much more definite, however, is Deuteronomy 32:11: "As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her ,wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him.' We scarcely need to remind ourselves that it is the mother-eagle that fluttereth over her young, and beareth them in safety on her broad pinions whither she will. A similar fidelity to nature should always be borne in mind that we may interpret the inner meaning of the well-known psalms of comfort, which tell us of a hiding-place and a refuge beneath the shadow of God's wings, or under the covering of His feathers (Psalm 18:8; Psalm 57:1; Psalm 61:4; Psalm 91:1-4). It is of course the mother-bird that gathers her brood under her wings, and hides them in warmth and safety beneath her fluffy feathers. Nor can we ever forget that when our Lord was leaving the great city of human sorrow He had yearned in vain to comfort, when He strove in His anguish of weeping to leave some picture in the mind of her people of the infinite wealth of the Divine tenderness of comfort to which they had been blind, the passion of the great mother-soul within Him could find no more perfect imagery than that familiar to them and their fathers in the psalmists of Israel: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings and ye would not! All nature is plaintive with an instinctive mother-cry, from the bleating cry of the lost lamb to the lonely cry of the lost child of the Mother-God. And instinct should count for something in interpreting the God whose children we are. The lad dying of fever in some rude, rough shanty at the gold diggings, or tossing in thirst in the hospital of a far-off foreign port, cries in his delirium for his mother. It is his deepest instinct. It wasalways his mother's touch which brought coolness to his brow, and his mother's voice that had a witchery of comfort in its whisper in the old village home. And in that other sickness of the mind, in the soul's day of fever and fret, it is a true spiritual instinct we obey as our lonely or wearied spirits cry aloud for the arms of the Mother-God.
Parallel VersesKJV: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.