There is a bit of a graphic image of men holding their “loins” as if they were women in labor that makes our “face turn pale”. The question that is asked is: “Can a man bear a child?” There is so much distress in Babylon as people are in captivity that men are acting in ways that has never been seen before. But look at vs.8 and you see the promise of God comes as he says that he will break that yoke from off the neck of the Israelites. Remember the yoke that Jeremiah was wearing which was wooden but then was broken by the false priests and God replaced it with an iron one? He promises that this one shall also be broken and that even the Babylonians will serve God.
The rest of this chapter is one of assurance that even while there is pain in the evening, joy shall come in the morning. The restoration of the fortunes of Jacob is going to be coming, we hear in vs.18. I think I hear a little bit of a promise for us as we look forward to worshiping in person on October 18. Can these words apply to us as well? “Out of them shall come thanksgiving, and the sound of merrymaking. I will make them many, and they shall not be few. Their children shall be as of old, their congregation shall be established before me. You shall be my people and I will be your God.” What a wonderfully assuring Scripture this is.