“do not cry for me.” The women were already crying. The verse could perhaps better be translated, “Stop crying for me, and be crying for yourselves.” “In negative commands the present imperative often means, as it does here, to stop an action already begun” (Lenski. Cp. A. T. Robertson, Grammar, p. 851). Jesus told the women to “be crying for themselves.” Jesus had been teaching that soon after his death the Great Tribulation would occur (cp. Matt. 24:34), and things would become very difficult for believers. Daniel foretold that during the end times the worldly rulers would persecute the believers and succeed (Dan. 7:21), and the book of Revelation confirms that (Rev. 13:7). Families would be destroyed, and so the emotional pain of those times would be less severe for women who did not have children.