The Disappointment of a Parent
1#After the image of husband-wife (chaps. 1–3), Hosea uses the image of parent-child (Ex 4:22; Is 1:2; Jer 3:19). When Israel was a child I loved him,#a. [11:1] Dt 7:8; 10:15; Jer 2:1–9.
out of Egypt#Out of Egypt: Hosea dates the real beginning of Israel from the time of the exodus. Mt 2:15 applies this text to the return of Jesus from Egypt. I called my son.#b. [11:1] Ex 4:22; Mt 2:15.
2The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;#c. [11:3] Dt 1:31; 8:5.
but they did not know that I cared for them.
4I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;#I drew them…with bands of love: perhaps a reversal of the yoke imagery of the previous chapter, i.e., not forcing them like draft animals, but drawing them with kindness and affection.
I fostered them like those
who raise an infant to their cheeks;
I bent down to feed them.#d. [11:4] Dt 8:16.
5He shall return to the land of Egypt,#e. [11:5] Dt 17:16.
Assyria shall be his king,
because they have refused to repent.
6The sword shall rage in his cities:
it shall destroy his diviners,
and devour them because of their schemings.
7My people have their mind set on apostasy;
though they call on God in unison,
he shall not raise them up.
But Love Is Stronger and Restores
8How could I give you up, Ephraim,
or deliver you up, Israel?
How could I treat you as Admah,
or make you like Zeboiim?#Admah…Zeboiim: cities in the vicinity of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gn 14:2, 8) and destroyed with them (Gn 19:24–25; Dt 29:22). #f. [11:8] Dt 29:22.
My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
9I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not a man,#g. [11:9] Nm 23:19; Is 31:3; Ez 28:2.
the Holy One present among you;
I will not come in wrath.
10They shall follow the Lord,
who roars like a lion;#h. [11:10] Jl 4:16; Am 1:2; Jer 25:30.
When he roars,
his children shall come frightened from the west,
11Out of Egypt they shall come trembling, like birds,
like doves, from the land of Assyria;
And I will resettle them in their homes,
oracle of the Lord.