Hosea 10:11

Hebrew Bible

9 “O Israel, you have sinned since the time of Gibeah, and there you have remained. Did not war overtake the evildoers in Gibeah? 10 When I please, I will discipline them; I will gather nations together to attack them, to bind them in chains for their two sins. 11Ephraim was a well-trained heifer who loved to thresh grain; I myself put a fine yoke on her neck. I will harness Ephraim. Let Judah plow! Let Jacob break up the unplowed ground for himself! 12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap unfailing love. Break up the unplowed ground for yourselves, for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers deliverance on you. 13 But you have plowed wickedness; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your chariots; you have relied on your many warriors.

Jeremiah 31:18

Hebrew Bible

16 The Lord says to her, “Stop crying! Do not shed any more tears. For your heartfelt repentance will be rewarded. Your children will return from the land of the enemy. I, the Lord, affirm it! 17 Indeed, there is hope for your posterity. Your children will return to their own territory. I, the Lord, affirm it! 18 I have indeed heard the people of Israel say mournfully, ‘We were like a calf untrained to the yoke. You disciplined us, and we learned from it. Let us come back to you and we will do so, for you are the Lord our God. 19 For after we turned away from you we repented. After we came to our senses we struck our thigh in sorrow. We are ashamed and humiliated because of the disgraceful things we did previously.’ 20 Indeed, the people of Israel are my dear children. They are the children I take delight in. For even though I must often rebuke them, I still remember them with fondness. So I am deeply moved with pity for them and will surely have compassion on them. I, the Lord, affirm it!

 Notes and References

"... Hosea 10:11 ... There does not seem to be any connection between this word and the 'heifers' of 10:5. Here it is a figure of speech, there it is literal. A 'trained' heifer contrasts with an intractable cow (4:16). If this is intended to recapitulate historical development, it must go back to a time when Ephraim was docile; compare 11:1. The figure is now developed in a way that presents Ephraim's later conduct as a reversion of a work animal to a wild condition. Compare Jeremiah 31:18. The comparison with 11:1 is apt and points the way to the correct interpretation of verse 11 ... [it] completes the meaning of 'a trained heifer' - i.e. 'a heifer trained to thresh.' The word is to be taken as the verb with a first-person subject (compare 11:1), Yahweh. Even the most docile and cooperative animal could hardly be described as 'loving' to work, especially under the yoke. 'Training' is another matter; besides, it is more easily interpreted as the Qal perfect than as a participle ..."

Andersen, Francis I., and David Noel Freedman Hosea: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary (p. 567) Doubleday, 1980

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