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22 (A)So you will say to Pharaoh, Thus says the Lord: Israel is my son, my firstborn. 23 I said to you: Let my son go, that he may serve me. Since you refused to let him go, I will kill your son, your firstborn.(B)

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16     For you are our father.
Were Abraham not to know us,
    nor Israel to acknowledge us,
You, Lord, are our father,
    our redeemer you are named from of old.

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Do not be so very angry, Lord,
    do not remember our crimes forever;
    look upon us, who are all your people!

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With weeping they shall come,
    but with compassion I will guide them;
I will lead them to streams of water,
    on a level road, without stumbling.
For I am a father to Israel,
    Ephraim is my firstborn.(A)

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Chapter 11

The Disappointment of a Parent

[a]When Israel was a child I loved him,(A)
    out of Egypt[b] I called my son.(B)
The more I called them,
    the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
    and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    who took them in my arms;(C)
    but they did not know that I cared for them.
I drew them with human cords,
    with bands of love;[c]
I fostered them like those
    who raise an infant to their cheeks;
    I bent down to feed them.(D)

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Footnotes

  1. 11:1–3 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).
  2. 11:1 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.
  3. 11:4 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.

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