Hosea 11:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them.

King James Bible
I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them.

Darby Bible Translation
I drew them with bands of a man, with cords of love; and I was to them as they that take off the yoke on their jaws, and I gently caused them to eat.

World English Bible
I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love; and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks; and I bent down to him and I fed him.

Young's Literal Translation
With cords of man I do draw them, With thick cords of love, And I am to them as a raiser up of a yoke on their jaws, And I incline unto him -- I feed him.

Hosea 11:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Salomo ben Melech thus explains the middle part of the verse, which is somewhat obscure: "I was to them at their desire as they that have compassion on a heifer, lest she be overworked in ploughing; and that lift up the yoke from off her neck, and rest it upon her cheek that she may not still draw, but rest from her labor an hour or two in the day."

But Israel - The Septuagint, Syriac, Aquila, Theodotion, and Vulgate, read וישראל veyisrael, But Israel, adding the conjunction, which being rendered as an adversative, sets the opposition in a stronger light.

Doth not know - The same ancient versions agree in adding Me, which very properly answers, and indeed is almost necessarily required to answer, the words possessor and lord preceding. Ισραηλ δε ΜΕ ουκ εγνω; Sept. "Israel autem me non cognovit," Vulg. Ισραηλ δε ΜΟΥ ουκ εγνω; Aquil., Theod. The testimony of so scrupulous an interpreter as Aquila is of great weight in this case. And both his and Theodotion's rendering is such as shows plainly that they did not add the word ΜΟΥ to help out the sense, for it only embarrasses it. It also clearly determines what was the original reading in the old copies from which they translated. It could not be ידעני yedani, which most obviously answers to the version of the Septuagint and Vulgate, for it does not accord with that of Aquila and Theodotion. The version of these latter interpreters, however injudicious, clearly ascertains both the phrase, and the order of the words of the original Hebrew; it was ישראל אותי לא ידע veyisrael othi lo yada. The word אותי othi has been lost out of the text. The very same phrase is used by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 4:22, עמי אותי לא ידעו ammi othi lo yadau. And the order of the words must have been as above represented; for they have joined ישראל yisrael, with אותי othi, as in regimine; they could not have taken it in this sense, Israel meus non cognovit, had either this phrase or the order of the words been different. I have endeavored to set this matter in a clear light, as it is the first example of a whole word lost out of the text, of which the reader will find many other plain examples in the course of these notes. But Rosenmuller contends that this is unnecessary, as the passage may be translated, "Israel knows nothing: my people have no understanding." The Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read ועמי veammi, "and my people;" and so likewise sixteen MSS. of Kennicott, and fourteen of De Rossi.

Hosea 11:4I drew them with cords of a man - This is a reference to leading strings, one end of which is held by the child, the other by the nurse, by which the little one, feeling some support, and gaining confidence, endeavors to walk. God, their heavenly Father, made use of every means and method to teach them to walk in the right and only safe path; for, as the Targum says, "As beloved children are drawn I drew them by the strength of love."

That take of the yoke on their jaws - I did every thing that mercy could suggest, and justice permit, to make their duty their delight and profit. There appears to be here an illusion to the moving and pulling forward the collar or yoke of beasts which have been hard at work, to let in the cool air between it and their neck, so as to refresh them, and prevent that heat, which with the sweat would scald their necks, and take off not only the hair, but the skin. I have often done this at the land ends, in ploughing, when at the turnings the cattle were permitted a few moments to draw their breath after the hard pull that terminated the furrow at either end of the field: -

And I laid meat unto them - Giving them at the same time a bite of grass or hay, to encourage them to go on afresh. The metaphor is strong and expressive; and he who ever had or saw the management of cattle in the plough or cart must admire it. Thus God acted with the people on whose necks was the yoke of his law. How many privileges, advantages, and comforts did he mingle with his precepts, to make them at once a righteous and happy people!

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Songs 1:4 Draw me, we will run after you: the king has brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in you...

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them...

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me.

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

of a.

2 Samuel 7:14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men...

I was.

Leviticus 26:13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves...

take off. Heb. lift up. and I laid.

Hosea 2:8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.

Psalm 78:23-25 Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven...

Psalm 105:40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

John 6:32-58 Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven...

Heaven's Nurse Children
The next sweet word in the chapter is sonship; "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt." We are, according to the inspired apostle, "predestinated unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will." Ephesians 1:5. Adoption follows hard upon the heels of election, and is another messenger of good tidings. Innumerable blessings come to us by this door. "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

The Divine Shepherd
"I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep." Again Jesus found access to the minds of His hearers by the pathway of their familiar associations. He had likened the Spirit's influence to the cool, refreshing water. He had represented Himself as the light, the source of life and gladness to nature and to man. Now
Ellen Gould White—The Desire of Ages

Cross References
John 6:44
"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.

Exodus 16:32
Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.'"

Leviticus 26:13
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.

Psalm 78:25
Human beings ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.

Jeremiah 31:2
This is what the LORD says: "The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel."

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

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