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Hosea 10:11-12

Context
Fertility Imagery: Plowing, Sowing, and Reaping

10:11 Ephraim was a well-trained heifer who loved to thresh grain;

I myself put a fine yoke 1 on her neck.

I will harness Ephraim.

Let Judah plow! 2 

Let Jacob break up 3  the unplowed ground for himself!

10:12 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 4  on you.

1 tc The MT is unintelligible: עַל־טוּב (’al-tuv, “upon a fine [thing]”?). Cf. KJV “I passed over upon her fair neck”; NRSV “I spared her fair neck.” The BHS editors suggest the revocalization עֹל־טוּב (’ol-tuv, “a fine yoke”), followed by many modern English versions (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV, TEV, NLT). The noun עֹל (’ol, “yoke”) also appears in 11:4 in a metaphor which compares Israel to a young heifer as well.

2 tn Or “Judah will plow” (so NASB); NIV, NRSV, CEV “Judah must plow.”

3 tn Or “Jacob will break up.”

4 tn Or “righteousness” (so KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT); NAB “justice.”



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