6:1 “Come on! Let’s return to the Lord!
He himself has torn us to pieces,
but he will heal us!
He has injured 1 us,
but he will bandage our wounds!
with leather 3 ropes;
and gently fed them. 6
1 tn “has struck”; NRSV “struck down.”
2 tn Or “humane cords” or “cords of human kindness.” The noun אָדָם (’adam) is traditionally related to I אָדָם (“man”) and translated either literally or figuratively (as a metonymy of association for humane compassion): “cords of a man” (KJV, RSV margin, NASB), “cords of human kindness” (NIV, NCV), “human ties” (NJPS), “cords of compassion” (RSV). It is better to relate it to II אָדָם (“leather”; HALOT 14 s.v. אָדָם), as the parallelism with II אַהֲבָה (’ahavah, “leather”) suggests (see below). This homonymic root is well attested in Arabic ’adam (“skin”) and ’adim (“tanned skin; leather”). This better fits the context of 11:4 which compares Israel to a heifer: the
3 tn Or “ropes of love.” The noun אַהֲבָה (’ahava) is traditionally related to I אַהֲבָה (“love”; BDB 13 s.v. אַהֲבָה 2). This approach is adopted by most English translations: “bands of love” (KJV, RSV), “bonds of love” (NASB), “ties of love” (NIV), “cords of love” (NJPS). However, it is probably better to derive אַהֲבָה from the homonymic root II אַהֲבָה (“leather”; HALOT 18 s.v. II אַהֲבָה). This root is attested in Arabic and Ugaritic. It probably occurs in the description of Solomon’s sedan chair: “upholstered with purple linen, and lined with leather” (Song 3:10). This fits the context of 11:4 which compares Israel to a young heifer: the
4 tn Heb “And I was to them like those who lift a yoke.”
5 tn Heb “their jaws” (so KJV, ASV, NASB).
6 tn Heb “him.” This is regarded as a collective singular by most English versions and thus translated as a plural pronoun.