Israel as an ungrateful child (Hos 11:1-11:4)

“When Israel was a child,

I loved him.

I called my son

Out of Egypt.

The more I called them,

The more they went from me.

They kept sacrificing

To the Baals.

They kept offering incense

To idols.

Yet it was I

Who taught Ephraim

To walk.

I took them up

In my arms.

But they did not know

That I healed them.

I led them

With cords

Of human kindness.

I led them

With the bands of love.

I was to them

Like those who lift infants

To their cheeks.

I bent down to them.

I fed them.”

When Israel was a child, Yahweh loved him. He had called his son out of Egypt. However, the more that he called them, the more that they went from him. They kept sacrificing to the Baals, offering incense to these idols. Yahweh was the one who taught Ephraim how to walk. He took him up in his arms. They did not know that he had healed them. He led them around with cords of human kindness and bands of love. He lifted them up to his cheeks. He bent down to fed them. Now instead of Israel or Ephraim as an unfaithful lover as earlier in this work, Israel and Ephraim have become ungrateful children.

The hills (Ps 121:1-121:2)

A song of ascents

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where will my help come?

My help comes from Yahweh,

Who made heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121 is another short psalm in this series of ascent songs or hymns on the way to Jerusalem. This psalmist looked to the hills. Where was his help going to come from? He simply replied that it would be Yahweh, who made heaven and earth, that would come to his aid. Do these hills refer to the Mount Zion or the hills where the Baals, the local gods in high places, were worshipped?