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The Pursuit

© 2015, MaLoMaLo Press

for Soprano or Mezzo-Soprano and Piano

      Duration: 4:30 min.

     Text: Hosea 6:1-3

Program Notes:

Throughout Hosea 6:1-3, humanity's relationship with God is presented as difficult, messy, and confusing, yet undergirded with comfort and certainty. The phrase that struck me as encapsulating the proper response to our complex relationship with God is "We will know and pursue knowing Yahweh" (line 7). When we sabotage our relationship with God, his discipline can turn us back to Him, because of the comfort He promises. Although we will never fully understand everything about Him, represented by the lack of final resolution in the piece, we can trust the certainty of what we do know about Him and desire to know Him more. The process of knowing God can be intimidating, musically represented by the use of "Adonai" for the initial iterations of God's name. And though our fear of Him grows as we come to know him more, our confidence in who He is because of what He is willing to do for a relationship with us in the work of Jesus (alluded to in lines 4-5) allows us to interact with Him more intimately, resulting in the use of God's personal name, "Yahweh."

Text: Hosea 6:1-3 (trans. Robert Puckett)

Come, let us return to Yahweh
because he has torn us into pieces
and his hand will heal us and bind us up.

He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us from the dead,*

and we will live in his presence.

We will know and pursue knowing Yahweh.

His coming to us is as definite as daybreak

and he will come as the rain to us;
as the spring rain he will water the land.

*A more literal tranlation of line 5 reads, "on the third day he will raise us up,"

but the word for raise is also used in the context of raising from the dead.

Robert's freer translation is intended to make the somewhat subtle allusion

to Jesus' resurrection on the third day more obvious.

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