4:22 You must say 1 to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says 2 the Lord, “Israel is my son, my firstborn, 3
24:8 God brought them out of Egypt.
They have, as it were, the strength of a young bull;
they will devour hostile people 4
and will break their bones
and will pierce them through with arrows.
and I summoned my son 6 out of Egypt.
[4:22] 3 sn The metaphor uses the word “son” in its connotation of a political dependent, as it was used in ancient documents to describe what was intended to be a loyal relationship with well-known privileges and responsibilities, like that between a good father and son. The word can mean a literal son, a descendant, a chosen king (and so, the Messiah), a disciple (in Proverbs), and here, a nation subject to God. If the people of Israel were God’s “son,” then they should serve him and not Pharaoh. Malachi reminds people that the Law said “a son honors his father,” and so God asked, “If I am a father, where is my honor?” (Mal 1:6).
[11:1] 6 tc The MT reads בְנִי (vÿni, “My son”); however, the LXX reflects בָנָיו (vanav, “his sons”). The MT should be retained as original here because of internal evidence; it is much more appropriate to the context.