Hosea 11:4 NASB:
I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them.
Preposition-b | Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 2256: A rope, a measuring line, a district, inheritance, a noose, a company, a throe, ruin
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being
Note the parallelism:
I led them with cords of a man,
with bonds of love
This is the loving image of a father leading his son by cords, in contrast to an animal trainer roping an unmanageable animal.
I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love. This verse contains a further representation of Jehovah's fatherly guidance of Israel. The cords of a man are such as parents use in leading weak or young children. Bands of lore qualify more closely the preceding expression, "cords of a man," and are the opposite of those which men employ in taming or breaking wild and unmanageable animals. The explanation of Rashi is similar: "I have always led them with tender cords such as these with which a man leads his child, as if he said with loving guidance." Aben Ezra and Kimchi, in their explanations, carry out more fully the same idea. The former says, "The bands of love are not like the bands which are fastened on the neck of a plowing heifer;" the latter, "Because he compared Ephraim to a heifer, and people lead a heifer with cords, he says, 'I have led Israel by the cords of a man, and not the cords of a heifer which one drags along with resistance, but as a man draws his fellow-man without compelling him to go with resistance: even so I have led them after a gentle method;' and therefore he afterward calls them (cords of a man) bands of love."
It was a familiar contrast between two opposite images: cords of a man/adam and ropes of an animal. One is manipulated by love; the other by force.