Hosea 8
Israel Rejects the Lord
The Lord said:
1Sound a warning!
Israel, you broke our agreement
and ignored my teaching.
Now an eagle#8.1 an eagle: Or “a vulture.” is swooping down
to attack my land.
2Israel, you say, “We claim you,
the Lord, as our God.”
3But your enemies
will chase you for rejecting
our good agreement.#8.3 our good agreement: Or “me, the Good One” (referring to God).
4You chose kings and leaders
without consulting me;
you made silver and gold idols
that led to your downfall.
5City of Samaria, I'm angry
because of your idol
in the shape of a calf.
When will you ever
be innocent again?
6Someone from Israel built
that idol for you,
but only I am God.
And so it will be smashed
to pieces.#8.6 smashed to pieces: Or “destroyed by fire.”
7If you scatter wind
instead of wheat,
you will harvest a whirlwind
and have no wheat.
Even if you harvest grain,
enemies will steal it all.
8Israel, you are ruined,
and now the nations
consider you worthless.
9You are like a wild donkey
that goes its own way.
You've run off to Assyria
and hired them as allies.
10You can bargain with nations,
but I'll catch you anyway.
Soon you will suffer abuse
by kings and rulers.
11Israel, you have built
many altars where you offer
sacrifices for sin.
But these altars have become
places for sin.
12My instructions for sacrifices
were written in detail,
but you ignored them.
13You sacrifice your best animals
and eat the sacrificial meals,#8.13 sacrifice … sacrificial meals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Two kinds of sacrifices are referred to: Those in which the whole animal is burned on the altar (“whole burnt offerings” in traditional translations) and those in which part is eaten by the worshipers (“fellowship offerings” in traditional translations).
but I, the Lord,
refuse your offerings.
I will remember your sins
and punish you.
Then you will return to Egypt.#8.13 return to Egypt: Either as slaves or to find help against Assyria.
14Israel, I created you,
but you forgot me.
You and Judah built palaces
and many strong cities.#8.14 built palaces … cities: They did this because they no longer trusted the Lord to protect them. “Palaces” may also mean “temples.”
Now I will send fire to destroy
your towns and fortresses.

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