Hosea 8

Israel Has Trusted Wrong Things

8 “Put the trumpet to your lips and give the warning!
The enemy swoops down on the Lord’s people like an eagle.
The Israelites have broken my agreement
and have turned against my teachings.
2 They cry out to me,
‘Our God, we in Israel know you!’
3 But Israel has rejected what is good,
so the enemy will chase them.
4 They chose their own kings
without asking my permission.
They chose their own leaders,
people I did not know.
They made their silver and gold into idols,
and for all this they will be destroyed.
5 I hate the calf-shaped idol of Israel!
I am very angry with the people.
How long will they remain unclean?
6 The idol is something a craftsman made;
it is not God.
Israel’s calf-shaped idol
will surely be smashed to pieces.

7 “Israel’s foolish plans are like planting the wind,
but they will harvest a storm.
Like a stalk with no head of grain,
it produces nothing.
Even if it produced something,
other nations would eat it.
8 Israel is eaten up;
the people are mixed among the other nations
and have become useless to me.
9 Israel is like a wild donkey all by itself.
They have run to Assyria;
They have hired other nations to protect them.
10 Although Israel is mixed among the nations,
I will gather them together.
They will become weaker and weaker
as they suffer under the great king of Assyria.

11 “Although Israel built more altars to remove sin,
they have become altars for sinning.
12 I have written many teachings for them,
but they think the teachings are strange and foreign.
13 The Israelites offer sacrifices to me as gifts
and eat the meat,
but the Lord is not pleased with them.
He remembers the evil they have done,
and he will punish them for their sins.
They will be slaves again as they were in Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten their Maker and has built palaces;
Judah has built many strong, walled cities.
But I will send fire on their cities
and destroy their strong buildings.”

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