8 Sound a warning! Israel, you broke our agreement and ignored my teaching. Now an eagle is swooping down to attack my land. 2 Israel, you say, “We claim you, the Lord, as our God.” 3 But your enemies will chase you for rejecting our good agreement.[a]
4 You chose kings and leaders without consulting me; you made silver and gold idols that led to your downfall. 5 City of Samaria, I’m angry because of your idol in the shape of a calf. When will you ever be innocent again? 6 Someone from Israel built that idol for you, but only I am God. And so it will be smashed to pieces.[b]
7 If 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.
8 Israel, you are ruined, and now the nations consider you worthless. 9 You are like a wild donkey that goes its own way. You’ve run off to Assyria and hired them as allies. 10 You can bargain with nations, but I’ll catch you anyway. Soon you will suffer abuse by kings and rulers.
11 Israel, you have built many altars where you offer sacrifices for sin. But these altars have become places for sin. 12 My instructions for sacrifices were written in detail, but you ignored them. 13 You sacrifice your best animals and eat the sacrificial meals,[c] but I, the Lord, refuse your offerings. I will remember your sins and punish you. Then you will return to Egypt.[d]
14 Israel, I created you, but you forgot me. You and Judah built palaces and many strong cities.[e] Now I will send fire to destroy your towns and fortresses.
8.3our good agreement: Or “me, the Good One” (referring to God).
8.13sacrifice. . . 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).
8.13return to Egypt: Either as slaves or to find help against Assyria.
8.14built palaces. . . cities: They did this because they no longer trusted the Lord to protect them. “Palaces” may also mean “temples.”
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