New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Corruption of Cult, Domestic and Foreign Politics
1 Put the trumpet to your lips!(A)
One like an eagle[a] is over the house of the Lord!
Because they have violated my covenant,
and rebelled against my law,
2 They cry out to me,
“My God! We know you!”
3 But Israel has rejected what is good;
the enemy[b] shall pursue him.
4 [c]They made kings, but not by my authority;
they established princes, but without my knowledge.
With their silver and gold
they made idols for themselves,
to their own destruction.
5 He has rejected your calf,[d] Samaria!(B)
My wrath is kindled against them;
How long will they be incapable of innocence
6 An artisan made it,
it is no god at all.(C)
The calf of Samaria
will be dashed to pieces.
7 When they sow the wind,
they will reap the whirlwind;(D)
The stalk of grain that forms no head
can yield no flour;
Even if it could,
strangers would swallow it.
8 Israel is swallowed up;
now they are among the nations,
like a useless vessel.
9 For they went up to Assyria—[e]
a wild ass off on its own—
Ephraim bargained for lovers.(E)
10 Even though they bargain with the nations,
I will now gather them[f] together;
They will soon succumb
under the burden of king and princes.
11 [g]When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin,
they became altars for sinning.
12 Though I write for him my many instructions,
they are considered like a stranger’s.
13 They love sacrifice,
they sacrifice meat and eat it,
but the Lord is not pleased with them.(F)
Now he will remember their guilt
and punish their sins;(G)
they shall return to Egypt.[h](H)
14 Israel has forgotten his maker(I)
and has built palaces.
Judah, too, has fortified many cities,
but I will send fire upon his cities,
to devour their strongholds.(J)
- 8:1 Eagle: perhaps an image for Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria, who overran the land of Israel in 733 B.C. (Jer 48:40; 49:22; Ez 17:3).
- 8:3 Enemy: Assyria.
- 8:4 Hosea is not against the monarchy, but against the conspiracies at the royal court (see note on 7:3–7). The king should be chosen by God (1 Kgs 19:15–16).
- 8:5 Calf: a cultic object introduced by Jeroboam I after the separation of the Northern Kingdom from the Southern Kingdom (1 Kgs 12:26–30; cf. Ex 32).
- 8:9 They went up to Assyria: a reference to the politics of appealing to Assyria (cf. 5:13; 7:11). There is a play on the Hebrew word for “wild ass” (pere) and “Ephraim.”
- 8:10 I will now gather them: for judgment and for deportation.
- 8:11 The altars had become places of self-serving worship (cf. v. 13).
- 8:13 Return to Egypt: to punish their violation of the covenant they will experience a reversal of the exodus.