8 Eternal One: Blow the ram’s horn to sound the alarm! The eagle of Assyria is hovering above My house,[a] Waiting for My instruction to snatch its prey, because they’ve broken My covenant and rebelled against My law. 2 Still Israel calls out to Me, “Our God, we know you!” But even with your words of worship, you abandon our agreement. 3 Israel has rejected what is good; that is why an enemy will pursue him.
4 They’ve overstepped their rights by changing leadership, but not by My authority; they’ve anointed kings and appointed princes without consulting Me. They’ve made idols out of their silver and gold, so Israel will be destroyed. 5 I reject your calf, Samaria! My anger is kindled against them. How long will they be unable to do what’s right? 6 This idol is from Israel. A craftsman made it; it’s not God! Samaria’s calf will be smashed to pieces.
Israel’s harlotry is practiced not only by diplomatic accords with other nations but also by worship of their gods who serve as witnesses to these alliances. Here an idol is fabricated and worshiped by God’s own people. As their ancestors did in the wilderness while Moses was on the mountain with God, they make an image of a calf. They turn from the True God to worship their own creation, a crude imitation of God’s creation. The anger of the Lord is again aroused as it was in the wilderness, and He will crush both the idol and the idol worshipers.
7 Eternal One:Then these proverbs will come true: “Because they sow the wind, they’ll reap the whirlwind.” “A shoot without a grain head doesn’t make any flour.” “If the shoot does produce, foreigners will devour it!” 8 Israel has been devoured by that eagle and strewn among the nations. Now it’s like a discarded pot, valuable to no one.
9 All alone like a wild donkey, Ephraim went up to Assyria and had to hire her own lovers! 10 But because they paid tribute money to other nations instead of depending on Me, I’m going to gather them up and send them into exile, And they will struggle for a time beneath the burden imposed by the great king of princes.[b]
11 Even though Ephraim built many altars to cover sin, they’ve all become places where he commits sin! 12 It wouldn’t matter how many copies of My law I wrote for him; he’d treat them all as something strange and foreign. 13 No matter how many sacrifices they offer, no matter how many sacred meals they eat, I am not pleased with them. I’ll remember their guilt and punish their sins: they’ll return to slavery in Egypt! 14 Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; Judah has built many walled cities. But I’ll send fire on those cities, and My righteous wrath will burn up those citadels.
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