The Word of the Lord to Hosea

Chapter 8

Destruction is threatened both to Israel and Judah for their impiety and idolatry, 1-14.

"Set the trumpet to your mouth./
He shall come as an eagle/
against the house of the LORD,/
because they have transgressed my covenant/
and trespassed against my law.

Israel shall cry to me,/
'My God, we know you.'

Israel has cast off the thing that is good./
The enemy shall pursue him.

They have set up kings,/
but not by me./
They have made princes,/
and I did not know it./
Of their silver and their gold/
they have made for themselves idols,/
so that they may be cut off.

Your calf, O Samaria, has cast you off./
My anger is kindled against them./
How long will it be before they attain to innocence?

For it was also from Israel./
The workman made it;/
therefore, it is not God./
But the calf of Samaria/
shall be broken in pieces.

For they have sown the wind/
and they shall reap the whirlwind./
It has no stalk./
The bud shall yield no meal./
If it yields,/
the strangers shall swallow it up.

Israel is swallowed up./
Now they shall be among the Gentiles/
as a vessel in which there is no pleasure.

For they have gone up to Assyria,/
a wild donkey alone by himself./
Ephraim has hired lovers.

10 Even though they have hired among the nations,/
now I will gather them,/
and they shall sorrow a little/
for the burden of the king of princes.

11 Because Ephraim has made many altars to sin,/
altars shall be for him to sin.

12 I have written to him the great things of my law,/
but they were counted as a strange thing.

13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of my offerings and eat it,/
but the LORD does not accept them./
Now he will remember their iniquity/
and visit their sins./
They shall return to Egypt.

14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker/
and builds temples,/
and Judah has multiplied fortified cities./
But I will send a fire upon his cities,/
and it shall devour the palaces thereof."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Hosea, Chapter 8[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

This chapter treats of the sins and punishment of Israel for them, as the preceding; it is threatened and proclaimed that an enemy should come swiftly against them, because of their transgression of the covenant and law of God (Hosea 8:1); their hypocrisy is exposed (Hosea 8:2); they are charged with the rejection of that which is good, and therefore should be pursued by the enemy (Hosea 8:3); with setting up kings and princes without consulting the Lord (Hosea 8:4); and with making of idols, particularly the golden calves, which would be of no use to them, disappoint them, and at last be broke to pieces (Hosea 8:4-6); their seeking to their neighbors for help, and entering into alliances with them, are represented as vain and fruitless, and issuing in their ruin and destruction (Hosea 8:7-10); their sins of multiplying altars, contrary to the law of God, and in contempt of it, and offering sacrifices to the Lord, are observed; and they with a visitation from him (Hosea 8:11-13); and the chapter is concluded with some notice and Judah, the one building temples, and multiplying fenced cities, which should be by fire (Hosea 8:14).

[v.3] - "Israel has cast off the thing that is good" - This may also be read as, "Israel has cast away good far from himself." From John Calvin's Commentary: "The Prophet, I have no doubt, simply accuses the Israelites of having receded from all justice and uprightness; and even of having driven far off everything right and just."

[v.11a] - "made many altars to sin" - This may also be read as, "made many altars for the purpose of sinning."