New International Version

Hosea 8

Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

1“Put the trumpet to your lips!
    An eagle is over the house of the Lord
because the people have broken my covenant
    and rebelled against my law.
Israel cries out to me,
    ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
But Israel has rejected what is good;
    an enemy will pursue him.
They set up kings without my consent;
    they choose princes without my approval.
With their silver and gold
    they make idols for themselves
    to their own destruction.
Samaria, throw out your calf-idol!
    My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of purity?
    They are from Israel!
This calf—a metalworker has made it;
    it is not God.
It will be broken in pieces,
    that calf of Samaria.

“They sow the wind
    and reap the whirlwind.
The stalk has no head;
    it will produce no flour.
Were it to yield grain,
    foreigners would swallow it up.
Israel is swallowed up;
    now she is among the nations
    like something no one wants.
For they have gone up to Assyria
    like a wild donkey wandering alone.
    Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.
10 Although they have sold themselves among the nations,
    I will now gather them together.
They will begin to waste away
    under the oppression of the mighty king.

11 “Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings,
    these have become altars for sinning.
12 I wrote for them the many things of my law,
    but they regarded them as something foreign.
13 Though they offer sacrifices as gifts to me,
    and though they eat the meat,
    the Lord is not pleased with them.
Now he will remember their wickedness
    and punish their sins:
    They will return to Egypt.
14 Israel has forgotten their Maker
    and built palaces;
    Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
    that will consume their fortresses.”

The Message

Hosea 8

Altars for Sinning

11-3 “Blow the trumpet! Sound the alarm!
    Vultures are circling over God’s people
Who have broken my covenant
    and defied my revelation.
Predictably, Israel cries out, ‘My God! We know you!’
    But they don’t act like it.
Israel will have nothing to do with what’s good,
    and now the enemy is after them.

4-10 “They crown kings, but without asking me.
    They set up princes but don’t let me in on it.
Instead, they make idols, using silver and gold,
    idols that will be their ruin.
Throw that gold calf-god on the trash heap, Samaria!
    I’m seething with anger against that rubbish!
How long before they shape up?
    And they’re Israelites!
A sculptor made that thing—
    it’s not God.
That Samaritan calf
    will be broken to bits.
Look at them! Planting wind-seeds,
    they’ll harvest tornadoes.
Wheat with no head
    produces no flour.
And even if it did,
    strangers would gulp it down.
Israel is swallowed up and spit out.
    Among the pagans they’re a piece of junk.
They trotted off to Assyria:
    Why, even wild donkeys stick to their own kind,
    but donkey-Ephraim goes out and pays to get lovers.
Now, because of their whoring life among the pagans,
    I’m going to gather them together and confront them.
They’re going to reap the consequences soon,
    feel what it’s like to be oppressed by the big king.

11-14 “Ephraim has built a lot of altars,
    and then uses them for sinning.
    Can you believe it? Altars for sinning!
I write out my revelation for them in detail
    and they pretend they can’t read it.
They offer sacrifices to me
    and then they feast on the meat.
    God is not pleased!
I’m fed up—I’ll keep remembering their guilt.
    I’ll punish their sins
    and send them back to Egypt.
Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and gotten busy making palaces.
    Judah has gone in for a lot of fortress cities.
I’m sending fire on their cities
    to burn down their fortifications.”