Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1[Put] a shofar to your mouth— Like an eagle over the House of Hashem; Because they have transgressed My covenant And been faithless to My teaching.
אאֶל־חִכְּךָ שֹׁפָר כַּנֶּשֶׁר עַל־בֵּית יְהֹוָה יַעַן עָבְרוּ בְרִיתִי וְעַל־תּוֹרָתִי פָּשָׁעוּ׃
2Yisrael cries out to Me, “O my God, we are devoted to You.”
בלִי יִזְעָקוּ אֱלֹהַי יְדַעֲנוּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
3Yisrael rejects what is good; An enemy shall pursue him.
גזָנַח יִשְׂרָאֵל טוֹב אוֹיֵב יִרְדְּפוֹ׃
4They have made kings, But not with My sanction; They have made officers, But not of My choice. Of their silver and gold They have made themselves images, To their own undoing.
דהֵם הִמְלִיכוּ וְלֹא מִמֶּנִּי הֵשִׂירוּ וְלֹא יָדָעְתִּי כַּסְפָּם וּזְהָבָם עָשׂוּ לָהֶם עֲצַבִּים לְמַעַן יִכָּרֵת׃
5He rejects your calf, Shomron! I am furious with them! Will they never be capable of purity?
הזָנַח עֶגְלֵךְ שֹׁמְרוֹן חָרָה אַפִּי בָּם עַד־מָתַי לֹא יוּכְלוּ נִקָּיֹן׃
6For it was Yisrael's doing; It was only made by a joiner, It is not a god. No, the calf of Shomron shall be Reduced to splinters!
וכִּי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהוּא חָרָשׁ עָשָׂהוּ וְלֹא אֱלֹהִים הוּא כִּי־שְׁבָבִים יִהְיֶה עֵגֶל שֹׁמְרוֹן׃
7They sow wind, And they shall reap whirlwind— Standing stalks devoid of ears And yielding no flour. If they do yield any, Strangers shall devour it.
זכִּי רוּחַ יִזְרָעוּ וְסוּפָתָה יִקְצֹרוּ קָמָה אֵין־לוֹ צֶמַח בְּלִי יַעֲשֶׂה־קֶּמַח אוּלַי יַעֲשֶׂה זָרִים יִבְלָעֻהוּ׃
8Yisrael is bewildered; They have now become among the nations Like an unwanted vessel,
niv-LA yis-ra-AYL a-TAH ha-YU va-go-YIM kikh-LEE ayn KHAY-fetz BO
חנִבְלַע יִשְׂרָאֵל עַתָּה הָיוּ בַגּוֹיִם כִּכְלִי אֵין־חֵפֶץ בּוֹ׃
8:8 Like an unwanted vessel
Hoshea likens Israel to an empty vessel; once its contents are gone, the container has no value and can be discarded. So too Israel, having paid protection money to Assyria and Egypt for years, is now bereft of gold and riches. Hence, Assyria no longer sees any benefit in keeping Israel alive. Furthermore, in verse 9, Hoshea compares the relationship between Israel and Assyria to a person searching for love through the hire of prostitutes. The tragedy of this relationship is that the Israelites turn to other nations, buying their false and fleeting love, while everlasting love is freely available from God. Hashem loves them unconditionally, yet they turn away from Him.
9[Like] a lonely wild ass. For they have gone up to Assyria, Efraim has courted friendship.
טכִּי־הֵמָּה עָלוּ אַשּׁוּר פֶּרֶא בּוֹדֵד לוֹ אֶפְרַיִם הִתְנוּ אֲהָבִים
10And while they are courting among the nations, There I will hold them fast; And they shall begin to diminish in number From the burden of king [and] officers.
יגַּם כִּי־יִתְנוּ בַגּוֹיִם עַתָּה אֲקַבְּצֵם וַיָּחֵלּוּ מְּעָט מִמַּשָּׂא מֶלֶךְ שָׂרִים׃
11For Efraim has multiplied altars—for guilt; His altars have redounded to his guilt:
יאכִּי־הִרְבָּה אֶפְרַיִם מִזְבְּחֹת לַחֲטֹא הָיוּ־לוֹ מִזְבְּחוֹת לַחֲטֹא׃
12The many teachings I wrote for him Have been treated as something alien.
יבאכתוב־[אֶכְתָּב־] לוֹ רבו [רֻבֵּי] תּוֹרָתִי כְּמוֹ־זָר נֶחְשָׁבוּ׃
13When they present sacrifices to Me, It is but flesh for them to eat: Hashem has not accepted them. Behold, He remembers their iniquity, He will punish their sins: Back to Egypt with them!
יגזִבְחֵי הַבְהָבַי יִזְבְּחוּ בָשָׂר וַיֹּאכֵלוּ יְהֹוָה לֹא רָצָם עַתָּה יִזְכֹּר עֲוׂנָם וְיִפְקֹד חַטֹּאותָם הֵמָּה מִצְרַיִם יָשׁוּבוּ׃
14Yisrael has ignored his Maker And built temples (And Yehuda has fortified many cities). So I will set fire to his cities, And it shall consume their fortresses.
ידוַיִּשְׁכַּח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־עֹשֵׂהוּ וַיִּבֶן הֵיכָלוֹת וִיהוּדָה הִרְבָּה עָרִים בְּצֻרוֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי־אֵשׁ בְּעָרָיו וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנֹתֶיהָ׃