Hosea 8
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  [Put] a ram’s horn to your mouth— Like an eagle over the House of Hashem; Because they have transgressed My covenant And been faithless to My teaching.

א  אֶל־חִכְּךָ שֹׁפָר כַּנֶּשֶׁר עַל־בֵּית יְהוָה יַעַן עָבְרוּ בְרִיתִי וְעַל־תּוֹרָתִי פָּשָׁעוּ׃

2  Yisrael cries out to Me, “O my God, we are devoted to You.”

ב  לִי יִזְעָקוּ אֱלֹהַי יְדַעֲנוּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

3  Yisrael rejects what is good; An enemy shall pursue him.

ג  זָנַח יִשְׂרָאֵל טוֹב אוֹיֵב יִרְדְּפוֹ׃

4  They 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.

ד  הֵם הִמְלִיכוּ וְלֹא מִמֶּנִּי הֵשִׂירוּ וְלֹא יָדָעְתִּי כַּסְפָּם וּזְהָבָם עָשׂוּ לָהֶם עֲצַבִּים לְמַעַן יִכָּרֵת׃

5  He rejects your calf, Shomron! I am furious with them! Will they never be capable of purity?

ה  זָנַח עֶגְלֵךְ שֹׁמְרוֹן חָרָה אַפִּי בָּם עַד־מָתַי לֹא יוּכְלוּ נִקָּיֹן׃

6  For 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!

ו  כִּי מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל וְהוּא חָרָשׁ עָשָׂהוּ וְלֹא אֱלֹהִים הוּא כִּי־שְׁבָבִים יִהְיֶה עֵגֶל שֹׁמְרוֹן׃

7  They 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.

ז  כִּי רוּחַ יִזְרָעוּ וְסוּפָתָה יִקְצֹרוּ קָמָה אֵין־לוֹ צֶמַח בְּלִי יַעֲשֶׂה־קֶּמַח אוּלַי יַעֲשֶׂה זָרִים יִבְלָעֻהוּ׃

8  Yisrael 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

ח  נִבְלַע יִשְׂרָאֵל עַתָּה הָיוּ בַגּוֹיִם כִּכְלִי אֵין־חֵפֶץ בּוֹ׃

8:8  Like an unwanted vessel

Hoshea likens Israel to an empty vessel; once its contents gone, like a drink from inside a paper cup, 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 turned away from Him.Comment

9  [Like] a lonely wild ass. For they have gone up to Assyria, Efraim has courted friendship.

ט  כִּי־הֵמָּה עָלוּ אַשּׁוּר פֶּרֶא בּוֹדֵד לוֹ אֶפְרַיִם הִתְנוּ אֲהָבִים

10  And 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.

י  גַּם כִּי־יִתְנוּ בַגּוֹיִם עַתָּה אֲקַבְּצֵם וַיָּחֵלּוּ מְּעָט מִמַּשָּׂא מֶלֶךְ שָׂרִים׃

11  For Efraim has multiplied altars—for guilt; His altars have redounded to his guilt:

יא  כִּי־הִרְבָּה אֶפְרַיִם מִזְבְּחֹת לַחֲטֹא הָיוּ־לוֹ מִזְבְּחוֹת לַחֲטֹא׃

12  The many teachings I wrote for him Have been treated as something alien.

יב  אכתוב־[אֶכְתָּב־] לוֹ רבו [רֻבֵּי] תּוֹרָתִי כְּמוֹ־זָר נֶחְשָׁבוּ׃

13  When 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!

יג  זִבְחֵי הַבְהָבַי יִזְבְּחוּ בָשָׂר וַיֹּאכֵלוּ יְהוָה לֹא רָצָם עַתָּה יִזְכֹּר עֲוֺנָם וְיִפְקֹד חַטֹּאותָם הֵמָּה מִצְרַיִם יָשׁוּבוּ׃

14  Yisrael 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.


יד  וַיִּשְׁכַּח יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־עֹשֵׂהוּ וַיִּבֶן הֵיכָלוֹת וִיהוּדָה הִרְבָּה עָרִים בְּצֻרוֹת וְשִׁלַּחְתִּי־אֵשׁ בְּעָרָיו וְאָכְלָה אַרְמְנֹתֶיהָ׃

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Hosea 8

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