Hosea 8
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Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:

1  Set the horn to thy mouth. As a vulture he cometh against the house of Hashem; because they have transgressed My covenant and trespassed against My law.

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

2  Will they cry unto Me: ‘My God we Yisrael know Thee’?

ב  לִי יִזְעָקוּ אֱלֹהַי יְדַעֲנוּךָ יִשְׂרָאֵל.

3  Yisrael hath cast off that which is good; the enemy shall pursue him.

ג  זָנַח יִשְׂרָאֵל טוֹב אוֹיֵב יִרְדְּפוֹ.

4  They have set up kings but not from Me they have made princes and I knew it not; of their silver and their gold have they made them idols that they may be cut off.

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

5  Thy calf O Shomron is cast off; Mine anger is kindled against them; how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?

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

6  For from Yisrael is even this: the craftsman made it and it is no God; yea the calf of Shomron shall be broken in shivers.

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

7  For they sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind; it hath no stalk the bud that shall yield no meal; if so be it yield strangers shall swallow it up.

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

8  Yisrael is swallowed up; now are they become among the nations as a vessel wherein is no value.

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 a vessel which has no value

Hosea likens Israel to an empty cup. Once the drink inside a cup is gone, the container has no value and can be thrown away. So too Israel, having paid protection money to Assyria and Egypt for years, is now bereft of gold and riches. Assyria no longer sees any benefit in keeping Israel alive. Furthermore, in verse 9 Hosea 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 temporary love, when love was freely available from God. The Lord loves them unconditionally, yet they turned away from Him.

Comment

9  For they are gone up to Ashur like a wild ass alone by himself; Efraim hath hired lovers.

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

10  Yea though they hire among the nations now will I gather them up; and they begin to be minished by reason of the burden of king and princes.

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

11  For Efraim hath multiplied altars to sin yea altars have been unto him to sin.

יא  כִּי הִרְבָּה אֶפְרַיִם מִזְבְּחוֹת לַחֲטֹא הָיוּ לוֹ מִזְבְּחוֹת לַחֲטֹא.

12  Though I write for him never so many things of My Law they are accounted as a stranger’s.

יב  אכתוב (אֶכְתָּב ) לוֹ רבו (רֻבֵּי) תּוֹרָתִי כְּמוֹ זָר נֶחְשָׁבוּ.

13  As for the sacrifices that are made by fire unto Me let them sacrifice flesh and eat it for Hashem accepteth them not. Now will He remember their iniquity and punish their sins; they shall return to Mitzrayim.

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

14  For Yisrael hath forgotten his Maker and builded palaces and Yehudah hath multiplied fortified cities; but I will send a fire upon his cities and it shall devour the castles thereof.

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

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Hosea 8