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Hosea Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Hosea 8:1 Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.

as an eagle. Literally, “like a vulture,” the Assyrians were about to swoop down on Israel to devour her spiritually dead body. She would cry out to God for deliverance (Hosea 8:2), but still depended on her idols.

Hosea 8:2 Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.

Hosea 8:3 Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.

Hosea 8:4 They have set up kings, but not by 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.

Hosea 8:5 Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?

Hosea 8:6 For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

calf of Samaria. The “calf of Samaria” refers to Israel's idols. Samaria was the capital of Israel and, like “Ephraim,” the term “Samaria” is often used to refer to all ten tribes of the northern kingdom. When the ten tribes first separated from Jerusalem and the true temple, their leader Jeroboam led Israel into idolatry. He made “two calves of gold” and said: “Behold thy gods, O Israel,” the idols supposedly representing the true God who “brought thee up out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 12:28). This reflected the much earlier time when the children of Israel, encamped at Mount Sinai to receive God's law, made a golden calf and attributed deity and their deliverance to it (Exodus 32:4). The worship of the calf idol incurred God's wrath at both the beginning and ending of Israel's history in the land.

Hosea 8:7 For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

reap the whirlwind. Reaping follows sowing. “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Galatians 6:8). This principle was applied with great fury to ancient Israel, and a similar time of reaping awaits other nations that forget God (Psalm 9:17).

Hosea 8:8 Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.

Hosea 8:9 For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

Hosea 8:10 Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.

Hosea 8:11 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.

Hosea 8:12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

a strange thing. God judged Israel for rejecting the great things of His law. How great must be his anger at those modern “Christian” nations that not only count His law “strange,” but also the whole Bible and God's great work of creation and redemption!

Hosea 8:13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.

Hosea 8:14 For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.