Hosea 8

Israel to Reap the Whirlwind

1 “Put the trumpet to your lips! An eagle is over the house of the LORDbecause the people have broken my covenant and rebelled against my law.
2 Israel cries out to me, ‘Our God, we acknowledge you!’
3 But Israel has rejected what is good; an enemy will pursue him.
4 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.
5 Samaria, throw out your calf-idol! My anger burns against them. How long will they be incapable of purity?
6 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.
7 “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.
8 Israel is swallowed up; now she is among the nations like something no one wants.
9 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.”

Hosea 8 Commentary

Chapter 8

Destruction threatened for the impiety of Israel. (1-4) For their idolatry. (5-10) Further threatenings for the same sins. (11-14)

Verses 1-4 When Israel was hard pressed, they would claim protection from God, but this would be disregarded. What stead will it stand in to say, My God, I know thee, if we cannot say, My God, I love thee, serve thee, and cleave to thee only?

Verses 5-10 They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, by worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be brought to sorrow everlastingly.

Verses 11-14 It is a great sin to corrupt the worship of God, and will be charged as sin on all who do it, how plausible soever their excuses may seem to be. The Lord had caused his law to be written for them, but they cared not to know, and would not obey it. Man seems by the temples he builds to be mindful of his Maker, yet really he has forgotten him, because he has cast off all his fear; but none ever hardened his heart against God and prospered. So long as men despise the truths and precepts of God's word, and the ordinances of his worship, all the observances and offerings, however costly, of their own devising, will be unto them for sin; for those services only are acceptable to God, which are done according to his word, and through Jesus Christ.

Cross References 32

  • 1. S Numbers 10:2; S Ezekiel 33:3
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 28:49; Jeremiah 4:13
  • 3. S Jeremiah 11:10
  • 4. S Hosea 4:6; S Hosea 6:7
  • 5. S Matthew 7:23; Titus 1:16
  • 6. Hosea 13:10
  • 7. S Hosea 2:8; Hosea 13:1-2
  • 8. ver 6; Hosea 10:5
  • 9. Jeremiah 13:27
  • 10. S Jeremiah 16:20; Hosea 14:3
  • 11. S Exodus 32:4
  • 12. S ver 5
  • 13. S Job 4:8; Proverbs 22:8; Isaiah 66:15; Hosea 10:12-13; Nahum 1:3; Galatians 6:8
  • 14. S Deuteronomy 28:38; S Isaiah 17:11; Hosea 9:16
  • 15. Hosea 2:9; S Hosea 7:9
  • 16. Jeremiah 51:34
  • 17. Jeremiah 22:28
  • 18. S Jeremiah 2:18
  • 19. S Genesis 16:12
  • 20. S Jeremiah 22:20; Ezekiel 23:5; S Hosea 5:13
  • 21. S Ezekiel 16:37; S Ezekiel 22:20
  • 22. Jeremiah 42:2
  • 23. Hosea 10:1; Hosea 12:11
  • 24. S ver 1
  • 25. S Jeremiah 7:21
  • 26. S Jeremiah 6:20; Hosea 9:4
  • 27. Hosea 7:2; Hosea 9:9; Amos 8:7
  • 28. S Hosea 4:9
  • 29. Hosea 9:3,6
  • 30. S Deuteronomy 32:18; S Isaiah 17:10; S Hosea 2:13
  • 31. S Psalms 95:6
  • 32. Jeremiah 5:17; S Jeremiah 17:27; Amos 2:5

Chapter Summary


This chapter treats of the sins and punishment of Israel for them, as the preceding; it is threatened and proclaimed that an enemy should come swiftly against them, because of their transgression of the covenant and law of God, Ho 8:1; their hypocrisy is exposed, Ho 8:2; they are charged with the rejection of that which is good, and therefore should be pursued by the enemy, Ho 8:3; with setting up kings and princes without consulting the Lord, Ho 8:4; and with making of idols, particularly the golden calves, which would be of no use to them, disappoint them, and at last be broke to pieces, Ho 8:4-6; their seeking to their neighbours for help, and entering into alliances with them, are represented as vain and fruitless, and issuing in their ruin and destruction, Ho 8:7-10; their sins of multiplying altars, contrary to the law of God, and in contempt of it, and offering sacrifices to the Lord, are observed; and they with a visitation from him, Ho 8:11-13; and the chapter is concluded with some notice and Judah, the one building temples, and multiplying fenced cities, which should be by fire, Ho 8:14.

Hosea 8 Commentaries

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