Hosea 8
Contemporary English Version

Israel Rejects the Lord

The Lord said:

1Sound a warning!

Israel, you broke our agreement

and ignored my teaching.

Now an eagle+ is swooping down

to attack my land.

2Israel, you say, “We claim you,

the Lord, as our God.”

3But your enemies

will chase you for rejecting

our good agreement.+

4You chose kings and leaders

without consulting me;

you made silver and gold idols

that led to your downfall.

5City of Samaria, I'm angry

because of your idol

in the shape of a calf.

When will you ever

be innocent again?

6Someone from Israel built

that idol for you,

but only I am God.

And so it will be smashed

to pieces.+

7If you scatter wind

instead of wheat,

you will harvest a whirlwind

and have no wheat.

Even if you harvest grain,

enemies will steal it all.

8Israel, you are ruined,

and now the nations

consider you worthless.

9You are like a wild donkey

that goes its own way.

You've run off to Assyria

and hired them as allies.

10You can bargain with nations,

but I'll catch you anyway.

Soon you will suffer abuse

by kings and rulers.

11Israel, you have built

many altars where you offer

sacrifices for sin.

But these altars have become

places for sin.

12My instructions for sacrifices

were written in detail,

but you ignored them.

13You sacrifice your best animals

and eat the sacrificial meals,+

but I, the Lord,

refuse your offerings.

I will remember your sins

and punish you.

Then you will return to Egypt.+

14Israel, I created you,

but you forgot me.

You and Judah built palaces

and many strong cities.+

Now I will send fire to destroy

your towns and fortresses.


8.1 an eagle: Or “a vulture.”
8.3 our good agreement: Or “me, the Good One” (referring to God).
8.6 smashed to pieces: Or “destroyed by fire.”
8.13 sacrifice … sacrificial meals: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Two kinds of sacrifices are referred to: Those in which the whole animal is burned on the altar (“whole burnt offerings” in traditional translations) and those in which part is eaten by the worshipers (“fellowship offerings” in traditional translations).
8.13 return to Egypt: Either as slaves or to find help against Assyria.
8.14 built palaces … cities: They did this because they no longer trusted the Lord to protect them. “Palaces” may also mean “temples.”

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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