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1 Set the Trumpet to thy mouth: hee shall come as an Eagle against the house of the Lord, because they haue transgressed my Couenant, and trespassed against my Lawe.

2 Israel shall crie vnto me, My God, we know thee.

3 Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemie shall pursue him.

4 They haue set vp Kings, but not by me: they haue made Princes, and I knew it not: of their siluer and their golde haue they made them idoles, that they may be cut off.

5 Thy calfe, O Samaria, hath cast thee off: mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it bee ere they attaine to innocencie?

6 For from Israel was it also, the workeman made it, therefore it is not God: but the calfe of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.

7 For they haue sowen the winde, and they shall reape the whirlewinde: it hath no stalke: the budde shall yeeld no meale: if so be it yeeld, the strangers shall swallow it vp.

8 Israel is swallowed vp, now shal they be among the Gentiles, as a vessell wherein is no pleasure.

9 For they are gone vp to Assyria, a wilde Asse alone by himselfe; Ephraim hath hired louers.

10 Yea, though they haue hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the King of princes.

11 Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sinne, altars shall be vnto him to sinne.

12 I haue written to him the great things of my Law, but they were counted as a strange thing.

13 They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eate it; but the Lord accepteth them not: now will he remember their iniquitie, and visite their sinnes: they shal returne to Egypt.

14 For Israel hath forgotten his maker, and buildeth temples; and Iudah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire vpon his cities, and it shall deuoure the palaces thereof.

Viewing the original 1611 KJV with archaic English spelling
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Commentary for Hosea 8

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

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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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