8 1SET THE trumpet to your lips! [The enemy] comes as a [great] vulture against the house of the Lord, because they have broken My covenant and transgressed against My law. 2Then they will cry to Me, My God, we [of Israel] know You! 3Israel has rejected the good [with loathing]; the enemy shall pursue him. 4They set up kings, but not from Me [therefore without My blessing]; they have made princes or removed them [without consulting Me; therefore], I knew and recognized [them] not. With their silver and their gold they made idols for themselves, that they [the silver and the gold] may be destroyed. 5Your calf [idol], O Samaria, is loathsome and I have spurned it. My wrath burns against them. How long will it be before they attain purity? 6For this [calf] too is from Israel; a craftsman made it; therefore it is not God. The calf of Samaria shall be broken to shivers and go up in flames. 7For they sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no meal; if it were to yield, strangers and aliens would eat it up. 8Israel is [as if] swallowed up. Already they have become among the nations as a vessel [of cheap, coarse pottery] that is useless. 9For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass taking her own way by herself; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Yes, though with presents they hire [allies] among the nations, now will I gather them up, and in a little while they will sorrow and begin to diminish [their gifts] because of the burden (tribute) imposed by the king of princes [the king of Assyria]. 11For Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning; yes, to him altars are intended for sinning. 12I wrote for him the ten thousand things of My law, but they are counted as a strange thing [as something which does not concern him]. 13My sacrificial gifts they sacrifice [as a mere form]; yes, they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the Lord does not accept them. Now He will [earnestly] remember their guilt and iniquity and will punish their sins. They shall return to [another] Egypt [Assyria]. 14For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces and idol temples, and Judah has multiplied fortified cities; but I will send a fire upon his cities and it shall devour his palaces and fortified buildings.
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