1 "Sound the alarm! The enemy descends like an eagle on the people of the LORD, for they have broken my covenant and revolted against my law.
2 Now Israel pleads with me, `Help us, for you are our God!'
3 But it is too late! The people of Israel have rejected what is good, and now their enemies will chase after them.
4 The people have appointed kings and princes, but not with my consent. By making idols for themselves from their silver and gold, they have brought about their own destruction.
5 "O Samaria, I reject this calf--this idol you have made. My fury burns against you. How long will you be incapable of innocence?
6 This calf you worship was crafted by your own hands! It is not God! Therefore, it must be smashed to bits.
7 "They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind. The stalks of wheat wither, producing no grain. And if there is any grain, foreigners will eat it.
8 The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old pot that no one wants.
9 Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel* have sold themselves to many lovers.1
10 But though they have sold themselves to many lands, I will now gather them together. Then they will writhe under the burden of the great king!
11 "Israel has built many altars to take away sin, but these very altars became places for sinning!
12 Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don't apply to them.
13 The people of Israel love their rituals of sacrifice, but to me their sacrifices are all meaningless! I will call my people to account for their sins, and I will punish them. They will go back down to Egypt.
14 "Israel has built great palaces, and Judah has fortified its cities. But they have both forgotten their Maker. Therefore, I will send down fire on their palaces and burn their fortresses."
Read Hosea 9