Hos 8.1-4 tells us that an enemy is coming swiftly to punish Israel for their sins against Yehovah and his Torah. These words will also apply to any belief system that replaces the Torah, teaches that it does not apply anymore, or has been done away with. This is called Replacement Theology.
v 1…Put the trumpet to your lips (meaning to cry aloud, give notice)! Like an eagle against the house of the Lord (Assyria was coming against Israel and Judah-Deut 28.49), because they have transgressed my covenant, and rebelled against my law (Torah).
v 2…They cry out to me, “My God, we of Israel know thee (the same plea can be seen in Matt 7.21-23, but they do not know the Lord in reality-its too late)!”
v 3…Israel has rejected the good (the Torah-Rom 7.12), the enemy will pursue him (Shalmaneser king of Assyria invaded Samaria).
v 4…They have set up kings but not by me (Jeroboam the first king, and the others, were disagreeable to him or approved); they have appointed princes (subordinate judges, rulers, governors) but I did not know; with their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves (like the calves at Dan and Bethel-1 Kings 12.28).
v 5…Your calf, O Samaria, has cast you off (has caused us to be cast out of the land), saying, “My anger burns against them (for worshiping these idols)!” How long will they be incapable of innocence (by faith; in their doctrine and worship)?
v 6…For from Israel is even this (the calf was their invention)! A craftsman made it, so it is not God (the creature cannot make God); surely calf of Samaria will be broken into pieces (to show it can’t even defend itself, it is useless).
v 7…For they sow the wind (by their sins of idolatry and false worship), and they reap the whirlwind (a harvest of destruction like a storm is coming with Assyria). The standing grain has no heads (stalks are stunted and did not rise above the ground); it yields no grain (harvests are non-existent). Should it yield, strangers (Assyria) would swallow it up.
v 8…Israel is swallowed up (not just their harvests, but the people also), they are now among the nations (in exile as captives) like a vessel in which no one delights (neglected because no one saw any value).
v 9…For they have gone up to Assyria (eschatologically Russia/Gog and Magog), a wild donkey all alone (obstinate, unruly, and exposed to wild animals Ecc 13.19); Ephraim has hired lovers (Egypt and Assyria in an alliance).
v 10…Even though they hire (allies) among the nations (Yehovah was to be their only “ally”), now I will gather them up (their “lovers” can’t help because Yehovah was against them); and they will begin to suffer for a while because of the burden of the king of princes (they had to pay tribute and taxes to the king of Assyria and his princes-Isa 10.8).
v 11…Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin (for their idolatrous sin offerings), they have become altars of sinning for him (instead of cleansing them of sin, it caused them to be guilty before Yehovah).
v 12…Though I wrote for him great things of my law (the Torah-Deut 4.6-8 says it was their source of wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations; it is the Torah that separates the Jewish people from all the other nations because of its statutes, judgments and righteousness-Rom 7.12), they are regarded as a strange thing (because they ignored the Torah; it was as if it did not apply to them; just like people think today in Replacement Theology systems of all kinds. There are only two religions in the world, God’s in the Torah, and all the others).
v 13…As for the sacrifices of my gifts, they sacrifice flesh and they eat, but the Lord has taken no delight in them (the people had an outward form of religion, but they did not have the right attitude). Now he (Yehovah) will remember their iniquity (no pardon), and punish them for their sins; they will return to Egypt (some fled there to escape Assyria and went into bondage-Hos 9.3-6; Deut 28.68).
v 14…For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces (temples for their idols); and Judah has multiplied fortified cities (to protect them from an enemy), but (it won’t save them because)I will send a fire (an enemy) on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings (the Temple of Yehovah, of their kings and nobles, especially in Jerusalem, done eventually by Nebuchadnezzar many years later).