Hosea 10:1-8

Because the people were rich, that caused them to worship idols

1 Israel is like a vine that has plenty of fruit.

10:1A vine is a plant that grapes grow on.

But Israel became more and more rich,

and so the people built more altars.

Their land became better and better.

So they could build special stones that they could worship.

2 Their minds are not honest.

But now they must understand that they have done wrong things.

The Lord will destroy their altars.

He will destroy their special stones.

3 Soon these people will say, ‘We have no king,

because we did not respect the Lord.

But even if we had a king now, he could not do anything to help us.’

4 They promise to do many things. But what they say is not true.

They agree about things with other countries.

People do not agree with each other in courts.

These things are like weeds that have poison.

Weeds that are growing in a field will soon grow into plants.

5 The people who live in Samaria will be afraid.

They will cry because their idol at Beth Aven has gone.

10:5People worshipped at Beth Aven. They worshipped a gold bull. Beth Aven was Hosea's name for Bethel. Beth Aven means ‘House of Very Bad Things’. Bethel means ‘House of God’.

Their very bad priests will cry too.

They were very happy with their beautiful idol.

But now someone will carry the idol away.

6 Assyria's people will carry the idol away.

10:6Assyria will take the idol away when they win the war.

It will be a gift for the king of Assyria.

Ephraim's people will feel very sad.

They will be very sorry that they worshipped their idol.

7 God will destroy Samaria and he will kill Samaria's king.

10:7King Hoshea was put in a prison in 723 BC (2 Kings 17:4).

He (the king) will be like a piece of wood that water carries away.

8 God will destroy these high places at Aven.

10:8Assyria destroyed Samaria in 722 BC. Nobody built it again.

These are places where Israel's people have sinned.

Weeds will grow on their altars.

Then the people will say to the mountains, ‘Hide us!’

They will say to the hills, ‘Fall on us!’