Hosea 7:8-16

Israel's people do not know that other people will kill them

8 ‘Israel's people mix themselves with people from other countries.

Israel is like a cake that someone did not cook on both sides.

7:8Hosea continues to use the example of an oven. At this time, Assyria became more powerful. So, Israel's people needed other countries to help them. They went to Egypt, to Damascus in Syria and to Philistia. They did not want to hope in God.

9 People in Israel mix themselves with foreign people.

Israel's people do not know that this makes my people weaker.

Israel is like an old man with grey hair.

He does not know how old and weak he is now.

10 Israel's people think that they are very important.

This is something that makes me angry with them.

The people had many troubles.

But even then they did not return to the Lord their God.

The people did not look to him for help.

11 Ephraim is like a silly dove.

7:11God says that Israel's people are like doves. Doves are silly birds. It was easy for other countries to fight against Israel.

He does not understand anything.

The people wanted Egypt to help them.

Then they asked Assyria for help.

12 When they do that, I will throw my net over them.

I will catch them like birds as they go by.

I will tell them about the bad things that they have done.

And I will punish them.

13 It will be very bad for them.

They have left me. They refused to obey me.

So they will die.

I wanted to redeem them.

But they do not say true things about me.

14 They do not pray to me from deep inside themselves.

But they cry on their beds.

7:14Perhaps the ‘beds’ were part of a meal. The meal was part of a sacrifice when the Israelites rested near the altar. (See Isaiah 57:7; Amos 2:8.) And then they cried and they cut themselves.

When they pray for grain and wine, they cut themselves.

They have left me.

15 I taught them and I made them strong.

But they have decided to do very bad things against me.

16 They have returned to false gods.

They are like a weapon that does not work.

Their leaders think that they are very important.

They will die quickly.

Then the people in Egypt will think that they are silly.’