The Bible – Old Testament
A trumpet to your lips, You who watch over the house of the LORD! Since they have violated my covenant, and sinned against my law,
While to me they cry out, «O, God of Israel, we know you!»
The men of Israel have thrown away what is good; the enemy shall pursue them.
1 They made kings, but not by my authority; they established princes, but without my approval. With their silver and gold they made idols for themselves, to their own destruction.
Cast away your calf, O Samaria! my wrath is kindled against them; How long will they be unable to attain innocence in Israel?
The work of an artisan no god at all, Destined for the flames – such is the calf of Samaria!
When they sow the wind, they shall reap the whirlwind; The stalk of grain that forms no ear can yield no flour; Even if it could, strangers would swallow it.
Israel is swallowed up; he is now among the nations a thing of no value.
They went up to Assyria – a wild ass off on its own – Ephraim bargained for lovers.
Even though they bargain with the nations, I will now gather an army; King and princes shall shortly succumb under the burden.
2 When Ephraim made many altars to expiate sin, his altars became occasions of sin.
Though I write for him my many ordinances, they are considered as a stranger’s.
Though they offer sacrifice, immolate flesh and eat it, the LORD is not pleased with them. He shall still remember their guilt and punish their sins; they shall return to Egypt.
Israel has forgotten his maker and built palaces. Judah, too, has fortified many cities, but I will send fire upon his cities, to devour their castles.
1 [4-6] Israel’s monarchy and separate sanctuary are here associated, as in ⇒ 1 Kings 12:20-33; both were the result of rebellion against the divinely approved Davidic dynasty and the Jerusalem temple with the ark of the covenant. The calf image set up by Jeroboam I in the royal shrines prevented Israel from attaining innocence (⇒ Hosea 8:5-6).
2  The very multiplicity of sanctuaries throughout the land was a danger to the purity of worship. The local shrines were speedily assimilated to the cult places used by the Canaanites, and the Lord was identified with the god Baal worshiped there. Thus the Deuteronomic writers, influenced by prophetic ideas, ended by restricting sacrificial worship to the one temple in Jerusalem.