Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the LORD, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
8:1 Set the trumpet - The Lord here commands the prophet to publish, as by sound of trumpet, that which God will bring upon apostate Israel. He - The king of Assyria. As an eagle - Swift, hungry, surmounting all difficulties. House of the Lord - The family of Israel, the Israelites church.
Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.
8:2 Shall cry - But not sincerely.
Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
8:4 They - Israel. Kings - Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hosea. Not by me - Not by my direction. Knew it not - Did not approve of it.
Thy calf, O Samaria, hath cast thee off; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency?
8:5 Thy calf - The chief idol set up in Samaria. Cast thee off - Hath provoked God to cast thee off. Against them - Idols, and idol worshippers. How long - How long will it be, ere they repent and reform?
For from Israel was it also: the workman made it; therefore it is not God: but the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces.
8:6 From Israel - By their invention. It - Both the idol and the worshippers of it.
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
8:7 Sown the wind - A proverbial speech to denote lost labour. Whirlwind - A tempest, which destroyeth all that is in its way; an emblem of the wrath of God. No stalk - All your dependance on idols, and foreign assistance, will be as seed that bear neither stalk nor bud. No meal - Or suppose it produced stalk and bud, yet the bud shall be blasted, and never yield meal.
Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.
8:9 Gone up - Israel is like a wild ass. A wild ass - Stubborn, wild, untamed. Alone - Solitary, where is no path or tract; so they were in their captivity.
Yea, though they have hired among the nations, now will I gather them, and they shall sorrow a little for the burden of the king of princes.
8:10 Gather them - I will assemble them together, that they may be taken and destroyed together. A little - For a while before their final captivity. The burden - The tribute laid on them by the king.
Because Ephraim hath made many altars to sin, altars shall be unto him to sin.
8:11 Altars - Those which they shall find in Assyria. To sin - Shall be the occasion of his greater guilt and punishment.
I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing.
8:12 Written - By Moses first, by other prophets afterwards. But they were counted - Israel looks on them, as nothing to them.
They sacrifice flesh for the sacrifices of mine offerings, and eat it; but the LORD accepteth them not; now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins: they shall return to Egypt.
8:13 They shall return - Many shall fly from the Assyrian into Egypt.
For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and buildeth temples; and Judah hath multiplied fenced cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the palaces thereof.
8:14 Temples - Idol temples. Devour the palaces - This was fulfilled when all the cities of Judah and Israel were laid in ashes by the king of Assyria.