Israelite idolatry (Hos 8:4-8:6)

“They made kings,

But not through me.

They set up princes,

But without my knowledge.

With their silver,

With their gold,

They made idols

For their own destruction.

Your calf is rejected!

O Samaria!

My anger burns

Against them.

How long

Will they be incapable

O innocence?

It is from Israel

That an artisan made it.

It is not God.

The calf of Samaria

Shall be broken into pieces.”

Yahweh, via Hosea, was upset about the idolatry in northern Israel, Samaria. They had their own kings, who killed each other to be kings. Thus, these kings did not come from Yahweh. They set up their own officials and princes, without consulting Yahweh. Most important of all, they made idols made of silver and gold that led to their own destruction. The golden calf of Samaria was to be rejected. Yahweh was burning with anger against them, since they were incapable of being innocent. Local Israelite artisans made these idols, not God. Therefore, the Samarian calf would be broken into pieces.

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The failure of the Babylonian gods (Isa 46:1-46:2)

“Bel bows down.

Nebo stoops.

Their idols are on beasts.

Their idols are on cattle.

These things you carry

Are loaded

Like burdens on weary animals.

They stoop.

They bow down together.

They cannot save the burden.

But they themselves

Go into captivity.”

Second Isaiah talks about the failure of the Babylonian gods. Bel or Bel-Marduk was the chief god of the Babylonians. He was like the lord god. Nebo or Nabu was the son of Marduk, a Babylonian god that was a scribe or wise person. Both of them failed. They had to bow down and stoop before others. These gods had to be carried away on the backs of beasts and animals, since they were incapable of helping themselves as they went into captivity.