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They have set up kings,
but not by me.
They have made officials,
but without my approval.
With their silver and their gold
they have made idols for themselves,
with the result that it will be cut off. Bible other translations

“with the result that it will be cut off.” The phrase “cut off” often means “destroyed,” and it can have that meaning here as well. This sentence seems very unclear, so some English versions try to make sense of it by amending it, but that is not necessary once the sentence is properly understood. The scholars disagree on the strict interpretation of the verse, but the end result of Israel’s idolatry was the same: both Israel and the idols themselves were “cut off;” Israel was destroyed and the wealth was “cut off” from them. The verse makes sense if we understand the consequences for evil and God’s uses of irony (sarcasm), and also the possible use of the figure of speech amphibologia (double meaning). The people used their silver and gold to make idols, which were an abomination to God and which caused them to be conquered (“cut off”) by enemies, and also had the result of their silver and gold being taken (cut off) from them.

The phrase “with the result that it will be cut off” applies equally to “with the result that it (Israel) will be cut off,” and “with the result that it (the silver and gold) will be cut off.” In fact, it is likely that God authored the text the way He did with the idea that both Israel and their silver and gold would be cut off (thus the amphibologia). Also, although the Hebrew grammar allows for the last phrase to be a purpose clause or a result clause, it’s being a result clause fits the context, the scope of Scripture, and what actually happened historically much more naturally than trying to make it a purpose clause. Israel should have known that their making idols would result in both their destruction and the enemy taking their silver and gold from them. God had stated quite clearly in the Law of Moses that people who worshipped idols would be cut off, destroyed (cp. Lev. 20:3-5; Deut. 4:3; 6:14-15; 7:4; 8:19-20; 11:16-17; 17:2-5; 29:25-28; 30:17-18; 31:16-18).


Commentary for: Hosea 8:4