Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at sacred-texts.com
hos 8:1Set 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.
hos 8:2Shall cry - But not sincerely.
hos 8:4They - Israel. Kings - Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hosea. Not by me - Not by my direction. Knew it not - Did not approve of it.
hos 8:5Thy 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?
hos 8:6From Israel - By their invention. It - Both the idol and the worshippers of it.
hos 8:7Sown 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.
hos 8:9Gone 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.
hos 8:10Gather 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.
hos 8:11Altars - Those which they shall find in Assyria. To sin - Shall be the occasion of his greater guilt and punishment.
hos 8:12Written - By Moses first, by other prophets afterwards. But they were counted - Israel looks on them, as nothing to them.
hos 8:13They shall return - Many shall fly from the Assyrian into Egypt.
hos 8:14Temples - 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.