Vultures and Eagles

Hos 8:1 Set the trumpet to your lips! One like a vulture is over the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant and rebelled against my law.

The trumpet warns that someone is watching and waiting to devour. The word translated “vulture” in ESV is translated “eagle” in KJV. Since the meaning is uncertain, there are at least two ways of viewing this passage. Vultures are scavengers. When an animal dies, such as when a lion makes a kill, the vultures come and pick clean whatever is left. Assyria attacked much like a lion, but a bit more than a century later Babylon would strike down Jerusalem and take what it desired from the countryside of Israel much like a vulture picking over century old remnants. Nebuchadnezzar is also referred to as an eagle (cf Eze 17). A reference to Babylon may also make sense in context because a few verses later we see that Judah receives some degree of judgment in the failures for which Israel is being judged. It could also mean that like an eagle, Assyria is watching Israel closely and waiting for the right time to swoop down upon its prey. Regardless of the correct interpretation, the reason for the danger is Israel’s own sin. Transgression against the covenant and the law (literally “Torah”), both great gifts given by YHWH, is essentially the same thing as open rebellion against God Himself.

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About Lance Ponder

Christian author of "Ask James one"; public speaker; husband and father. Available to speak on Creation and the Gospel.
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