Hosea 8:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For they have gone up to Assyria like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.

New Living Translation
Like a wild donkey looking for a mate, they have gone up to Assyria. The people of Israel have sold themselves--sold themselves to many lovers.

English Standard Version
For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey wandering alone; Ephraim has hired lovers.

New American Standard Bible
For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey all alone; Ephraim has hired lovers.

King James Bible
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For they have gone up to Assyria like a wild donkey going off on its own. Ephraim has paid for love.

International Standard Version
"Because they went over to Assyria, they are like a wild donkey alone by itself. Ephraim has hired some lovers.

NET Bible
They have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey that wanders off. Ephraim has hired prostitutes as lovers.

New Heart English Bible
For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has hired lovers for himself.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The people of Israel went to Assyria. They were like wild donkeys wandering off alone. The people of Ephraim sold themselves to their lovers.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For they are gone up to Assyria, Like a wild ass alone by himself; Ephraim hath hired lovers.

New American Standard 1977
For they have gone up to Assyria,
            Like a wild donkey all alone;
            Ephraim has hired lovers.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass thinking only of himself; Ephraim has hired lovers.

King James 2000 Bible
For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey alone by itself: Ephraim has hired lovers.

American King James Version
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim has hired lovers.

American Standard Version
For they are gone up to Assyria, like a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath given gifts to his lovers.

Darby Bible Translation
For they are gone up [to] Assyria [as] a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

English Revised Version
For they are gone up to Assyria, like a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

Webster's Bible Translation
For they have gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.

World English Bible
For they have gone up to Assyria, like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has hired lovers for himself.

Young's Literal Translation
For they -- they have gone up to Asshur, A wild ass alone by himself is Ephraim, They have hired lovers!
Study Bible
Israel will Reap the Whirlwind
8Israel is swallowed up; They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights. 9For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey all alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10Even though they hire allies among the nations, Now I will gather them up; And they will begin to diminish Because of the burden of the king of princes.…
Cross References
Job 39:6
To whom I gave the wilderness for a home And the salt land for his dwelling place?

Jeremiah 2:24
A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness, That sniffs the wind in her passion. In the time of her heat who can turn her away? All who seek her will not become weary; In her month they will find her.

Ezekiel 16:33
"Men give gifts to all harlots, but you give your gifts to all your lovers to bribe them to come to you from every direction for your harlotries.

Ezekiel 16:34
"Thus you are different from those women in your harlotries, in that no one plays the harlot as you do, because you give money and no money is given you; thus you are different."

Ezekiel 23:5
"Oholah played the harlot while she was Mine; and she lusted after her lovers, after the Assyrians, her neighbors,

Hosea 5:13
When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound.

Hosea 7:11
So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
Treasury of Scripture

For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim has hired lovers.

they.

Hosea 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went …

Hosea 7:11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, …

2 Kings 15:19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave …

Ezekiel 23:5-9 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on …

a wild.

Job 39:5-8 Who has sent out the wild donkey free? or who has loosed the bands …

Jeremiah 2:24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind at …

hath.

Hosea 2:5-7,10 For their mother has played the harlot: she that conceived them has …

Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily …

Isaiah 30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and …

Ezekiel 16:33,34 They give gifts to all whores: but you give your gifts to all your …

lovers. Heb. loves.

(9) Gone up to Assyria.--The word thus translated is elsewhere used for "going up" to the sanctuary of the Lord. (See Note on Hosea 7:11.) Wild ass is the image of untamed waywardness (Job 39:5, sea.) it is described by Wetzstein as inhabiting the steppes, a creature of dirty yellow colour, with long ears and no horns, and a head resembling a gazelle's. Its pace is so swift that no huntsman can overtake it. It is seldom seen alone, but in herds of several hundreds. From Jeremiah 2:24 we infer that the animal wanders alone after the object of its lust. Israel, like a solitary wild ass, seeks strange loves, courts strange alliances. On the last clause, see Ezekiel 16:32-34. Ephraim pays abnormally for her own shame.

Verse 9. - For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. All their misery and misfortune they have brought upon themselves. They have prepared this fate for themselves, and made themselves meet for their fate. The second clause is correctly rendered, a wild ass goes alone by itself; and this clause is an independent statement - not connected by n- of comparison either with the clause preceding nor with the succeeding one. Instead of saying that Epraim, that is, Israel, went up to Assyria like a stubborn wild ass alone by itself, or that like a wild ass going alone Ephraim hired (sued for) lovers, the statement stands independent and in a measure detached, the meaning being that even a wild ass, stupid and stubborn as that animal is, keeps by itself to secure its independence. The conduct of Israel, however, appears to disadvantage in contrast with that of a stupid wild ass; it is more stupid and senseless; their folly is seen by the comparison: it maintained its independence by going alone, Ephraim lost independence by soliciting help from heathen allies. What, then, was the object to the attainment of which this foolish conduct was directed? In other words, why did Israel go on this stupid mission to Assyria? What did they seek to gain by it? The third clause contains the answer: they sought help and succor from the Assyrians. Thus the first clause, giving a reason for their calamity, shows it was self-procured by Ephraim going up to Assyria; the second clause exposes the folly of such conduct in seeking prohibited and pernicious foreign alliances; the third clause specifies the precise object of Ephraim's sinful and foolish mission, namely, the procuring of succor from Assyria. The above explanation,

(1) which is in substance Keil's, and which is a contrast between the independence of the wild ass and Ephraim's servile suing for foreign help, is, we think, simpler and more correct than

(2) the common one, which is a comparison of the willfulness, waywardness, and wantonness of the wild ass roaming solitarily by itself with Ephraim's willful waywardness in going up to Assyria for succor, and wantonness in suing for idolatrous alliances. The expression, "going up," alludes to going to the interior of the country, or to the capital of the monarch Assyria now owned as sovereign, or to a place of refuge. The hiring of lovers, or lover, by Ephraim stigmatizes their shameful conduct as that of a shameless harlot, who, instead of receiving, bestows presents on lovers, or as the reward of endearments. For they are gone up to Assyria,.... Or, "though they should go up to Assyria" (g); to the king of Assyria, to gain his friendship, and enter into alliance with him; as, when Pal king of Assyria came against them, Menahem king of Israel went forth to meet him, and gave him a thousand talents of silver to be his confederate, and strengthen his kingdom, 2 Kings 15:19; yet this hindered not but that Israel was at length swallowed up by that people, and scattered by them among the nations; for this is not to be understood of their going captive into the land of Assyria, as the Targum interprets it:

a wild ass alone by himself; which may be applied either to the king of Assyria, and be considered as a description of him, to whom Israel went for help and friendship; who, though he took their present, and made them fair promises, yet was perfidious, unsociable, and inhuman, studied only his own advantage, and not their good: or to the Israelites that went to him, who were as sottish and stupid as the ass, and as headstrong and unruly as that, and, like it, lustful, and impetuous in their lusts; running to and fro for the satisfying of them, and taking no advice, nor suffering themselves to be controlled, and, being alone, became an easy prey to the Assyrian lion: or yet they should be as "a wild ass alone by itself" (h); notwithstanding all the methods they took to obtain the friendship and alliance of the king of Assyria, yet they should be carried captive by him, and dwell in the captivity like a wild ass in the wilderness; and so it is to be understood here, agreeably to Job 24:5; otherwise, as Bochart (i) has proved from various writers, these creatures go in flocks:

Ephraim hath hired lovers; by giving presents to the kings of Assyria and Egypt, to be their allies and confederates, patrons and defenders, 2 Kings 15:19; who are represented as their gallants, with whom Ephraim or the ten tribes committed adultery, departing from God their Husband, and liege Lord and King, and from his true worship; see Ezekiel 16:26. R. Elias Levita (k) observes, that some interpret the words, "Ephraim made a covenant with lovers".

(g) "quamvis, etiamsi ascenderint"; so Schmidt observes it may be rendered, though he chooses to render it by "quando", "when they should go up", &c. (h) "erunt onager, qui solitarius sibi est", Schmidt. (i) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 16. col. 870. (k) Tishbi, p. 267. 9. gone … to Assyria—referring to Menahem's application for Pul's aid in establishing him on the throne (compare Ho 5:13; 7:11). Menahem's name is read in the inscriptions in the southwest palace of Nimrod, as a tributary to the Assyrian king in his eighth year. The dynasty of Pul, or Phalluka, was supplanted at Nineveh by that of Tiglath-pileser, about 768 (or 760) B.C. Semiramis seems to have been Pul's wife, and to have withdrawn to Babylon in 768; and her son, Nabonassar, succeeding after a period of confusion, originated "the era of Nabonassar," 747 B.C. [G. V. Smith]. Usually foreigners coming to Israel's land were said to "go up"; here it is the reverse, to intimate Israel's sunken state, and Assyria's superiority.

wild ass—a figure of Israel's headstrong perversity in following her own bent (Jer 2:24).

alone by himself—characteristic of Israel in all ages: "lo, the people shall dwell alone" (Nu 23:9; compare Job 39:5-8).

hired lovers—reversing the ordinary way, namely, that lovers should hire her (Eze 16:33, 34).8:5-10 They promised themselves plenty, peace, and victory, by worshipping idols, but their expectations came to nothing. What they sow has no stalk, no blade, or, if it have, the bud shall yield no fruit, there was nothing in them. The works of darkness are unfruitful; nay, the end of those things is death. The hopes of sinners will deceive them, and their gains will be snares. In times of danger, especially in the day of judgment, all carnal devices will fail. They take a course by themselves, and like a wild ass by himself, they will be the easier and surer prey for the lion. Man is in nothing more like the wild ass's colt, than in seeking for that succour and that satisfaction in the creature, which are to be had in God only. Though men may sorrow a little, yet if it is not after a godly sort, they will be brought to sorrow everlastingly.
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Alphabetical: a all alone Assyria donkey Ephraim For gone has have herself hired like lovers sold they to up wandering wild

OT Prophets: Hosea 8:9 For they have gone up to Assyria (Ho Hs Hos.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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