New International Version
For they have gone up to Assyria like a wild donkey wandering alone. Ephraim has sold herself to lovers.
King James Bible
For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers.
Darby Bible Translation
For they are gone up [to] Assyria [as] 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!
Hosea 8:9 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
They are gone up to Assyria - For succor.
A wild ass alone by himself - Like that animal, jealous of its liberty, and suffering no rival. If we may credit Pliny and others, one male wild ass will keep a whole flock of females to himself, suffer no other to approach them, and even bite off the genitals of the colts, lest in process of time they should become his rivals. "Mares singuli faeminarum gregibus imperitant; timent libidinis aemulos, et ideo gravidas custodiunt, morsuque natos mares castrant." - Hist. Nat., lib. viii., c. 30. The Israelites, with all this selfishness and love of liberty, took no step that did not necessarily lead to their thraldom and destruction.
Ephraim hath hired lovers - Hath subsidized the neighboring heathen states.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
lovers. Heb. loves.
Oh! how ten-thousand-fold merciful is God, that, looking down upon the race of man, he does not smite it our of existence. We see from our text that God looks upon man; for he says of Ephraim, "I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing." But see how, when he observes the sin of man, he does not dash him away and spurn him with his foot; he does not shake him by the neck over the gulf of hell, until his brain doth reel and then drop him forever; but …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855
That the Unskilful Venture not to Approach an Office of Authority.
I gave it the wasteland as its home, the salt flats as its habitat.
a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving-- in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.
All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors.
So in your prostitution you are the opposite of others; no one runs after you for your favors. You are the very opposite, for you give payment and none is given to you.
"Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians--warriors
"When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria, and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, not able to heal your sores.
"Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless-- now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.
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