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.
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
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For they are gone up to Assyria - The ground of this their captivity is that wherein they placed their hope of safety. They shall be presently swallowed up; "for" they went to Asshur. The holy land being then honored by the spectral presence of God, all nations are said to "go up" to it. Now, since Israel forgetting God, their strength and their glory, went to the Assyrian for help, he is said to "go up" there, where he went as a suppliant.
A wild donkey alone by himself - As "the ox" which "knoweth its owner, and the donkey its Master's crib," represents each believer, of Jew or Gentile; Israel, who would not know Him, is called the "wild ass." The "pere," or "wild ass" of the East , is "heady, unruly, undisciplinable" , "obstinate, running with swiftness far outstripping the swiftest horse" , whither his lust, hunger, thirst, draw him without rule or direction, hardly to be turned aside from his intended course." Although often found in bands, one often breaks away by himself, exposing itself for a prey to lions, from where it is said, "the wild donkey is the lion's prey in the wilderness" (Ecclus. 13:19). Wild as the Arab was, a "wild ass' colt by himself" , is to him a proverb for one , "singular, obstinate, pertinacious in his purpose." Such is man by nature Job 11:12; such, it was foretold to Abraham, Ishmael would be Genesis 16:12; such Israel again became; "stuborn, heady, selfwilled, refusing to be ruled by God's law and His counsel, in which he might find safety, and, of his own mind, running to the Assyrian," there to perish.
Ephraim hath hired lovers or loves - The plural, in itself, shows that they were sinful loves, since God had said, "a man shall cleave unto his wife and they twain shall be one flesh." These sinful "loves" or "lovers" she was not tempted by, but she herself invited them (see Ezekiel 16:33-34). It is a special and unwonted sin, when woman, forsaking the modesty which God gives her as a defense, becomes the temptress. "Like such a bad woman, luring others to love her, they, forsaking God, to whom, as by covenant of marriage, they ought to have cleaved, and on Him alone to have depended, sought to make friends of the Assyrian, to help them in their rebellions against Him, and so put themselves to that charge (as sinners usually do) in the service of sin, which in God's service they need not to have been at."
And yet that which God pictures under colors so offensive, what was it in human eyes? The "hire" was presents of gold to powerful nations, whose aid, humanly speaking, Israel needed. But wherever it abandoned its trust in God, it adopted their idols. "Whoever has recourse to human means, without consulting God, or consulting whether He will, or will not bless them, is guilty of unfaithfulness which often leads to many others. He becomes accustomed to the tone of mind of those whose protection he seeks, comes insensibly to approve even their errors, loses purity of heart and conscience, sacrifices his light and talents to the service of the powers, under whose shadow he wishes to live under repose."
LibraryThe Assyrian Captivity
The closing years of the ill-fated kingdom of Israel were marked with violence and bloodshed such as had never been witnessed even in the worst periods of strife and unrest under the house of Ahab. For two centuries and more the rulers of the ten tribes had been sowing the wind; now they were reaping the whirlwind. King after king was assassinated to make way for others ambitious to rule. "They have set up kings," the Lord declared of these godless usurpers, "but not by Me: they have made princes, …
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings
That Whereas the City of Jerusalem had Been Five Times Taken Formerly, this was the Second Time of Its Desolation. A Brief Account of Its History.
To whom I gave the wilderness for a home And the salt land for his dwelling place?
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.
"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.
"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."
"Oholah played the harlot while she was Mine; and she lusted after her lovers, after the Assyrians, her neighbors,
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.
So Ephraim has become like a silly dove, without sense; They call to Egypt, they go to Assyria.
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