Hosea 8:9
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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


Hosea 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to the Assyrian, and sent to king Jareb...

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

2 Kings 15:19 And Pul the king of Assyria came against the land: and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver...

Ezekiel 23:5-9 And Aholah played the harlot when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors...

a wild.

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

Jeremiah 2:24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away?...


Hosea 2:5-7,10 For their mother has played the harlot: she that conceived them has done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers...

Hosea 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and follows after the east wind: he daily increases lies and desolation...

Isaiah 30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from where come the young and old lion...

Ezekiel 16:33,34 They give gifts to all whores: but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and hire them...

lovers. Heb. loves.

The Bible
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.
No one presumes to teach an art till he has first, with intent meditation, learnt it. What rashness is it, then, for the unskilful to assume pastoral authority, since the government of souls is the art of arts! For who can be ignorant that the sores of the thoughts of men are more occult than the sores of the bowels? And yet how often do men who have no knowledge whatever of spiritual precepts fearlessly profess themselves physicians of the heart, though those who are ignorant of the effect of
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Cross References
Job 39:6
I gave it the wasteland as its home, the salt flats as its habitat.

Jeremiah 2:24
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.

Ezekiel 16:33
All prostitutes receive gifts, but you give gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from everywhere for your illicit favors.

Ezekiel 16:34
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.

Ezekiel 23:5
"Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians--warriors

Hosea 5:13
"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.

Hosea 7:11
"Ephraim is like a dove, easily deceived and senseless-- now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria.

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