From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

JAREB . It is not safe to pronounce dogmatically on the text and meaning of   Hosea 5:13;   Hosea 10:6 . But our choice lies between two alternatives. If we adhere to the current text, we must regard Jareb (or Jarîb ) as a sobriquet coined by Hosea to indicate the love of conflict which characterized the Assyrian king. Thus ‘King Jarib’ = ‘King Warrior,’ ‘King Striver,’ ‘King Combat,’ or the like; and the events referred to are those of b.c. 738 (see   2 Kings 15:19 ). Most of the ancient versions support this, as, e.g. , LXX [Note: Septuagint.] ‘King Jareim’; Symm. and Vulg. [Note: Vulgate.] ‘King Avenger.’ If we divide the Hebrew consonants differently, We get ‘the great king,’ corresponding to the Assyr. [Note: Assyrian.] sharru rabbu (cf.   2 Kings 18:19;   2 Kings 18:28 ,   Isaiah 36:4 ). It has even been thought that this signification may be accepted without any textual change. In any case linguistic and historical evidence is against the idea that Jareb is the proper name of an Assyrian or an Egyptian monarch. Other, less probable, emendations are ‘king of Arabia,’ ‘king of Jathrib or of Aribi’ (both in N. Arabia).

J. Taylor.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

 Hosea 5:13;  Hosea 10:6. "Ephraim went to the Assyrian and (Judah) sent to king Jareb," "the calf shall be carried into Assyria ... a present to king Jareb" Hebrew "avenger." The Assyrian king, seeking his own aggrandizement, proposed to undertake Israel's and Judah's cause. As in  Judges 6:32, Jerub in Jerubbaal means "let Baal plead." Judah under Ahaz applied to Tiglath Pileser for aid against Syria and Israel ( 2 Kings 16:7-8;  2 Chronicles 28:16-21). The Assyrian "distressed, but strengthened him not," as Hosea foretells, "he could not ... cure you of your wound." The Israelite Menahem subsidized Pul ( 2 Kings 15:19). Instead of "avenger" to ward off foes, the expected protector proved to be God's "avenger" for Israel's and Judah's sins. Pusey explains James "the strifeful king," Assyrian history being, as their own inscriptions prove, one perpetual warfare. The Assyrian word Jarbam is "to fight"; Gesenius explains James "the hostile king."

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Ja'reb. (Adversary). Jareb is to be explained either as the proper name of a country or person, as a noun in apposition, or as a verb from a root, rub , "To Contend, Plead". All these senses are represented in the Authorized Version and the marginal readings,  Hosea 5:13;  Hosea 10:6, and the least preferable has been inserted in the text. Jareb is most probably, the name of some city of Assyria, or another name of the country itself.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

Apparently a symbolical name for the king of Assyria. Israel had sent to Assyria for help; but Assyria had proved to be no help, but rather a Jareb, or 'adversary, enemy' (Fürst).  Hosea 5:13;  Hosea 10:6; cf.  2 Chronicles 28:16,20 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 2 Kings 18:19 Hosea 5:13 Hosea 10:5-6

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [6]

jā´reb , jar´eb ( ירב , yārēbh , "let him contend"; Septuagint Ἰαρείμ , Iareı́m ):

1. Obscurity of the Name

Is mentioned twice in Hos ( 1 Chronicles 5:13;  1 Chronicles 10:6 ) as an Assyrian king who received tribute from Israel. We do not, however, know of an Assyrian king of that name, or of such a place as is indicated by "the king of Jareb" ( 1 Chronicles 5:13 King James Version, margin). Sayce ( HCM , 417) thinks Jareb may possibly be the earlier name of Sargon who took Samaria in 722 bc, as the passages in which it appears seem to relate to the last struggles of the Northern Kingdom. This conjecture he bases on the probability that the successor of Shalmaneser IV, following the example of other usurpers of the Assyrian throne before him, assumed the name of Sargon. Those who hold that Hosea's prophecies are probably not later than 734 bc reject this view.

2. Meaning of the Word

If we take the Hebrew text in  Hosea 5:13 as it stands ( melekh yārēbh ), Jareb cannot be regarded as the name of a person, owing to the absence of the article before melekh , "king," which is always inserted in such a case. It is probably an epithet or nickname applied to the Assyrian king, as is suggested by the Revised Version margin ("a king that should contend") and the King James Version margin ("the king that should plead"), being derived from the rı̄bh , "to strive." The rendering would then be "King Combat," "King Contentious," indicating Assyria's general hostility to Israel and the futility of applying for help to that quarter against the will of Yahweh. Some suggest that for melekh yārēbh we should read malkı̄ rabh ( ı̄ being the old nominative termination), or melekh rabh , "Great King," a title frequently applied to Assyrian monarchs. Others, following the Septuagint, would read melekh rām , "High King."

3. Historical Reference

The historical reference, if it be to any recorded incident, may be to the attempt of Menahem, king of Israel in 738 bc, to gain over the Assyrians by a large subsidy to Pul, who assumed the name of Tiglath-pileser ( 2 Kings 15:19 ). In this case, as both Epraim and Judah are mentioned in the protasis, we should have to suppose that Ephraim made application on behalf of both kingdoms. If "Judah" be inserted before "sent" to complete the parallel, then the clause would be interpreted of Ahaz, king of Judah, who offered a heavy bribe to Tiglath-pileser to help him to withstand the combined attack of Rezin of Syria and Pekah of Israel ( 2 Kings 16:7 f). But perhaps there may be no particular allusions in the two clauses of the apodosis, but only a reference to a general tendency on the part of both kingdoms to seek Assyrian aid.

4. Other Views

Cheyne would make a violent change in the verse. He would substitute "Israel" for "Judah" as warranted by  Hosea 12:2 , insert "Israel" before "sent," change 'ashshur ,"Assyria," into miccūr , the North Arabian land of Muṣri , "references to which underlie many passages in the Old Testament," and for melekh yārēbh , he would read melekh ‛ărābhı̄ , "king of Arabia." For other views see ICC .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [7]

(Heb. Yareb', יָרֵב , i. q. יָרַיב , contentious,. i.e. an adversary) occurs as a proper name in the Auth. Vers. of  Hosea 5:13;  Hosea 10:6, where a "king Jareb" ( יָרֵב מֶלֶךְ , Sept. Βασιλεὺς Ι᾿Αρείμ , Vulg. Rex Ultor) is spoken of as the false refuge and final subjugator of the kingdom of Israel. It probably is a figurative title of the king of Assyria (mentioned in the same connection), who, like the Persian monarchs, affected the title of "the great king" (Michaelis, Supplem., actually derives it from the Syriac ireb, "to be great"); here spoken in irony towards the faithless nation as their greatest scourge (Gesenius, Thes. Heb. p. 1286). Had Jareb been the proper name of the king of Assyria, as it would be if this rendering were correct, the word preceding ( מֶלֶךְ , Melek, "king") would have required the article. That it is rather to be applied to the country than to the king may be inferred from its standing in parallelism with Asshur. Such is the opinion of First (Handw. s.v.), who illustrates the symbolical usage by a comparison with Rahab as applied to Egypt. At the same time he hazards a conjecture that it may have been an old Assyrian word, adopted into the Hebrew language, and so modified as to express an intelligible idea, while retaining something of its original form. The clause in which it occurs is supposed by many to refer to Judah, in order to make the parallelism complete; and, with this in view, Jarchi interprets it of Ahaz, who sent to Tiglath-Pileser ( 2 Kings 16:8) to aid him against the combined forces of Syria and Israel. But there is no reason to suppose that the two clauses do. not both refer to Ephraim, and the allusion would then be, as explained by Jerome, to Pul, who was subsidized by Menahem ( 2 Kings 15:19), and Judah would be indirectly included. Other interpretations of the most fanciful character have been given (Glass, Phil. Sacr. 4: 3, 17, p. 644).