|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-8 A vine is only valuable for its fruit; but Israel now brought no fruit to perfection. Their hearts were divided. God is the Sovereign of the heart; he will have all, or none. Were the stream of the heart wholly after God, it would run strongly, and bear down all before it. Their pretences to covenant with God were false. Even the proceeding of justice was as poisonous hemlock. Alas, how empty a vine is the visible church even at this day! But all earthly prosperity is but a collection of bubbles, soon destroyed like foam upon the water. Sinners will in vain seek shelter from that Judge, whom they now despise as a Saviour.
Verse 7. - As for Samaria, her king is out off as the foam upon the water (face of the waters). Instead of the throne of Samaria being established, or the kingdom consolidated by the idolatrous measures which Jeroboam had adopted for the purpose, the king himself was cut off as foam upon the surface of the waters, or as a chip carried off by the current, and the kingdom ingloriously ruined. Though the sense is sufficiently plain, the sentence has been variously constructed. Thus
(1) one of the Hebrew commentators renders it, "In the city of Samaria her king has been made like foam on the surface of the water" (be being understood and נדמה taken in the sense of "being like").
(2) Rashi, understanding the verb to signify being "reduced to silence," explains, "The King of Samaria is brought to silence."
(3) The correct signification of the verb, however, is "cut off" or "annihilated," while the construction may be
(a) an asyndeton; thus: "Samaria (and) her king;" or
(b) Samaria taken as nominative absolute, - thus in the Authorized Version, "(As for) Samaria, her king is cut off;" or
(c) supplying נדמה to the second noun, with Aben Ezra, "Samaria is cut off, her king is cut off." Some
(d) consider it simpler to translate as follows: "Samaria is cut off; her king is like [literally, 'as'] a chip on the surface of the waters." In this way the Massoretic punctuation is neglected. Sheraton is feminine, as the names of cities and countries usually are, and therefore the suffix to "king" is feminine, while the masculine form, נִדְמֶה, is justified by its position at the head of the sentence; for, according to Gesenius, the predicate at the beginning of a clause or sentence "often takes its simplest and readiest form, viz. the masculine singular, even when the subject," not yet expressed, but coming after, "is feminine or plural." קצפ is explained either as "foam" or "splinter." The latter is, perhaps, preferable, as the verbal root cognate with the Arabic katsapha signifies "to break," "break off," "crack;" then "to be angry" (its most common meaning) from the sudden breaking out or breaking loose of passion, with which may be compared the Greek ὀήγνυμι. The word קצפה in Joel 1:7, from the same root, is literally a" breaking or breaking off," "barking," The word דמה, again, has two principal meanings - one "to be like," the other "to be silent" (connected, according to Gesenius, with a different root, darnam, dum, like the English "dumb"); or the meanings are traceable to one root, in the sense of "making flat," "plane," "smooth;" then "silent," and so "reduced to silence," "destroyed."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As for Samaria,.... The metropolis of the ten tribes of Israel, and here put for the whole kingdom:
her king is cut off; which some understand of Pekah, who was killed by Hoshea; others of several of their kings cut off one after another, very suddenly and quickly, as the metaphor after used shows; or rather Hoshea the last king is meant, who was cut off by the king of Assyria; the present tense is used for the future, to denote the certainty of it. Aben Ezra thinks the verb "cut off" is to be repeated, Samaria is "cut off, her king is cut off"; both king and kingdom destroyed. So the Targum,
"Samaria is cut off with her king:''
as the foam upon the water; as any light thing flowing upon it; as the bark of a tree, as Kimchi and Abarbinel; or as the scum upon a boiling pot of water, as Jarchi, and the Targum; or as foam, which is an assemblage of bubbles upon the water; such are kings and kingdoms, swell, look big and high for a while; but are mere bubbles, empty things; and are often suddenly, quickly, and easily destroyed; so Samaria and her king were by the Assyrian army; the Lord of hosts, the King of kings, being against them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. (Ho 10:3, 15).
foam—denoting short-lived existence and speedy dissolution. As the foam, though seeming to be eminent raised on the top of the water, yet has no solidity, such is the throne of Samaria. Maurer translates, "a chip" or broken branch that cannot resist the current.
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