Hosea 5:10
The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath on them like water.
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(10) The princes of Judah, such as Ahaz, whose pusillanimity brought untold evil on both Israel and Judah (2Kings 16:10-18).

Like them that remove the bound (landmark).—A practice prohibited in Deuteronomy 19:14, and included in the curses of Mount Ebal (Deuteronomy 27:17), an indication that this very legislation existed before the time of the prophet. They break down the barrier between right and wrong, between truth and falsehood, between Jehovah and Baalim.

Hosea 5:10. The princes of Judah, &c. — The prophet in this chapter passes frequently from the one kingdom to the other, that he might set forth the crimes, and foretel the punishments of both, unless they averted them by their repentance. Instead of the princes, Bishop Horsley reads, the rulers of Judah, observing, “I prefer the word rulers to princes, because, in the modern acceptation of the word princes, royalty, or at least, royal blood, is included in the notion of it. But these שׂרי, saree, [princes,] of the Old Testament, were not persons of royal extraction, or connected by blood or marriage with the royal family; but the chief priests and elders, who composed the secular as well as the ecclesiastical magistracy of the country.” Like them that remove the bound — They have violated the most sacred laws of God: upon which, not only the ordinances of his worship, but likewise the rights and properties of men depend, and are become guilty of the same injustice and confusion with those that remove the ancient bounds and landmarks, Ezekiel 46:18. Therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water — That is, with great violence, like an impetuous torrent, or the hasty unexpected overflowing of a river, which overwhelms every thing near. Great calamities are often compared to the overflowing of water.5:8-15 The destruction of impenitent sinners is not mere talk, to frighten them, it is a sentence which will not be recalled. And it is a mercy that we have timely warning given us, that we may flee from the wrath to come. Compliance with the commandments of men, who thwart the commandments of God, ripens a people for ruin. The judgments of God are sometimes to a sinful people as a moth, and as rottenness, or as a worm; as these consume the clothes and the wood, so shall the judgments of God consume them. Silently, they shall think themselves safe and thriving, but when they look into their state, shall find themselves wasting and decaying. Slowly, for the Lord gives them space to repent. Many a nation; as well as many a person, dies of a consumption. Gradually, God comes upon sinners with lesser judgments, to prevent greater, if they will be wise, and take warning. When Israel and Judah found themselves in danger, they sought the protection of the Assyrians, but this only helped to make their wound the worse. They would be forced to apply to God. He will bring them home to himself, by afflictions. When men begin to complain more of their sins than of their afflictions, then there begins to be some hope of them; and when under the conviction of sin, and the corrections of the rod, we must seek the knowledge of God. Those who are led by severe trials to seek God earnestly and sincerely, will find him a present help and an effectual refuge; for with him is plenteous redemption for all who call upon him. There is solid peace, and there only, where God is.The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound - All avaricious encroachment on the paternal inheritance of others, was strictly forbidden by God in the law, under the penalty of His curse. "Cursed is he that removeth his neighbor's landmark" Deuteronomy 27:17. "The princes of Judah," i. e., those who were the king's counselors and chief in the civil polity, had committed sin, like to this. Since the prophet had just pronounced the desolation of Israel, perhaps that sin was, that instead of taking warning from the threatened destruction, and turning to God, they thought only how the removal of Ephraim would benefit them, by the enlargement of their borders. They might hope also to increase their private estates out of the desolate lands of Ephraim, their brother. The unregenerate heart, instead of being awed by God's judgment on others, looks out to see, what advantages it may gain from them. Times of calamity are also times of greediness. Israel had been a continual sore to Judah. The princes of Judah rejoiced in the prospect of their removal, instead of mourning their sin and fearing for themselves. More widely yet, the words may mean, that the "princes of Judah" "burst all bounds, set to them by the law of God, to which nothing was to be added, from which nothing was to be diminished," transferring to idols or devils, to sun, moon and stars, or to the beings supposed to preside over them, the love, honor, and worship, due to God Alone.

I will pour out My wrath like water - So long as those bounds were not broken through, the justice of God, although manifoldly provoked, was yet stayed. When Judah should break them, they would, as it were, make a way for the chastisement of God, which should burst in like a flood upon them, over-spreading the whole land, yet bringing, not renewed life, but death. Like a flood, it overwhelmed the land; but it was a flood, not of water, but of the wrath of God. They had burst the bounds which divided them from Israel, and had let in upon themselves its chastisements.

10. remove the bound—(De 19:14; 27:17; Job 24:2; Pr 22:28; 23:10). Proverbial for the rash setting aside of the ancestral laws by which men are kept to their duty. Ahaz and his courtiers ("the princes of Judah"), setting aside the ancient ordinances of God, removed the borders of the bases and the layer and the sea and introduced an idolatrous altar from Damascus (2Ki 16:10-18); also he burnt his children in the valley of Hinnom, after the abominations of the heathen (2Ch 28:3). The princes; the great men about the king and court, the rulers and governors, who by the law of God and man should have been the maintainers of equity and justice among the people.

Of Judah; of the kingdom of Judah, or the two tribes.

Were; have been, and now are in the days of Ahaz, for to this man’s time the prophet now pointeth.

Like them that remove the bound; the ancient bounds which limited every one, prevented controversies and oppressions of encroaching, covetous men. The prophet, I doubt not, aims at reproving the sin of these great ones in changing the laws of religion, as well as altering the bounds of civil rights, whether by encroaching upon foreigners, and enlarging the kingdom of Judah by entrenching on the neighbouring kingdoms, or, which is more certain, by injustice and violence seizing what was another’s.

Therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them: this was sin and forbidden, Deu 19:14; this practice is cursed, Deu 27:17, and God now will punish it.

Like water; like an overflowing flood. The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound,.... Or landmark, which to do was contrary to the law, Deuteronomy 19:14; and has always been reckoned a heinous sin among all nations, and is only done by such who have no regard to right and wrong, and by them secretly; and such were the kings, princes, and nobles of Judah; they secretly committed the grossest iniquities, yea, were abandoned to their vile lusts, and could not be contained within any bounds. The "caph" here used is, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, not a note of similitude, but of certainty; and then the sense is, that the princes of Judah did remove the bound; either, in a literal sense, by force and violence seized on the possessions and inheritances of their neighbours which lay next to theirs; or, in a figurative sense, they broke through all bounds and limits, and transgressed the laws of God and men, being not to be restrained by either:

therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water; in great abundance, and with such force and vehemence, as not to be stopped, but utterly destroy; like a flood of water, which overflows the banks, or breaks them down, and carries all before it; or like the flood of water that came upon the earth, and carried off the world of the ungodly; in like manner should the wrath of God be poured down from heaven upon these princes without measure, exceeding all bounds, in just retaliation for their removing the bounds of their neighbours, or transgressing the laws of God: this was fulfilled either in the times of Ahaz, when Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel, as well as Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, greatly afflicted Judah, 2 Chronicles 28:1; or at the time of the Babylonish captivity.

The princes of Judah were like them that {k} remove the bound: therefore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water.

(k) They have turned upside down all political order and all manner of religion.

10. were like them that remove the bound] Rather, are become like them that remove the landmark. The landmarks were under the protection of religion (Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10; Deuteronomy 19:14), and to remove them laid the offender under a curse, according to Deuteronomy 27:17. Hosea cites the offence as the greatest conceivable example of revolutionary caprice. Judah, it would seem, was not more fortunate now in its upper classes than Israel (comp. Hosea 6:10-11 Sept., and Isaiah’s ‘these also’, viz. the chief men of Jerusalem, Isaiah 28:7).

like water] Jehovah’s wrath is like fire in its destructiveness, and like a swollen stream in its abundant volume.Verse 10. - The princes of Judah were like them that remove the bound. The individual who had the temerity to remove his neighbor's landmark was not only guilty of a great sin, but obnoxious to a grievous curse. Thus Deuteronomy 19:14, "Thou shall not remove thy neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance;" and again Deuteronomy 27:17, "Cursed be he that removeth his neighbor's landmark. And all the people shall say, Amen." The removal of the landmark characterizes the conduct of men entirely regardless of the rights of others - utterly reckless. The Jewish nobles, the king's ministers and high officers of state, are compared to those who remove the landmark, disregarding alike what was due to their fellow-men and to their God. The Jewish commentators differ in their exposition between tact and figure - some of them taking the removal of the boundary as a matter of fact, the caph being for confirmation; thus D. Kimchi; while I. Kimchi explains it of the rejection of the appeal for justice against removers of landmarks; others understanding it figuratively, and the whole as expressing general lawlessness, thus Rashi: "Like a man who removes his neighbor's landmark, just so they hasten to hold fast the ways of Israel their neighbors... according to the literal sense, They grasped at the fields; but this, in my opinion, is harsh, for then the prophet must have written merely מסיגי, and not נמסיגי." Similarly Aben Ezra: "They exercise violence towards those who are in their power, whilst they are like those who secretly remove the landmark." The people of Judah had also sinned, and, like Israel in sin, they resemble them in suffering. There-tore I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. The word "wrath" here is from a root which signifies "to overflow;" it is thus the overflowing of Divine indignation; while the outpouring thereof denotes the full flood of wrath that will overwhelm those lawless leaders of a misguided and misgoverned people. The execution of the threatening was reserved for the Assyrians. who, under Tiglath-pileser and Sennacherib, invaded and laid waste the land. And yet those judgments, though so severe and plentiful, were not to end in total and lasting devastation as in the case of Israel. The following vers. 11-15 teach the inevitable nature of the judgments that were coming upon both Israel and Judah, and from which no earthly power could deliver them. The only relief possible depended on their seeking God in the day of their distress. After the threescore and two weeks, i.e., in the seventieth שׁבוּע, shall the Messiah be cut off. - From the אחרי (after) it does not with certainty follow that the "cutting off" of the Maschiach falls wholly in the beginning of the seventieth week, but only that the "cutting off" shall constitute the first great event of this week, and that those things which are mentioned in the remaining part of the verse shall then follow. The complete designation of the time of the "cutting off" can only be found from the whole contents of Daniel 9:26, Daniel 9:27. נכרת, from כּרּת, to hew down, to fell, to cut to pieces, signifies to be rooted up, destroyed, annihilated, and denotes generally a violent kind of death, though not always, but only the uprooting from among the living, or from the congregation, and is therefore the usual expression for the destruction of the ungodly - e.g., Psalm 37:9; Proverbs 2:22 - without particularly designating the manner in which this is done. From יכּרת it cannot thus be strictly proved that this part of the verse announces the putting to death of an anointed one, or of the Messiah. Of the word Maschiach three possible interpretations have been given: 1. That the Maschiach Nagid of Daniel 9:25, the Maschiach of Daniel 9:26, and the Nagid of Daniel 9:26, are three different persons; 2. that all the three expressions denote one and the same person; and 3. that the Maschiach Nagid of Daniel 9:25 and the Maschiach of Daniel 9:26 are the same person, and that the Nagid of Daniel 9:26 is another and a different person. The first of these has been maintained by J. D. Michaelis, Jahn. Ebrard understands by all the three expressions the Messiah, and supposes that he is styled fully Maschiach Nagid in Daniel 9:25 in order that His calling and His dignity (משׁיח), as well as His power and strength (נגיד), might be designated; in Daniel 9:26, משׁיח, the anointed, where mention is made of His sufferings and His rejection; in Daniel 9:26, נגיד, the prince, where reference is made to the judgment which He sends (by the Romans on apostate Jerusalem). But this view is refuted by the circumstance that הבּא (that is to come) follows נגיד, whereby the prince is represented as first coming, as well as by the circumstance that הבּא נגיד, who destroys the city and the sanctuary, whose end shall be with a flood, consequently cannot be the Messiah, but is the enemy of the people and kingdom of God, who shall arise (Daniel 7:24-25) in the last time. But if in Daniel 9:26 the Nagid is different from the Maschiach, then both also appear to be different from the Maschiach Nagid of Daniel 9:25. The circumstance that in Daniel 9:26 משׁיח has neither the article nor the addition נגיד following it, appears to be in favour of this opinion. The absence of the one as well as the other denotes that משׁיח, after that which is said of Him, in consideration of the connection of the words, needs no more special description. If we observe that the destruction of the city and the sanctuary is so connected with the Maschiach that we must consider this as the immediate or first consequence of the cutting off of the Maschiach, and that the destruction shall be brought about by a Nagid, then by Maschiach we can understand neither a secular prince or king nor simply a high priest, but only an anointed one who stands in such a relation to the city and sanctuary, that with his being "cut off" the city and the sanctuary lose not only their protection and their protector, but the sanctuary also loses, at the same time, its character as the sanctuary, which the Maschiach had given to it. This is suitable to no Jewish high priest, but only to the Messias whom Jehovah anointed to be a Priest-King after the order of Melchizedek, and placed as Lord over Zion, His holy hill. We agree therefore with Hvernick, Hengstenberg, Auberlen, and Kliefoth, who regard the Maschiach of this verse as identical with the Maschiach Nagid of Daniel 9:25, as Christ, who in the fullest sense of the word is the Anointed; and we hope to establish this view more fully in the following exposition of the historical reference of this word of the angel.

But by this explanation of the משׁיח we are not authorized to regard the word יכּרת as necessarily pointing to the death of the Messias, the crucifixion of Christ, since יכּרת, as above shown, does not necessarily denote a violent death. The right interpretation of this word depends on the explanation of the words לו ואין which follow - words which are very differently interpreted by critics. The supposition is grammatically inadmissible that לו אין equals איננּוּ (Michaelis, Hitzig), although the lxx in the Codex Chisianus have translated them by καὶ οὐκ ἔσται; and in general all those interpretations which identify אין with לא, as e.g., et non sibi, and not for himself (Vitringa, Rosenmller, Hvernick, and others). For אין is never interchanged with לא, but is so distinguished from it that לא, non, is negation purely, while אין, "it is not," denies the existence of the thing; cf. Hengstenberg's Christol. iii. p. 81f., where all the passages which Gesenius refers to as exemplifying this exchange are examined and rightly explained, proving that אין is never used in the sense of לא. Still less is לו to be taken in the sense of לו (<) אשׁר, "there shall not then be one who (belongs) to him;" for although the pronomen relat. may be wanting in short sentences, yet that can be only in such as contain a subject to which it can refer. But in the אין no subject is contained, but only the non-existence is declared; it cannot be said: no one is, or nothing is. In all passages where it is thus rightly translated a participle follows, in which the personal or actual subject is contained, of which the non-existence is predicated. לו (<) אין without anything following is elliptical, and the subject which is not, which will not be, is to be learned from the context or from the matter itself. The missing subject here cannot be משׁיח, because לו points back to משׁיח; nor can it be עם, people (Vulg., Grotius), or a descendant (Wieseler), or a follower (Auberlen), because all these words are destitute of any support from the context, and are brought forward arbitrarily. Since that which "is not to Him" is not named, we must thus read the expression in its undefined universality: it is not to Him, viz., that which He must have, to be the Maschiach. We are not by this to think merely of dominion, people, sanctuary, but generally of the place which He as Maschiach has had, or should have, among His people and in the sanctuary, but, by His being "cut off," is lost. This interpretation is of great importance in guiding to a correct rendering of יכּרת; for it shows that יכּרת does not denote the putting to death, or cutting off of existence, but only the annihilation of His place as Maschiach among His people and in His kingdom. For if after His "cutting off" He has not what He should have, it is clear that annihilation does not apply to Him personally, but only that He has lost His place and function as the Maschiach.

(Note: Kranichfeld quite appropriately compares the strong expression יכּרת with "the equally strong יבלּא (shall wear out) in Daniel 7:25, spoken of that which shall befall the saints on the part of the enemy of God in the last great war. As by this latter expression destruction in the sense of complete annihilation cannot be meant, since the saints personally exist after the catastrophe (cf. Daniel 9:27, Daniel 9:22, Daniel 9:18), so also by this expression here (יכּרת) we are not to understand annihilation.")

In consequence of the cutting off of the משׁיח destruction falls upon the city and the sanctuary. This proceeds from the people of the prince who comes. ישׁחית, to destroy, to ruin, is used, it is true, of the desolating of countries, but predicated of a city and sanctuary it means to overthrow; cf. e.g., Genesis 19:13., where it is used of the destruction of Sodom; and even in the case of countries the השׁחית consists in the destruction of men and cattle; cf. Jeremiah 36:29.

The meaning of הבּא נגיד עם depends chiefly on the interpretation of the הבּא. This we cannot, with Ebrard, refer to עם. Naturally it is connected with נגיד, not only according to the order of the words, but in reality, since in the following verse (Daniel 9:27) the people are no longer spoken of, but only the actions and proceedings of the prince are described. הבּא does not mean qui succedit (Roesch, Maurer), but is frequently used by Daniel of a hostile coming; cf. Daniel 1:1; Daniel 11:10,Daniel 11:13, Daniel 11:15. But in this sense הבּא appears to be superfluous, since it is self-evident that the prince, if he will destroy Jerusalem, must come or draw near. One also must not say that הבּא designates the prince as one who was to come (ἐρχόμενος), since from the expression "coming days," as meaning "future days," it does not follow that a "coming prince" is a "future prince." The הבּא with the article: "he who comes, or will come," denotes much rather the נגיד (which is without the article) as such an one whose coming is known, of whom Daniel has heard that he will come to destroy the people of God. But in the earlier revelations Daniel heard of two princes who shall bring destruction on his people: in Daniel 7:8, Daniel 7:24., of Antichrist; and in Daniel 8:9., 23ff., of Antiochus. To one of these the הבּא points. Which of the two is meant must be gathered from the connection, and this excludes the reference to Antiochus, and necessitates our thinking of the Antichrist.

In the following clause: "and his end with the flood," the suffix refers simply to the hostile Nagid, whose end is here emphatically placed over against his coming (Kran., Hofm., Kliefoth). Preconceived views as to the historical interpretation of the prophecy lie at the foundation of all other references. The Messianic interpreters, who find in the words a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and thus understand by the Nagid Titus, cannot apply the suffix to Nagid. M. Geier, Hvernick, and others, therefore, refer it (the suffix) to the city and the sanctuary; but that is grammatically inadmissible, since העיר (the city) is gen faem. Aub. and others refer it, therefore, merely to the sanctuary; but the separation of the city from the sanctuary is quite arbitrary. Vitringa, C. B. Michaelis, Hgstb., interpret the suffix as neuter, and refer it to ישׁחית (shall destroy), or, more correctly, to the idea of destroying comprehended in it, for they understand שׁטף of a warlike overflowing flood: "and the end of it shall be (or: it shall end) in the flood." On the other hand, v. Lengerke and Kliefoth have rightly objected to this view. "This reference of the suffix," they say, "is inadmissibly harsh; the author must have written erroneously, since he suggested the reference of the suffix to עם or to נגיד. One cannot think of what is meant by the end of the destruction, since the destruction itself is the end; a flood may, it is true, be an emblem of a warlike invasion of a country, but it never signifies the warlike march, the expedition." There thus remains nothing else than to apply the suffix to the Nagid, the prince. קץ can accordingly only denote the destruction of the prince. Hitzig's interpretation, that קצּו is the result of his coming, refutes itself.

In בּשׁטף the article is to be observed, by which alone such interpretations as "in an overflowing" (Ros., Roed., and others), "vi quadam ineluctabili oppressus" (Steudel, Maurer), "like an overflowing," and the like, are proved to be verbally inadmissible. The article shows that a definite and well-known overflowing is meant. שׁטף, "overflowing," may be the emblem of an army spreading itself over the land, as in Daniel 11:10,Daniel 11:22, Daniel 11:26; Isaiah 8:8, or the emblem of a judgment desolating or destroying a city, country, or people; cf. Psalm 32:6; Nahum 1:8; Proverbs 27:4; Psalm 90:5. The first of these interpretations would give this meaning: The prince shall find his end in his warlike expedition; and the article in בּשׁטף would refer back to הבּא. This interpretation is indeed quite possible, but not very probable, because שׁטף would then be the overflowing which was caused by the hostile prince or his coming, and the thought would be this, that he should perish in it. But this agrees neither with the following clause, that war should be to the end, nor with Daniel 7:21, Daniel 7:26, according to which the enemy of God holds the superiority till he is destroyed by the judgment of God. Accordingly, we agree with Wieseler, Hofmann, Kranichfeld, and Kliefoth in adopting the other interpretation of שׁטף, flood, as the figure of the desolating judgment of God, and explain the article as an allusion to the flood which overwhelmed Pharaoh and his host. Besides, the whole passage is, with Maurer and Klief., to be regarded as a relative clause, and to be connected with הבּא: the people of a prince who shall come and find his destruction in the flood.

This verse (Daniel 9:26) contains a third statement, which adds a new element to the preceding. Rosenmller, Ewald, Hofm., and others connect these into one passage, thus: and to the end of the war a decree of desolations continues. But although קץ, grammatically considered, is the stat. constr., and might be connected with מלחמה (war), yet this is opposed by the circumstance, that in the preceding sentence no mention is expressly made of war; and that if the war which consisted in the destruction of the city should be meant, then מלחמה ought to have the article. From these reasons we agree with the majority of interpreters in regarding מלחמה as the predicate of the passage: "and to the end is war;" but we cannot refer קץ, with Wieseler, to the end of the prince, or, with Hv. and Aub., to the end of the city, because קץ has neither a suffix nor an article. According to the just remark of Hitzig, קץ without any limitation is the end generally, the end of the period in progress, the seventy שׁבעים, and corresponds to סופא עד in Daniel 7:26, to the end of all things, Daniel 12:13 (Klief.). To the end war shall be equals war shall continue during the whole of the last שׁבוּע.

The remaining words, שׁממות נחרצת, form an apposition to מלחמה, notwithstanding the objection by Kliefoth, that since desolations are a consequence of the war, the words cannot be regarded as in apposition. For we do not understand why in abbreviated statements the effect cannot be placed in the form of an apposition to the cause. The objection also overlooks the word נחרצת. If desolations are the effect of the war, yet not the decree of the desolations, which can go before the war or can be formed during the war. שׁממות denotes desolation not in an active, but in a passive sense: laid waste, desolated. נחרצת, that which is determined, the irrevocably decreed; therefore used of divine decrees, and that of decrees with reference to the infliction of punishment; cf. Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:36; Isaiah 10:23; Isaiah 28:22. Ewald is quite in error when he says that it means "the decision regarding the fearful deeds, the divine decision as it embodies itself in the judgments (Daniel 7:11.) on the world on account of such fearful actions and desolations," because שׁממות has not the active meaning. Auberlen weakens its force when he renders it "decreed desolations." "That which is decreed of desolations" is also not a fixed, limited, measured degree of desolations (Hofm., Klief.); for in the word there does not lie so much the idea of limitation to a definite degree, as much rather the idea of the absolute decision, as the connection with כלה in Daniel 9:27, as well as in the two passages from Isaiah above referred to, shows. The thought is therefore this: "Till the end war will be, for desolations are irrevocably determined by God." Since שׁממות has nothing qualifying it, we may not limit the "decree of desolations" to the laying waste of the city and the sanctuary, but under it there are to be included the desolations which the fall of the prince who destroys the city and the sanctuary shall bring along with it.

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