New American Standard Bible
They have set up kings, but not by Me; They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, That they might be cut off.
King James Bible
They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
Darby Bible Translation
They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not; of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off.
World English Bible
They have set up kings, but not by me. They have made princes, and I didn't approve. Of their silver and their gold they have made themselves idols, that they may be cut off.
Young's Literal Translation
They have made kings, and not by Me, They have made princes, and I have not known, Their silver and their gold they have made to them idols, So that they are cut off.
Hosea 8:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
They have set up kings, but not by ME - God Himself foretold to Jeroboam by Ahijah the prophet, that He would "rend the kingdom out of the hands of Solomon, and give ten tribes" to him, "and" would "take" him, "and" he "should reign according to all that" his soul desired and" should "be king over Israel" 1 Kings 11:31, 1 Kings 11:37; and, after the ten tribes had made Jeroboam king, God said by Shemaiah the prophet to Rehoboam and the two tribes, "Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel; return every man to his house, for this thing is from Me" 1 Kings 12:22-24.
Yet although here, as everywhere, man's self-will was overruled by God's will, and fulfilled it, it was not the less self-will, both in the ten tribes and in Jeroboam. It was so in the ten tribes. For they cast off Rehoboam, simply of their own mind, because he would not lessen the taxes, as they prescribed. If he would have consented to their demands, they would have remained his subjects 1 Kings 12:4. "They set up kings, but not by or through" God, whom they never consulted, nor asked His will about the rules of the kingdom, or about its relation to the kingdom of Judah, or the house of David. They referred these matters no more to God, than if there had been no God, or than if He interfered not in the affairs of man. It was self-will in Jeroboam himself, for he received the kingdom (which Ahijah told him, he "desired") not from God, not requiring of him, how he should undertake it, nor anointed by Him, nor in any way acknowledging Him, but from the people. And as soon as he had received it, he set up rebellion against God, in order to establish his kingdom, which he founded in sin, whereby he made Israel to sin.
In like way, the Apostle says, "against Thy holy Child Jesus, whom Thou hast both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to be done" Acts 4:27, Acts 4:8. Yet not the less did they sin in this Deicide; and the Blood of Jesus has ever since, as they imprecated on themselves, been on the Jews and on their children, as many as did not repent.
As was the beginning of the kingdom of Israel, such was its course. "They made kings, but not from God." Such were all their kings, except Jehu and his house. During 253 years, for which the kingdom of Israel lasted eighteen kings reigned over it, out of ten different families, and no family came to a close, save by a violent death. The like self-will and independence closed the existence of the Jewish people. The Roman Emperor being afar off, the Scribes and Pharisees hoped, under him, without any great control, to maintain their own authority over the people. They themselves, by their "God forbid!" Luke 20:16, owned that our Lord truly saw their thoughts and purpose, "This is the heir; come let us kill Him, that the inheritance may be ours." They willed to reign without Christ, feared the Pagan Emperor less than the holiness of Jesus, and in the words, "We have no king but Caesar," they deposed God, and shut themselves out from His kingdom.
And I knew it not - "As far as in them lay, they did it without His knowledge" John 8:54. They did not take Him into their counsels, nor desire His cognizance of it, or His approbation of it. If they could, they would have had Him ignorant of it, knowing it to be against His will. And so in His turn, God knew it not, owned it not, as He shall say to the ungodly, "I know you not" Matthew 25:12.
Of their silver and their gold have they made them idols - God had multiplied them, (as He said before Hosea 2:8), and they ungratefully abused to the dishonor of the Giver, what He gave them to be used to His glory.
That they may be cut off - Literally, "that he may be cut off." The whole people is spoken of as one man, "one and all," as we say. It is a fearful description of obstinate sin, that their very object in it seemed to be their own destruction. They acted with one will as one man, who had, in all he did, this one end - to perish. : "As if on set purpose they would provoke destruction, and obstinately run themselves into it, although forewarned thereof." Holy Scripture speaks of that as people's end, at which all their acts aim. "They see, not, nor know, that they may be ashamed" Isaiah 44:9; i. e., they blind themselves, as though their whole object were, what they will bring upon themselves, their own shame. "They prophesy a lie in My Name, that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you" Jeremiah 27:15. This was the ultimate end of those false prophecies. The false prophets of Judah filled them with false hopes; the real and true end of those prophecies, that in which they ended, was the ruin of those who uttered, and of those who listened to them. We ourselves say almost proverbially, "he goes the way to ruin himself;" not that such is the man's own object, but that he obstinately chooses a course of conduct, which, others see, must end in utter ruin. So a man chooses destruction or hell, if he chooses those tilings which, according to God's known law and word, end in it. Man bides from his own eyes the distant future, and fixes them on the nearer objects which he has at heart. God lifts the veil, and discovers to him the further end, at which he is driving, which he is, in fact, compassing, and which is in truth the end, for his own fleeting obiects perish in the using; this and this alone abides.
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.
1 Kings 12:28
So the king consulted, and made two golden calves, and he said to them, "It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt."
2 Kings 15:13
Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned one month in Samaria.
2 Kings 15:17
In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel and reigned ten years in Samaria.
Can man make gods for himself? Yet they are not gods!
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
"For she does not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the new wine and the oil, And lavished on her silver and gold, Which they used for Baal.
Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him.
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