The Ancient Landmark
Proverbs 22:28
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

The text clearly refers to the ancient division of property by which the land was carefully marked out, and each family had its own proper share. The man who removed these boundaries in his own material interest was simply appropriating what did not belong to him. Perhaps "the removal of the ancient landmark" became a proverbial phrase to signify any serious departure from rectitude. It will be worth while to consider -


1. A change in social customs. It is found by experience that we are all the better for leaving certain usages behind us. We outgrow them, and they become hindrances rather than aids to us.

2. The remodelling of old institutions. The time comes when the old order changes, giving place to new, by common consent and to the general advantage. With new methods, new organizations, there may come new life and renewed power.

3. The change of religious vocabulary. There is nothing wrong in putting the old doctrine in new forms; indeed, it becomes more living and more telling when uttered in the language of the time. Ancient phraseology is to be respected, but it is not sacred; it may and must give place to new.

4. The modification of Christian doctrine; not, indeed, a change of "the faith once delivered to the saints" - a departure from "the truth as it is in Jesus," but such a varying account and statement of it as comes with increased light from the study of nature or of man, and with further reverent research of the Word of God. But what is -

II. THE WRONG WHICH IS HERE FORBIDDEN. It is all criminal selfishness, more especially such as that referred to - the appropriation of land by immoral means, or the securing of any kind of property by tampering with a deed or other document. It may include the act of obtaining any advantage in any direction whatever by means that are dishonourable and unworthy. In all such cases we need the ear to hear a Divine, "Thou shalt not." To act thus is a sin and a mistake. It is:

1. To disobey the voice of the Lord, who emphatically denounces it. Especially does God rebuke and threaten the wronging of the poor and feeble because they are such; to do this is to add meanness and cowardice to selfishness and crime (see vers. 16, 22).

2. To injure ourselves far more seriously and irremediably than we hurt our neighbour. It is to lose the favour of God, the approval of our own conscience, and the esteem of the fast. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.

WEB: Don't move the ancient boundary stone, which your fathers have set up.

Old Landmarks
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