Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:4 - 8:4

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Hosea 8:4 - 8:4

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The proof of Israel's renunciation of its God is to be found in the facts mentioned in Hos 8:4. “They have set up kings, but not from me, have set up princes, and I know it not: their silver and their gold they have made into idols, that it may be cut off.” The setting up of kings and princes, not from Jehovah, and without His knowledge, i.e., without His having been asked, refers chiefly to the founding of the kingdom by Jeroboam I. It is not to be restricted to this, however, but includes at the same time the obstinate persistence of Israel in this ungodly attitude on all future occasions, when there was either a change or usurpation of the government. And the fact that not only did the prophet Ahijah foretel to Jeroboam I that he would rule over the ten tribes (1Ki 11:30.), but Jehu was anointed king over Israel by Elisha's command (2 Kings 9), and therefore both of them received the kingdom by the express will of Jehovah, is not at variance with this, so as to require the solution that we have a different view here from that which prevails in the books of Kings, - namely, one which sprang out of the repeated changes of government and anarchies in this kingdom (Simson). For neither the divine promise of the throne, nor the anointing performed by the command of God, warranted their forcibly seizing upon the government, - a crime of which both Jeroboam and Jehu rendered themselves guilty. The way in which both of them paved the way to the throne was not in accordance with the will of God, but was most ungodly (see at 1Ki 11:40). Jeroboam was already planning a revolt against Solomon (1Ki 11:27), and led the gathering of the ten tribes when they fell away from the house of David 91 Kings Hos 12:2.). Of Jehu, again, it is expressly stated in 2Ki 9:14, that he conspired against Joram. And the other usurpers, just like the two already named, opened the way to the throne by means of conspiracies, whilst the people not only rebelled against the rightful heir to the throne at Solomon's death, from pure dislike to the royal house of David, which had been appointed by God, and made Jeroboam king, but expressed their approval of all subsequent conspiracies as soon as they have been successful. This did not come from Jehovah, but was a rebellion against Him - a transgression of His covenant. To this must be added the further sin, viz., the setting up of the idolatrous calf-worship on the part of Jeroboam, to which all the kings of Israel adhered. It was in connection with this, that the application of the silver and gold to idols, by which Israel completely renounced the law of Jehovah, had taken place. It is true that silver was not used in the construction of the golden calves; but it was employed in the maintenance of their worship. לְמַעַן יִכָּרֵת: that it (the gold and silver) may be destroyed, as more fully stated in Hos 8:6. לְמַעַן describes the consequence of this conduct, which, though not designed, was nevertheless inevitable, as if it had been distinctly intended.