7. As for Samaria, her king is cut off as the foam upon the water.
7. Succisus est Samariae rex suus, sicuti spuma in superficie aquarum (alii qtsq volunt corsdticem: sed nomen spumae multo aptius est. )
The Prophet proceeds with the same subject, nor ought it to be deemed a useless prolixity. It would have indeed been sufficient by one word to threaten the Israelites, had they been pliable and obedient; but as they were stupid in their perverseness, it was necessary to stun their ears with continual threatening, that they might be at least less excusable before God. Hence the Prophet says now, that the king of Samaria shall be cut off like the foam: and he thus speaks of the king, because the Israelites thought their king, next to their idols, to be to them an invincible fortress. For thus ungodly men, as it has been mentioned before, always imagine their stronghold to be in the world and earthly things. Hence, the Lord denounces a just punishment, by saying that he would cut off the king; for the impious confidence, of which I have spoken, could not be otherwise corrected. Therefore |the king of Samaria shall be cut off| -- in what manner? |Like a foam|. It is a most apt comparison; for the Prophet shows that the condition of the kingdom, which they imagined to be firm and perpetual, had nothing in it but an empty appearance, like the foam, which has nothing substantial. And further, he seems to me to point out another thing, that is, that the kingdom, though it showed itself to be above other kingdoms, was yet but an excrement. The foam floats above the waters of the sea, and by its height seems eminent; but what is the foam but the excrement of the water? for whatever is decayed in the waters passes into foam. So Israel thought, that as they were endued with power, and in every way excelled the tribe of Judah, they could ride, as it were, over their heads. The Prophet, on the contrary, says that they were foam, and also their king. |Your king,| he says, |though the king of Judah cannot be compared with him, is yet a foam. By his height he seems indeed wonderful, and hence has arisen your pride, for you are now become hardened against God; but the Lord will cut him off like a foam.| The Prophet then not only compares the king of Israel to a bubble or to foaming waters; but he says, that with respect to the king of Judah, he is an excrement. We now then understand the meaning of the Prophet.