You shall not remove your neighbor's landmark, which they of old time have set in your inheritance…
Stones indicating boundaries might easily be removed. Ditches could be secretly levelled. This would materially affect property, and be a great evil in land where territory was distributed by lot. Removal would be —
I. TO DISREGARD ANCIENT CUSTOM. "They of old have set," with care and justice. "Custom is held as law." Fixed law and fixed boundaries should he respected. But many scorn ancient landmarks as relics of bygone days. Impatient of restraint, they seek wider range of thought and action, indulge in novelties, and cry, Down with temples, and away with creeds and the Bible!
II. TO VIOLATE THE LAW OF GOD. Heathen nations held every landmark as sacred. God, as the proprietor of all the earth, set bounds for Israel, allotted their lands which they held in trust, and bound them in terms imposed by His will (Deuteronomy 27:17). Hence removal of landmarks is violation of His command, and direct insult to His authority.
III. TO DEFRAUD OUR NEIGHBOUR. Landmarks were witnesses of the rights of each man. Removal was selfish and unjust invasion of property. To enlarge your own estate at the expense of your neighbour's is theft. Each one should know his own, and not defraud another by concealment, forgery, or robbery. "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him" (Leviticus 19:13; Mark 10:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
IV. TO EXPOSE TO A DREADFUL CURSE. The execration of men is something, but who can bear the curse of God? The field of the fatherless is under Almighty protection. The poor may seem helpless, but special warning is given against their oppression. "Remove not the old landmark, and enter not into the fields of the fatherless" (by acts of violence or removal of boundaries), "for their Redeemer is mighty to vindicate outraged innocence" (Proverbs 23:10, 11). This in after times was the great affront of national provocation (Hosea 5:10).
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.