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The necessity of God's judgment. CHAP. III.
The publication of it. dren of Israel, against the whole nothing, but he revealeth his secret family which I brought up from the unto his servants the prophets. land of Egypt, saying,
8 The lion hath roared, who will 2 You only have I known of all not fear? The Lord God hath spoken,
the families of the earth : therefore who can but prophesy ? + Heb. visit I will † punish you for all your ini- 9 9 Publish in the palaces at Ashquities.
dod, and in the palaces in the land of 3 Can two walk together, except Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves they be agreed ?
upon the mountains of Samaria, and 4 Will a lion roar in the forest, when behold the great tumults in the midst
he hath no prey ? will a young lion thereof, and the || oppressed in the Or, Heb. give + cry out of his den, if he have taken midst thereof.
oppressions. nothing ?
10 For they know not to do right,
round about the land; and he shall 6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the bring down thy strength from thee, | Or, not run city, and the people || not be afraid ? and thy palaces shall be spoiled.
shall there be evil in a city, || and the 12 Thus saith the LORD; As the shall not the Lord hath not done it?
shepherd + taketh out of the mouth of 4 Heb. 7 Surely the Lord God will do the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear;
| Or, spoil.
LORD do somewhat ?
Chap. III. ver. 1. — against the whole family &c.] All | fear their speedy execution : and who shall or can exethat family, of which Jacob or Israel was the head : cute them, but the just and powerful hand of God ?
family” is equivalent to people, here and in the follow- Can there be any evil of punishment in the city, yea in ing verse ; and so it is taken, Jer. i. 15; viji. 3 ; x. the world, which is not of His sending, His inflicting? 25 ; Nahum iii. 4; Zech. xiv. 18. W. Lowth.
Bp. Hall. Shall the evil of earthquakes, of unfruitful 2. You only have I known &c.] You only have I seasons, of hostile incursions, befall My people without chosen from all other nations for My peculiar people, My special appointment ? Abp. Newcome. and have bestowed most cost and care upon you : By the “evil” here spoken of is not to be understood therefore, since you have abused My mercies and re- sin, or the evil of guiltiness, but affliction or trouble, or the belled against Me, ye shall be surely punished. Bp. evil of punishment; for God is not either the author or Hall. The more and the greater are the benefits of God the cause of our sin, but we ourselves. Compare James towards a people, so much the more shameful is their i. 13, 14 ; Hosea xiii. 9. Daneus. ingratitude in despising God, and their sin the greater 7. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, &c.] There and more heinous. Daneus.
was a succession of Prophets among the Jews from Sa3. Can two walk together, except they be agreed ?] muel's time, till the captivity : the people commonly Will common reason permit two to walk friendly toge- consulted them upon extraordinary occasions, and they ther, unless they be real friends ? In like manner it is gave them counsel and direction what was proper to be altogether unreasonable for you to think, that I will deal done. See chap. ii. 11; 1 Kings xxii. 13; 2 Kings with you as your friend, while ye thus sin against Me, iii. 11 ; xxii. 13 ; Jer. xxi. 2 ; Ezek. xx. 1, &c. The and so act as those who hate Me, or are My enemies. want of this prophetical gift was much lamented in the Dr. Wells.
times of the captivity. See Ezek. vii. 26 ; Lament. ii. 4. Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no 9; Psal. Ixxiv. 9. W. Lowth. prey ?] As a lion doth not use to roar but when he 8. The lion hath roared, &c.] The awful admonitions hath his prey in view, so neither doth God denounce uttered by the Prophets are as natural a consequence of His judgments unless your sins have made you proper God's command, as fear is of the lion's roaring. Abp. objects of His displeasure. W. Lowth. Naturalists Newcome. assert, that, when the lion sees his prey, he roars before 9. Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, &c.] God calls he rushes on it, and that at this roaring many animals upon the heathen to be witnesses of His judgments upon shew great fear. Abp. Newcome.
His own people, that they may take warning thereby : 5. Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no particularly He gives notice to the “ Philistines” and gin is &c.] As birds are not caught without the net * Egyptians,” the Jews' inveterate enemies, that they of the fowler being already set and laid ; and as the may assemble themselves, and with pleasure behold the fowler doth not take up his nets, before he has secured ravages and oppressions which their insulting advera prey ; so neither doth God threaten these things saries will bring upon the kingdom of Israel. W. without being prepared to execute His judgments ; nor Lowth. will He withdraw His hand, but will punish you, except 12. As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the ye repent. Danæus.
lion &c.] As the shepnerd, when a lion hath been de6. Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people vouring amongst his flock, finds some mangled remnants not be afraid ? &c.] Shall a trumpet be blown in the of a leg or an ear, which he carries home, to shew the city, to summon the inhabitants to the walls, yet the spoil that hath been done by that fierce beast; so shall people find no cause of the fear of an enemy? no more it be with Israel: of all the body of Samaria, there shall would God by His Prophets denounce these imminent be some one or two left undevoured, for proof of the judgments, if there were not just cause to expect and general slaughter and captivity. Bp. Hall.
1 Or, on the
cast array the
The causes of God's judgment.
AMOS. He reproveth Israel
for oppression. so shall the children of Israel be taken H EAR this word, ye kine of Bar
ner of a bed, and || in Damascus in a of Samaria, which oppress the poor, bed's feet. couch.
which crush the needy, which say to 13 Hear ye, and testify in the house their masters, Bring, and let us drink. of Jacob, saith the Lord God, the 2 The Lord God hath sworn by God of hosts,
his holiness, that, lo, the days shall
upon him I will also visit the altars with fishhooks.
out at the shall be cut off, and fall to the ground. breaches, every cow at that which is
15 And I will smite the winter before her; and || ye shall cast them | Or, ye shall house with the summer house; and into the palace, saith the Lord.
things of the
sion; and bring your sacrifices every
years of days. CHAP. IV.
5 And † offer a sacrifice of thanks- + Heb.ofer 1 He reproveth Israel for oppression, 4 for giving with leaven, and proclaim and by burning.
idolatry, 6 and for their incorrigibleness. publish the free offerings: for + this to tech. so ge that dwell in the corner of a bed,] It means, as the emperour Nero's palace, mentioned by Suetonius, that not many of those, who dwell and live delicately in was named “golden,” because it was "overlaid with Samaria, shall be able to deliver themselves from de- gold.” Parkhurst. struction. The delicacy and luxuriousness of their lives is described by their beds and couches, on which they Chap. IV. ver. 1. Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, daily lie and repose themselves. Danæus, Dr. Wells, &c.] Hear this, O ye great and rich men of Samaria, Abp. Newcome.
that feed full and carelessly, like the kine in the fat pasThose now most at their ease shall be delivered to tures of Bashan : ye, who oppress the poor, and crush their enemies, like sheep to the lion : and scarce any of the needy ; and say to your princes and judges, Set them be rescued from his jaws.
deep fines, and condemn freely, that we may feast upon We learn from Bp. Pocock, Maundrell, Hanway, and the offences of the people. Bp. Hall. other travellers, that in the East the place of honour, the The luxury and insolence of oppressors is often commost easy, voluptuous, indulging station, is the corner; pared to the wantonness of full-fed cattle : see Ps. xxii. and that it is the position in which great men usually 12; lxviii. 30. Bashan was remarkable for the richness place themselves. The word rendered“ bed,” may be of its pastures, and its breed of cattle : Numb. xxxii. 4; understood of a divan or sofa. Harmer, Parkhurst, Deut. xxxii. 14 ; Ezek. xxxix. 18. W. Lowth. Fragments to Calmet. See the note on Deut. iii. 11, 2. — he will take you away with hooks,] Invaders and from Fragments to Calmet.
spoilers are elsewhere compared to fishers : see Jer. xvi. - and in Damascus in a couch.] That is, who are 16; Hab. i. 15. W. Lowth. now in high honour in their own,
or indulging in foreign 3. And ye shall go out &c.] The Prophet tells the luxuries in other countries. Damascus was a most people, that they shall with all possible haste make their delightful place; and, as Amos delivered this prophecy escape at the several breaches which shall be made in
in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of the walls of Samaria. Compare 2 Kings xxv. 4 ; Ezek.
shall cast them into the palace,] The senthe richer Israelites might choose to dwell there. Park-tence may be thus translated,
Ye shall cast out yourhurst.
selves," that is, ye shall with haste betake yourselves 14. – I will also visit the altars of Beth-el : &c.] I "to Harmon;" so the Latin Vulgate. W. Lowth. will reckon with Israel for his idolatries in Dan and 4. Come to Beth-el, and transgress ; &c.] Go ye up Beth-el, and for those altars which he hath erected now, ( ye foolish Israelites, to your Beth-el, if you there, and will cause those miserected altars to be beaten please, and sin your fill : go up to Gilgal, and glut yourdown to the ground. Bp. Hall. See 1 Kings xii. 29, selves with the full scope of your iniquities; bring those 32. The destruction of the altar at Beth-el is also fore- your morning sacrifices, which are due unto God, bring told, chap. v. 5, and is perhaps referred to in Jer. and offer them to your idols ; and that, which the law xlviii. 13. Abp. Newcome.
of God requires of you, for the maintenance of His Le15. And I will smite the winter house with the summer vites, (that is to say,) lay aside the tithes every third house ;] See the note on Jer. xxxvi. 22.
year for sacred use, do ye that to the priests of your the houses of ivory] The Romans anciently orna- idols: so also var. 5. Bp. Hall. mented their houses with ivory : and the Eastern people A permission, spoken by way of sareasm and irony, might possibly do the same. Sir J. Chardin says, “ the sharply upbraiding them as incorrigible, and not to be ceilings of the Eastern houses are of Mosaick work, and reformed by all the reproofs and admonitions that had for the most part of ivory :” and Dr Russell notices, been given them: like that of Ezekiel, chap. xx. 39, that ivory“ is likewise employed at Aleppo in the deco- “Go ye, serve every one his idols.” W. Lowth. ration of the more expensive apartments." Harmer. 5. – proclaim and publish the free offerings :) Or Such houses were probably called“ ivory houses," just | " free-will offerings,” Lev. xxii. 18, 21. These offerings
1. Or, in the
The judgments upon Israel
for idolatry and incorrigibleness. liketh you, O ye children of Israel,
10 I have sent among you saith the Lord God.
tilence || after the manner of Egypt: 6 | And I also have given you your young men have I slain with cleanness of teeth in all your cities, the sword, † and have taken away way and want of bread in all your places : your horses ; and I have made the the captivity
your nostrils: yet have ye not re-
11 I have overthrown some of
12 Therefore thus will I do unto
9 I have smitten you with blasting mountains, and createth the || wind, 1 Or, spirit. | Or, the
and mildew: || when your gardens and and declareth unto man what is his multitude of your gardens, your vineyards and your fig trees and thought, that maketh the morning palmerworm, your olive trees increased, the palmer- darkness, and treadeth upon the high
worm devoured them : yet have ye not places of the earth, The Lord, The
returned unto me, saith the Lord. God of hosts, is his name. were partaken of by the sacrificers; whence they gave clareth the thoughts of man's heart, as well as what notice of their intention to their friends, and invited Himself intends to do with him; it is He that can cloud them to the feast : see Deut. xii. 6, &c. W. Lowth. the brightest day at pleasure, and can bring down the
6. And I also have given you &c.] After declaring highest and strongest fortifications upon earth : He is the presumptuous idolatry of the Israelites, the Prophet the Lord of hosts; all things are at His command. Bp. describes their obstinate continuance in it, which was Hall, Dr. Stokes. such, that they could not be withdrawn from it by any In this chapter God upbraids His people several times afflictions or punishments, and be turned to worship with this, as the great aggravation of their sins, that and serve the true God. In this and the following they continued impenitent under all those terrible judgverses are enumerated the several afflictions, with which ments, which He had sent upon them. “I have sent they were visited : such as famine, ver. 6; drought, among you,” says He, "want of bread," and then ver. 7, 8; destruction of the fruits of the earth, ver 9; "pestilence,” and then “the sword,” and last of all a pestilence, war, and defeat, ver. 10; and the overthrow terrible “ fire,” which had almost consumed them. “I of some of their cities, ver. 11. At the end of each of have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom these punishments, it is to be observed, that the Pro- and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out phet adds in the name of the Lord, “yet have ye not of the burning; yet have ye not returned unto Me,' returned unto Me.” This addition shews, that the ver. 11. And because all these judgments had not been mind of the Israelites was not only careless and un- effectual to reclaim them, He tells them, that He was moved amid these great miseries and calamities, but resolved to go on in punishing; and therefore He bids that it was also desperate and gone past recovery in them to expect it, and prepare themselves for it : their idolatry, which they could not by any means be “Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and bewrought on to cast off, and so return by true repent- cause I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, ance to the knowledge and worship of God. Danæus. O Israel,” ver. 12. When God hath begun to punish It is the desire of God to reclaim men by afflictions, a people, and they are not amended by it, the honour which for this purpose He sent among the Israelites. of His justice is concerned to proceed, and not to give Bp. Hall.
over. By every sin that we commit, we offend God; 12. Therefore thus will I do unto thee,] Since thou but if He smite us, and we stand out against Him, then hast slighted all these judgments, I am resolved to exe- do we contend with Him, and strive for mastery. And cute upon thee the severest of all My vengeances; and when the sinner is upon these stubborn and insolent since thou hearest I have taken up this determination terms, then “prepare to meet thy God;" a bitter sarto proceed against thee, therefore prepare thyself, o casm, as if man could be a match for God, and a poor Israel, to meet thy God with unfeigned humiliation and weak creature in any wise able to encounter Him, to repentance. Bp. Hall
. Or the phrase, “Prepare thyself whom power belongs. There is a severe expression to meet thy God," may be understood as signifying, concerning God's dealing with such perverse and obstiPrepare to meet My wrath; that is, expect the most nate sinners, Ps. xviii. 26, “with the froward Thou wilt terrible punishment. See Abp. Tillotson's note at the shew thyself froward;” or, as the words may more proend of the chapter.
perly and conveniently be rendered, “with the froward 13. For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, &c.] For Thou wilt wrestle." God will not be outbraved by the well thou knowest, there is no hoping to resist the power sins of men; and therefore, if we continue impenitent, of the Almighty: it is He that formeth the mountains, we have all the reason in the world to expect, that God and infuseth the spirit into man, and knoweth and de- I should go on to punish. Abp. Tillotson. VOL. II.
+ Heb, spoil.
upon raise her up.
+ Heb. vineyards of desire.
A lamentation for Israel.
An exhortation to repentance. CHAP. V.
9 That strengtheneth the + spoiled BELIS T 1 A lamentation for Israel. 4 An exhort against the strong, so that the spoiled
ation to repentance. 21 God rejecteth their shall come against the fortress.
10 They hate him that rebuketh
ye this word which I take in the gate, and they abhor him that
11 Forasmuch therefore as your
shall not dwell in them; ye have
they afflict the just, they take || a 10r. a
13 Therefore the prudent shall
of hosts, shall be with
you, as ye
7 Ye who turn judgment to worm- of hosts will be gracious unto the
16 Therefore the LORD, the God
maketh the day dark with night: that alas ! and they shall call the husa Chap. 9. 6. C calleth for the waters of the sea, and bandman to mourning, and such as
poureth them out upon the face of the are skilful of lamentation to wail-
a Chap. 4.4.
e Ps, 34, 14. & 97. 10.
b Job 9. 9. & 38. 31.
Chap. V. ver. 1. - against you,] Rather, “over you.” stars therein; who turneth the blackest night into a The allusion is to the lamentations made at funerals: clear morning, and causeth the brightest day to end in see ver. 16; Jer. ix. 17; Ezek. xix. ! ; xxvii. 2. So a dark night; who causeth the waters of the sea to overthe Prophet bemoans the state of the kingdom of Israel, swell their banks, and to drown the face of the earth. as dead and irrecoverably lost. W. Lowth.
Bp. Hall. See Job ix. 9, and the note there from Chap3. — The city that went out by a thousand shall leave pelow. an hundred, &c.]. So few shall be left alive, after the 10. — that rebuketh in the gate,] That judgeth up hard and long sieges of the Assyrians, that in those rightly, and freely, and impartially rebuketh the wicked cities of Israel, out of which a thousand able men were man on the bench of justice. Bp. Hall. See the notes wont to go forth to war, there now shall be left but a on Gen. xxiii. 10; Job v. 4. hundred, &c. bp. Hall.
13.- the prudent shall keep silence in that time ; &c.] 4, 5. — Seek ye me, - But seek not Beth-el, &c.] The Seeing that his admonitions will do no good to men Israelites are here commanded to seek the Lord, and to wholly devoted to their own ways of unlawful gain, and abstain from idols, such as were then in Beth-el, Gilgal, will be injurious to such as rebuke them. Dr. Stokes. and Beer-sheba : and the admonition is enforced by 14. — as ye have spoken.] Ye are wont to boast of two powerful considerations, that if they “ seek the your interest in the Lord, and of the promises made Lord, they shall live;" that is, shall enjoy life, and sal- by Him to your fathers. Obedience is the condition vation, and deliverance from their troubles; but that if required on your part to qualify you for His favour. they seek their idols, they shall be cut off together with W. Lowth. those objects of their idolatrous worship. Danæus. 16. — the husbandman &c.] Husbandmen shall hare
7. Ye who turn judgment to wormwood,] Ye, who their part in the common sorrow, forasmuch as their corrupt judgment, and make it grievous and hateful to corn shall be wasted and devoured ; and those, whose My people. Bp. Hall.
trade and practice it is to make a common lamentation, 8. that maketh the seven stars &c.] Who maketh shall now mourn in earnest, without a hire. Bp. Hall. the great frame of the heavens, and all the glorious See the note on Jer. ix. 17.
f Isai. 5. 19. Jer. 30. 7. Joel 2. 2.
God rejecteth their
CHAP V, VI.
hypocritical service. 17 And in all vineyards shall be 23 Take thou away from me the wailing: for I will pass through thee, noise of thy songs ; for I will not hear saith the Lord.
the melody of thy viols. 18 'Woe unto you that desire the 24 But let judgment + run down + Hebo roll.
day of the Lord! to what end is it as waters, and righteousness as Zeph. 1. 15. for you? the day of the Lord is dark- mighty stream. ness, and not light.
25 h Have ye offered unto me sa- h Acts 7. 42. 19 As if a man did flee from a crifices and offerings in the wilderlion, and a bear met him; or went ness forty years, O house of Israel ? into the house, and leaned his hand 26 But
have borne || the taber- || Or, Siccuth on the wall, and a serpent bit him. nacle of your Moloch and Chiun your
20 Shall not the day of the LORD images, the star of your god, which
27 Therefore will I cause you to
days, and I will not || smell in your saith the Lord, whose name is The
God of hosts.
fat with desolation, 12 and their incorrigiblebeasts.
& Isai. 1. 11.
17. And in all vineyards shall be wailing :] Where oblations to your god Moloch, and the other images of there used to be shouting and rejoicing, when the sum- those planetary gods whom ye worshipped. Bp. Hall. mer fruits were gathered in. See Isai. xvi. 10; Jer. xxv. In the former verse, the emphasis lies in the word 30; xlviii. 33. W. Lowth.
“ Me.” Did ye offer such sacrifices as were acceptable 18. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord ! &c.] / to Me: such entire and undivided service as I enjoined? Woe to those among you, that mock at the tidings of In the latter verse God is introduced as replying ; No, this sad day of the Lord, and scornfully ask, why it doth ye sometimes carried about Moloch in his shrine or not come, and when it will come! they shall find that it I tabernacle. Abp. Newcome.“ The tabernacle of Mowill come, little to their comfort; they shall find it is loch” was a shrine, with the image of the Deity placed not a day for mirth or pleasure, but for heaviness within it: such were the silver shrines of Diana, Acts and sorrow. Bp. Hall. Compare the passages in the xix. 24; and the Thensæ or Lecticæ among the Romans. margin.
These their votaries carried in procession; as a solemn 19. As if a man did flee from a lion, &c.] It shall be piece of worship, or pledge of the presence of their gods with you as with a man, who, flying from a lion, meets among them. See Isai. xlvi. 7. Moloch is an idol in his way with a bear; and, to escape both, flies into a often mentioned in Scripture. Chiun is generally suphouse, and, laying his hand upon the wall, to get over, posed by learned men to be the same with Saturn. The is bitten by a serpent; so shall you, shunning one dan- same idol was called Remphan, or Rephan, by the ger, fall into another. Bp. Hall.
Egyptians W. Lowth. 20. Shall not the day &c.] A strong affirmation is 26. — the star of your god] The heathens had images conveyed in this question. Darkness is naturally put that represented the heavenly bodies; see 2 Kings xxiii. for calamity, and light for gladness. Abp. Newcome. 11; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 4: so the image of Chiun repre
21—24. These four verses convey the same sense as sented the star of Saturn, as that of Moloch did the sun. Isai. i. 11-16; Jer. vi. 20; vii. 21–23; Hos. vi. 6; W. Lowth. Or, probably here is an allusion to the figure vii. 13: all which places import, how little valuable are of a star, fixed on the head of an image of a false god. the external rites of religion, unless they are accom- Abp. Newcome. panied with universal obedience. W. Lowth.
The sorts of idolatry here recited are not to be re23. — thy songs ;-thy viols.] The usual accompani- strained to the time, during which the Israelites lived ments of sacrifices among both Jews and heathens. in the wilderness, but are to be extended over the whole Abp. Neucome. The psalms and hymns were sung in space which passed from their coming out of Egypt to the temple with instrumental musick. W. Lowth. the time of Amos. Danaus.
24. But let judgment run down as waters, &c.] Instead 27. Therefore will I cause you to go &c.] That is, Beof relying upon mere outward offerings in honour of cause of the little sincerity and devotion, with which Me, take care that justice be impartially administered, your forefathers formerly performed their sacrifices to so that every one may partake of it as of the waters of Me, and with which you perform them at present. The a river; and take care also, that all live holy and Prophets often upbraid the Jews with the sins of their righteous lives, so that their good example may, like a forefathers, and threaten them with remarkable judgmighty stream, bear down all wickedness before it. Dr. ments on that account, when their posterity continue in Wells.
the same or worse impieties. See Hos. ix. 9, 10; x. 9. 25, 26. Have ye offered &c.] Have ye not forty entire Compare Matt. xxiii. 35. W. Lowth, years together, in the wilderness, bewrayed your averse- beyond Damascus,] To which city it seems proness from Me, and your inclination to idolatry? Was it bable that Hazael carried many captives, 2 Kings x. to Me, that in this while ye offered your sacrifices, O ye 32, 33. But now the Israelites were to be led away caphouse of Israel ? No: howsoever ye pretended to bear tives into Assyria and Media, 2 Kings xv. 29; xvii. 6. My tabernacle, yet indeed ye did your services and Abp. Newcome.