« PreviousContinue »
a Luke 6. 24. || Or, are secure.
1 Or, in bowls
Taken about 794.
The wantonness of Israel
shall be plagued with desolation. O E to them that || ease
6 That drink || wine in bowls, and in Zion, and trust in the anoint themselves with the chief ointmountain of Samaria, which are named ments; but they are not grieved for
\ || chief of the nations, to whom the the + affliction of Joseph. b Exod. 19. 5. house of Israel came !
7'. Therefore now shall they go breach. firstfruits.
2 Pass ye unto Calneh, and see ; captive with the first that go captive, and from thence go ye to Hamath the and the banquet of them that stretch
down to Gath of the ed themselves shall be removed. Philistines : be they better than these 8 e The Lord God hath sworn by e Jer. 51. 14. kingdoms? or their border greater himself, saith the Lord the God of than border ?
hosts, I abhor the excellency of Ja3 Ye that o put far away the d evil cob, and hate his palaces: therefore 1 Chap. 5. 18. day, and cause the || seat of violence will I deliver up the city with tall Heb. the to come near;
that is therein.
couches, and eat the lambs out of the that they shall die.
and he that burneth him, to | Or, quaver. 5 That || chant to the sound of the bring out the bones out of the house,
viol, and invent to themselves instru- and shall say unto him that is by the
sides of the house, Is there yet any
c Ezek. 12. 27.
n Or, habitation.
Chap. VI. ver. 1. — which are named chief of the they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.] nations, &c.] Sion or Jerusalem, and Samaria, are the They do not humble themselves under God's afflicting chief seats of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel, hand, nor lay to heart the miseries the Divine judgwhither is the greatest resort of the whole nation. The ments have brought upon the kingdom of “ Israel,” word rendered “nations usually signifies the hea- called by the name “ Joseph,” and “ the house of Jothens, but sometimes denotes the Jews. W. Lowth. seph,” chap. v. 6, 15. W. Lowth. Others refer this passage to the nobles, wise, and great Wine, and musick, and gorgeous apparel, and delicate men, of every place: men that were heads among their fare, are things which God in His goodness hath created, own people. Poole.
and given to the children of men for their comfort; and 2. Calneh, — Hamath-Gath] Calneh was a city in they may use them lawfully, and take comfort in them the region of Babylon, Gen. x. 10; and, as it seems, as their portion : but he that shall use any of them inlately subdued by the Assyrians. Hamath was a Syrian temperately, or unseasonably, or vainly, or wastefully, city on the Orontes. It was conquered by Jeroboam, abuseth both them and himself. And therefore we shall 2 Kings xiv. 25; and by the Assyrians, 2 Kings xix. often find both the things themselves condemned, and 13.
* Gath of the Philistines” was taken by Uzziah, those that used them blamed, in the Scriptures. Bein whose reign Amos prophesied, 2 Chron. xxvi. 6. Abp. sides the text, see Isai. iii. 18—23; Luke xvi. 19; vi. Newcome.
25. And yet none of all the things, here condemned, be they better than these kingdoms ? &c.] Why were or are in themselves unlawful : it was the excess then do ye worship their gods ? and why are ye not only, or other disorder in the use of them, that made grateful to Jehovah? Abp. Newcome.
them obnoxious to reproof. In many things of this sort 3. Ye that put far away the evil day, &c.] Who per- we may easily err, in point either of judgment, or of pracsuade yourselves that God's judgments will not overtake tice, or of both, if we do not wisely distinguish the use you, and turn the seat of justice into the seat of oppres- from the abuse. Often, because the abuses are common sion. W. Lowth.
and great, we peevishly condemn in others the very use 4--6. These three verses are an elegant description of some lawful things. Often again, because there is of the ill uses, which men too often make of a plentiful evidently a lawful use of the things, we impudently jusfortune. It shuts out all serious considerations, makes tify ourselves in the very abuse of them. In the former them void of compassion towards the afflicted, and dis- case we infringe our brethren’s liberty; in the latter we poses them to regard nothing but the gratification of pollute our own. The best and safest way for us in all their senses. W. Lowth.
indifferent things is this : to be indulgent to others, but 4.- beds of ivory,] That is, sofas adorned or inlaid strict to ourselves : in allowing them their liberty with with ivory. In Homer we read of “a couch wreathed the most, but taking our own liberty ever with the least. with ivory and silver ;” and “a bed variegated with Bp. Sanderson. gold, silver, and ivory.” Parkhurst.
3. - I abhor the excellency of Jacob,] Whatever the lambs] In many parts of the East lambs are kingdoms of Israel and Judah value themselves for, spoken of as a sort of food excessively delicious. Sir J. is hateful to Me, as having been abused by them, and Chardin.
made instrumental in dishonouring Me. W. Lowth. 5. – like David ;] Abusing his holy example, in 9. — if there remain ten men in one house, that they applying to purposes of wantonness and riot what he shall die.] Those that escape the hands of the enemy, consecrated and dedicated to God. It is the abuse of shall die by pestilence or famine during the siege. W. musick which is here condemned. Danæus.
Lowth, Abp. Newcome. 6. That drink wine in bowls,] The Prophet alludes, 10. And a man's uncle shall take him up, &c.] A man either to the quantity drunk, or more probably to the shall not have a brother or a son left, to do him the last magnificence of the drinking vessel. Harmer.
offices of his burial; but if his uncle or his kinsman
with thee? and he shall say, No: Tunto me; and, behold
, he formed ,
| Or, green
f Chap. 5. 13. || Or, they toill not, or, have not.
CHAP. VI, VII. The judgments of the grashoppers, &c.
shooting up of the latter growth; and, worms. 11 For, behold, the LORD com- lo, it was the latter growth after the
mandeth, and he will smite the great king's mowings. l| Or,
house with || breaches, and the little droppings.
2 And it came to pass, that when house with clefts.
they had made an end of eating the 12 I Shall horses run upon the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord rock? will one plow there with oxen? | God, forgive, I beseech thee: || by ! Or, who of for ye have turned judgment into gall
, whom shall Jacob arise ? for he is Jacon shall
3 The LORD repented for this: It
14 But, behold, I will raise up Lord God called to contend by fire,
and they shall afflict you from the 5 Then said I, O Lord God, cease, Or, valley. entering in of Hamath unto the || river I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob of the wilderness.
arise ? for he is small. CHAP. VII.
6 The LORD repented for this: This 1 The judgments of the grashoppers, 4 and also shall not be, saith the Lord God. of the fire, are diverted by the prayer of
7 | Thus he shewed me: and, Amos. 7 By the wall of a plumbline is behold, the Lord stood upon a wall signified the rejection of Israel. 10 Amaziah made by a plumbline, with a plumbcomplaineth of Amos.
14 Amos sheweth line in his hand. his calling, 16 and Amaziah's judgment. shall undertake to bring out his corpse, he that is the indignation, are, First, the injustice and violence comoverseer of these funeral rites, joining with him in that mitted by the rich and great : Secondly, A sensual work, shall say to that one which is left alive in the and voluptuous life, high living, the love of pleasure house, Is there any one remaining of the whole number and diversions, and pride: Thirdly, Insensibility under of the family? and he shall say, No. Then shall the God's corrections and the examples of His wrath. These other answer again, Rest thou humbly and silently in were the sins for which the Jews perished, and which the just pleasure of the Almighty: this is His work : bring down His vengeance upon such as are guilty of as for us, our sins have been so grievous, that in con- them. We ought therefore most carefully to avoid science thereof, it is not for us to call on the name of them. To this end let us consider, that these sins not the Lord for a release or mitigation of His judgment. only expose men to temporal punishments, but make Bp. Hall.
them subject still more unavoidably to the punishments 11.- the great house &c.]. Universal ruin shall be of the world to come; and that injustice, a love of pleaspread through the city by the enemy. Or the earth- sures, impenitence, and incorrigibleness, are still more quake may be alluded to. Abp. Newcome.
displeasing to God in Christians, than they were in the 12. Shall horses run upon the rock ? &c.] Is it possi- Jews; because the Gospel does so expressly command, ble, that horses should run upon the steep and craggy and by the most powerful motives engage us, to recliffs ? or can it be, that the husbandman should drive nounce the desires of the Aesh, and to live in charity, his plough through those hard rocks? so impossible is temperance, and humility. Ostervald. it, that ye Israelites should continue to prosper while ye remain 'thus sinful; for ye have corrupted judgment Chap. VII. ver. 1. - after the king's mowings.] Or, and justice, and made it hateful and deadly to the feedings :” agreeably to the remark of Mr. Stuart, innocent. Bp. Hall. See Bp. Lowth's note on Isai. that in general they mow not their grass, to make hay, v. 28.
as we do; but cut it off the ground, either green or 13. Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought,] In your withered, as they have occasion to use it. Harmer, own strength, which is vain and nothing worth. 'Bp. Fragments to Calmet. Hall. Or in your idols, which are nothing, 1 Cor. viii. 3. The Lord repented for this : &c.] To affect the 4. Abp. Newcome.
mind of the Prophet, and by him that of the people, horns] That is, dominion. See the notes on God displays different judgments, and shews His cle1 Sam. ii. 1.
mency by forbearing to execute them upon the inter14.— I will raise up against you a nation,] That is, cession of Amos: it being His sole intention to reprethe Assyrians who should afflict them from one end of sent these modes of punishment, and not to inflict them. the land to the other. “The entering in of Hamath” | Abp. Newcome. was the northern border of their country; and “the 4. — behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, river of the wilderness” is the same with the river of &c.] The second vision represents a more furious Egypt,” the boundary of Judea on the south, Gen. xv. enemy, that consumed all before him, like a flaming 18. W. Lowth.
fire, an element that hath no mercy. Dr. Stokes. The sins here described, as especially provoking God's 7,8.- the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline,]
The rejection of Israel foreshewn.
Amaziah complaineth of Amos. 8 And the Lord said unto me, thou seer, go, flee thee away into Amos, what seest thou? And I said, the land of Judah, and there eat bread, A plumbline. Then said the LORD, and prophesy there: Behold, I will set a plumbline in the 13 But prophesy not again any midst of my people Israel: I will not more at Beth-el: for it is the king's again pass by them any more: || chapel, and it is the † king's court. Or,
9 And the high places of Isaac 14' Then answered Amos, and t Heb. house shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, me kingof Israel shall be laid waste; and I neither was I a prophet's son; but I will rise against the house of Jero- was an herdman, and a gatherer of boam with the sword.
Il sycomore fruit : 10 9 Then Amaziah the priest of 15 And the Lord took me | as I + Heb. from Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Is- followed the flock, and the Lord said rael, saying, Amos hath conspired unto me, Go, prophesy unto my peoagainst thee in the midst of the house ple Israel. of Israel: the land is not able to bear 16 | Now therefore hear thou the all his words.
word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Pro11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam phesy not against Israel, a and drop a Ezek. 21. 2. shall die by the sword, and Israel shall not thy word against the house of surely be led away captive out of their Isaac. own land.
17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; 12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, Thy wife shall be an harlot in the
1 Or, wild figs.
God's judgments are sometimes represented by a “line" had consecrated to perform the idolatrous service at and a “plummet,” to denote that they are measured out Beth-el. See 1 Kings xii. 31. W. Lowth. by the exactest rules of justice; see 2 Kings xxi. 13; Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of Isai. xxviii. 17. The instruments which are designed the house of Israel :] That is, in Beth-el, where is the for building are sometimes used to mark out those greatest confluence of thy subjects. Bp. Hall. places, which are to be pulled down and destroyed : 11. -- Jeroboam shall die by the sword,] This was a see 2 Sam. viii. 2 ; Isai. xxxiv. 11; Lam. ii. 8. "The plain perverting of the Prophet's words; for he did not vision imports, that as God formerly built up his peo- prophesy against the king himself, but against his faple, He would now pluck them down and destroy them. mily and posterity. W. Lowth. See Jer. i. 10; xxxi. 28. W. Lowth.
12, 13. Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer,
&c.] 8.- Amos, what seest thou ?] This is said to excite Retire home to thy own country of Judah, and there the Prophet's attention. Abp. Newcome.
maintain thyself, and there bestow thy pains and admoI will not again pass by them any more:] I will nitions: but venture not any more to vent thy pronot any more pardon and pass by their wickedness. phecies in Beth-el; for thou knowest the condition of Bp. Hall. In this third vision the Prophet is informed, this place; it is both the king's sanctuary for his dethat now God Himself examines and tries the doings of votion, and the king's court for state ; meddle not any the Israelites according to the exact or perfect rule of more with prophesying here, lest thou provoke the Ilis justice, as prescribed to them in His law; and that king's anger against thee. Bp. Hall. He will give sentence upon them according to this 14. — I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ;] rule, and not according to the mildness and gentleness I was not a Prophet by profession, nor bred up in the of His mercy, which He had before exercised towards schools of the Prophets, as usually were those who them, but which they had abused by becoming worse took the prophetical office upon them. See 2 Kings i. instead of better. Now therefore He will no more par- 5, &c.; iv. 38 ; vi. 1. W. Lowth. Amos says, that he don and pass over them, but will call all things to a had no pretensions to the office or title of a Prophet by just account, as carpenters and builders are accustomed birth, succession, or education; but since it had pleased to try and examine all things by line and by level. God to lay upon him, by a special commission, the neDanæus.
cessity of prophesying, he must obey the Divine call 9. And the high places &c.] “ The high places of rather than the command of the king. Dr. Stokes. Isaac" were the altar and grove at Beer-sheba, where - sycomore fruit :) A sort of wild fig, called by Isaac dwelt and built an altar, Gen. xxvi. 25; xlvi. 1 : some the Egyptian fig. W. Lowth. See the note on this place was afterwards abused to idolatry, chap. v. 5. 1 Kings X. 27. “ The sanctuaries of Israel” were the places set apart 15. And the Lord took me as I followed the flock,] for idolatrous worship, such as Beth-el, Gilgal, and Thus he was taken to the office of a Prophet, as David Beer-sheba, chap. ii. 14; v. 5. The word “sanctuary” had been to that of a king : see Ps. lxxviii
. 70, 71. is used for an idolatrous temple, Isai. xvi. 12. W. Danæus. And as Moses also had been before him. Lowth.
See the note on Exod. iii. l. - I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the 16. — drop not thy word &c.] Do not let fall the sword.] This was fulfilled when Shallum conspired menaces of judgment upon the chosen people of God. against Zachariah the son of Jeroboam, and slew him, Bp. Hall. 2 Kings xv. 10: he was the last that reigned of that 17. — Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city,] When family. W. Lowth.
Beth-el shall be taken by the Assyrians, (see Hos. x. 5, 10. Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el] This Amaziah 6,) the soldiers shall abuse thy wife, and treat her as a was a priest, not of the tribe of Levi, but such an one common prostitute; as a just punishment of her idolas those were, whom Jeroboam, the first of that name, I atry, which is spiritual whoredom : “ thy sons and thy
perverting the balances
for of deceit.
The type of a basket of summer fruit. CHAP. VII, VIII.
Oppression is reproved. culelorst city, and thy sons and thy daughters 4. f Hear this, O ye that swallow
shall fall by the sword, and thy land up the needy, even to make the poor
and the sabbath, that we may † set + Heb. open. CHAP. VIII.
forth wheat, making the ephah small,
and the shekel great, and † falsifying + Heb, 1 By a basket of summer fruit is shewed the
propinquity of Israel's end. 4 Oppression the balances by deceit?
a silver, and the needy for a pair of a Chap. 2. 6. THU S hath the Lord God shewed shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the
unto me: and behold a basket of wheat ?
7 The Lord hath sworn by the
wholly as a food; and it shall be cast 3 And the songs of the temple out and drowned, as by the flood of Heb. shall + shall be howlings in that day, saith Egypt.
the Lord God: there shall be many 9 And it shall come to pass in that
+ Heb. be silent.
daughters shall fall by the sword” of the Assyrians, as by deceit. Bp. Hall. That is, in plain terms, they had a recompense for thy infidelity concerning My prophecy, rather be defrauding neighbours, than serving God. that the house of Jeroboam shall fall by the sword, ver. Bp. Beveridge. 9; thy land shall be divided by” measuring it, as The “ephah” was the measure, wherewith they sold, usual, with a " line” or cord, among those to whom the containing about one of our bushels : this they made king of Assyria shall give it, as a suitable punishment smaller than the just standard. The “shekel” was the for thy contradiction of My prophecy concerning the money they received as the price for their goods : by conquest of this kingdom by the Assyrians : "and thoufalsifying the balances” when they weighed it, and so shalt die in a polluted land,” or in a land where idol. requiring it to be greater than it should be according to atry prevails, and where it will be impossible to con- the standard weight of a shekel, they diminished its yerse without committing legal impurity, because thou just value. So in both ways they overreached those hast been instrumental in keeping the people of Israel who dealt with them. See Mic. vi. 11. Dr. Wells, in idolatry, whereby this kingdom is polluted: and the W. Lowth. people of “ Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of 6. That we may buy the poor for silver, &c.] That we his land,” because they have hearkened unto thee rather may cause the poor to sell themselves to our servitude than unto God, speaking to them by His Prophets. for a little silver, as being not able to sustain themDr. Wells, W. Lowth.
selves; and that we may buy the needy for a pair of
shoes, even for the basest necessaries : yea, and that, by Chap. VIII, ver. 1, 2. - behold a basket of summer this means, we may put off at an unreasonable rate the fruit, &c.] The basket of ripe summer fruit which Amos very refuse and offal of the wheat. Bp. Hall. saw in this fourth vision, was to denote that Israel's 7. The Lord hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob,] sins were now ripe for judgment; as the time of judg- That is, by Jacob's most eminent and incommunicable ment is elsewhere expressed by an harvest or a vintage. One, or by Jacob's holy One: see chap. iv. 2. Jos. See Joel iii. 13. The two Hebrew words for “summer Mede. By Himself, who is truly the glory of Jacob or fruit” and “an end” have an affinity in sound, which Israel, see Ps. lxviii. 34 : whatever other excellency or gives occasion to a play on the words not unusual in advantage they may make the subject of their glory. Scripture. W. Lowth. See Jer. i. 11, and the note See chap. vi. 8. W. Lowth. there.
8. — it shall rise up wholly as a flood ;] This deluge 3. And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that of sin in the nation shall make her punishment overday,) Instead of the songs and musick of the temples flow, and overwhelm her in every part. Dr. Stokes. of Beth-el and other high places, there shall be nothing - it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood but howlings and shriekings of those that are slain. of Egypt.). Or rather, the river of Egypt. The inhaBp. Hall.
bitants of the land shall be cast out of their possessions, 5. Saying, When will the new moon be gone,] When or the land itself shall swallowed up by the invading shall we have done with these solemn feasts, wherein Assyrians, as Egypt is by the inundation of the river we are not allowed to buy and sell? would God these Nile. W. Lowth. new moons and sabbaths were once past, that we might 9.- I will cause the sun to go down at noon,] Your sell our corn at a high rate ; making the measure of the sorrow shall be so extreme in that day, and that day wheat small
, and the weights, wherewith the silver is shall be to you so black and gloomy, as if the sun were weighed, great and heavy; and falsifying the balances gone down at noonday, and as if darkness had covered
A famine of the word threatened.
The certainty of
liveth; and, The manner of Beer-
CHA P. IX.
restoring of the tabernacle of David.
11 9 Behold, the days come, saith I SAW the LORD standing upon
12 And they shall wander from of them with the sword: he that fleeth
2 . Though they dig into hell, a Ps. 139. 8,
14 They that swear by the sin of thence will I bring them down :
the earth in the clearest day. Bp. Hall. Calamitous probably taken, Hos. x. 13; and the phrase is often times are expressed by the failing of the light of the used so in the Acts; particularly chap. xix. 23; xxiv. sun, and the day's being overspread with darkness. See 14. Here it is taken figuratively for the god or object Isai. xiii. 10; lix. 9, 10; Jer. xv. 9; Job v. 14; xxii. of their worship. Beer-sheba was a place noted for 11. W. Lowth.
idolatry, as hath been observed upon chap. v. 5. W. 11. – I will send a famine in the land, &c.] Not a Lowth. famine of material bread, &c. but a spiritual famine of The punishment, which is here threatened upon the the word of God, which alone is able to feed and save people for their sins, is, that God would “send a famine your souls. Bp. Hall. It was usual among the Jews in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, to resort to the Prophets for counsel under any diffi- but of hearing the word of the Lord.” Let us learn culty. See chap. ii. 11; Ezek. xiv. 7; xx. 1. 'Amos hence, that the most terrible chastisement God can intells them, that in a little time there will be no Prophets flict upon a people is to deprive them of His word, and for them to consult; and this shall be a just punish- no longer to send His faithful servants among them: ment for their despising the former Prophets, and their and therefore, that those, who enjoy these precious adinstructions. This was fulfilled upon the whole nation vantages, ought to esteem them above all things, and at the time of the Babylonish captivity : see Lam. ii. 9; make a good use of them, lest they be deprived of them Ps. lxxiv. 9; Ezek. vii
. 26. And after their return by the just judgment of God. Ostervald. from captivity they had no succession of Prophets, from the time of Malachi till the coming of Christ. See Chap. IX. The Prophet sees a fifth vision, repre1 Mac. iv. 46; ix. 27. W. Lowth.
senting a final destruction of the kingdom of Israel; 12. – from sea to sea, &c.] That is, from the east but he concludes his prophecy with promises of restorsea, namely, either the sea of Galilee, or the salt sea, to ing the kingdom of David, and the Jewish nations the west, or Mediterranean sea; and “from the north under the Messias, when the Church shall be enlarged even to the east" again ; that is, all through the king- by the Gentiles coming into it. W. Louth. dom. Dr. Wells.
Ver. 1. - Smile the lintel of the door, &c.] This sig. 13. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men nifies that a severe blow was by the Divine command faint for thirst.] They who are in the bloom of their to be inflicted on those who were thought to be most youth, and in the strength of their age, shall faint and eminent, and most able to support and give aid to the be dispirited, like those that want necessary refresh- temple and the whole nation to whom it belonged. Dr. ment. Compare Jer. xlviii. 18. W. Lowth.
Stokes. 14. They that swear by the sin of Samaria, &c.] and cut them in the head, all of them ;] That is, Those idolatrous Israelites, that swear by the molten I will destroy all the chief of the kingdom of Israel. images of Samaria, and say, As the god which is wor- Dr. Wells. The "head" corresponds to the “lintel" shipped in Dan, and the author of the religion of in the foregoing clause. Abp. Newcome. As if he had Beer-sheba liveth ; even they shall fall into utter per- said, Let them that are in the highest place, the guides dition, and never rise again. Bp. Hall.
and governours of the people, have the first and greatest "The sin of Samaria” was the calf, set up at Beth-el | blow, that in them others may see their doom. And by Jeroboam, who committed a great sin in so doing, after that: “ I will slay the last of them” also, the lowest and made Israel to sin, 1 Kings xii. 30; xiv. 16: com- of the people, “ with the sword” of a cruel enemy. Dr. pare Mic. i. 5.
“ The manner,” or way, “of Beer- Stokes. sheba” is rendered the god of Beer-sheba" in the 2. Though they dig into hell, &c.] Though they hide Greek version, which expresses the sense rather than themselves in the deepest holes or caverns of the earth, the words. The “way” or manner,” signifies the (see Isai. ii. 19 ;) or take refuge in the highest fortresses, same with “ the way of worship;" in this sense it is they shall not escape My vengeance. W. Lowth.