Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX

Amos was cotemporary with Hosea, Joel and Isaiah, and prophesied a little sooner than Isaiah. His name signifies a burden; in allusion to which we may say, that his word was the burden of the LORD. His style is frequently concise and sententious, which makes it somewhat obscure. He brings many reproofs, allusions and arguments from his country - employment. But they are fitted with admirable skill, and beautified with an inimitable eloquence. He begins with threatenings against the neighbouring nations, chap. 1, 2. Then calls Israel to account, for their idolatry, ingratitude and incorrigibleness, chap. 3, 4. He calls them to repentance, chap. 5. Foretells the tribulations that were coming upon them, chap. 6. Some particular judgments, chap. 7. And after other reproofs and threatenings, chap. 8, 9. concludes with a promise of the Messiah, chap. 10.

Chapter I

The general title and scope of this prophecy, ver. 1, 2. God's controversy with Syria, ver. 3 - 5. Palestine, ver. 6 - 8. Tyre, ver. 9, 10. Edom, ver. 11, 12. And Ammon, ver. 13 - 15.

1 He saw - Received by revelation. Israel - The kingdom of the ten tribes. Jeroboam - The great grand - son of Jehu. The earth - quake - Of which, only this text, and Zech 14:5, make any particular mention.
2 Will roar - Alluding to the roaring of an hungry lion for prey. Jerusalem - The city God had chosen where he dwelt, the seat of God's instituted worship, and the royal seat of the kingdom as God had settled it, from which in both respects the ten tribes had revolted. The habitations - Where the shepherds found pasturage they pitch their tents, and dwelt therein that they might attend their flocks. And this was the delight and wealth of these men; alluding to which Amos expresses the wealth and delight of the kingdom of Israel. Shall wither - Either blasted, or dried up with drought, and turned into barrenness. So the whole kingdom of the ten tribes, though as fruitful as Carmel should be made horrid and desolate as a wilderness.
3 For three - This certain number is put for an uncertain: three, that is, many. Of Damascus - Here Damascus is put for the whole kingdom of Syria. Threshed - Treated it with the utmost cruelty. Gilead - There was a country of this name, and a city, possessed by the Reubenites, Gadites, and Manassites; Gilead here is put for the inhabitants of this country and city, whom Hazael, king of Syria most barbarously murdered.
4 Ben - hadad - Ben - hadad was to the Syrian kings a common name, as Pharaoh to the Egyptian kings, and Caesar to the Roman emperors.
5 The bar - Literally the bar with which the city gates were shut, and fastened. Of Eden - Some royal seat, of the kings of Syria. Kir - Kir of Media, Isa 22:6, thither did Tiglath - Pilneser carry the conquered Syrians, 2Kings 16:9, and placed them captives in that barren mountainous country, about fifteen years after it was foretold by Amos.
6 Carried away - All the Jews whom they had taken captive. Edom - Their most inveterate enemies. These Edomites were ever ready to enslave, and tyrannize over the Jews, if by any means they could get them into their hands.
7 A fire - Desolating judgments. Gaza - All the power and strength of Palestine is here included.
8 Ashkelon - Another city of the Philistines, and a very strong one, which shall perish with the king and the inhabitants thereof.
9 The brotherly covenant - Which was between Hiram on the one part, and David and Solomon on the other.
11 Pursue - Watched for, and laid hold on every occasion to oppress Israel. Did tear - As a ravenous and fierce lion tears the prey.
12 Teman - The metropolis of Idumea, so called from Esau's grandson of that name. Bozrah - This was a very strong city, and one of the chief in the whole kingdom, so that in the menace against Bozrah and Teman, the strength and glory of Edom is threatened with an utter overthrow.
13 Enlarge their border - By destroying all that dwelt in it, and hereafter might claim a title to it.
14 With a tempest - With irresistible force, and surprising swiftness.

Chapter II

God's controversy with Moab, ver. 1 - 3. With Judah, ver. 4, 5. And with Israel, ver. 6 - 8. The aggravations of their sins, ver. 9 - 12. God complains of them, and threatens their ruin, ver. 13 - 16.

1 The bones - Or ashes, reduced them by fire into fine dust, and used these ashes instead of lime to plaister the walls and roofs of his palace, and this in hatred and contempt of the king of Edom.
2 Kirioth - A principal city of this country. Moab - The Moabites. Shall die - Be destroyed. With tumult - Such as soldiers in fight or assaults make, when they carry all by force.
3 The judge - The governor that is, every one of them.
4 Lies - Idols. To err - Their idolatry blinded them, partly from the natural tendency of this sin, and partly from the just judgment of God. After which - Idols. Walked - Successively, one generation after another.
6 Shoes - The smallest bribe, exprest here proverbially.
7 The people - That make a prey even of the poor afflicted ones, who walk with dust on their heads. Turn aside - Maliciously interpret the actions, words, and designs of the humble and meek. Will go in - These corrupt judges commit also that lewdness which the Heathens abhor.
8 Lay down - The Jews of old did not sit upright at their meals, but leaned on one side. Upon clothes - Of which the law had expressly said, none should detain them all night, Deut 24:12,13. Every altar - Of their idols. Drink the wine - They offer their drink - offerings in wine, which they bought with the fines laid on the innocent.
9 The Ammorite - The mightiest nation of all the Canaanites. As the oaks - Another proverbial speech denoting their great strength. His fruit - Their children. His roots - The old standards; that present generation.
11 Nazarites - Persons who bound themselves to a very sober and holy life; either for some certain time, or for their whole life.
12 Ye gave - Importuned them to drink wine, to violate their vow, and contemn God's law.
13 Under you - Under the load of your sins.
14 The swift - For their enemies shall be swifter than they. The strong - Natural strength of body shall not deliver. The mighty - The valiant man, the man of the greatest courage.

Chapter III

Judgments denounced against Israel, ver. 1 - 8. Which cannot be prevented, unless they repent, ver. 9 - 15.

2 Know - Chosen, adopted to be my peculiar ones. Therefore - Because you have all these obligations and abused all these mercies.
3 Agreed - Can you have God's presence while you walk so contrary to him?
5 Can a bird fall - So here for your sins, God will cast the net over you. Shall one take up a snare - The fowler will not take up the snare, before the prey be taken in it.
6 Afraid - Affected with the danger. Evil - Such as plague or famine. Done it - Either immediately by his own hand, or by the hands of those he employs. Whoever are the instruments, God is the principal agent. Out of his mouth both good and evil proceed.
7 Will do nothing - Usually the Lord doth no great thing for or against his people, without giving warning of it before it comes.
8 Hath roared - As a lion roareth when near his prey: so God hath terribly threatened what is near to be done. Prophesy - Amos can not but speak what he had heard.
9 Publish - Ye prophets invite strangers to come and observe what cause I have to do what I threaten. Tumults - The seditious counsels, and rebellious conspiracies among them. The oppressed - Multitudes of oppressed ones, as the usurpers took it to be their interest to crush all they feared or suspected. In the midst - Yea, throughout the whole kingdom of Samaria.
10 Store up - As men lay up wealth in their treasures, perverting judgment, first condemning the innocent, next seizing all his substance.
11 Therefore - Because of all the violence and rapine with other crying sins. An adversary - The Assyrian. Round about - Shall beset the whole land as one besieged city.
12 As the shepherd - As the shepherd doth hardly rescue a small part of a sheep or lamb from the lion, so a small part of the children of Israel, shall escape when Samaria is taken. The corner of a bed - Lying in some dark corner. Damascus - The chief city of Syria taken by Tiglath - Pilneser about the time when he wasted Israel. In a couch - Some few of the poor, shall escape, pitied by the enemy, when he finds them sick upon their couch.
13 Hear ye - Prophets. The God of hosts - Who is Lord of all, and hath all power in his hand.
14 Of Israel - The many and great transgressions of the ten tribes.
15 The winter - house - Which probably was in the chief city, whither the great men retired in the winter. The summer - house - The houses of pleasure, where the nobles and rich men spent the summer time. Of ivory - Beautified with ivory.

Chapter IV

Oppressors threatened, ver. 1 - 3. Idolaters given up, ver. 4, 5. The incorrigibleness of Israel, ver. 6 - 11. They are still invited to repent, ver. 12, 13.

1 Kine of Bashan - So Amos compares the mighty, wanton, and oppressive rulers of Israel, to those full - fed, strong, and wanton beasts which in the herds did push at, hurt, and disturb the weaker cattle.
2 By his holiness - By himself as he is the holy God. The days - Of famine, desolation and captivity. He - God by the Assyrian army will take you, as fish are taken with the hook. Your posterity - The children of these oppressors.
3 Ye - Kine of Bashan. Go out - Ye shall endeavour to make your escape. The breaches - Which the besieging enemy make in your walls, when Samaria is besieged. Before her - Taking the readiest way. The things - All the riches and ornaments of your palaces.
4 Come to Beth - el - A strong irony, giving them over as incorrigible. At Gilgal - Gilgal was a place where much idolatry was acted. Every morning - In the same irony God reproves their sins tho' they imitated the instituted worship at Jerusalem. Three years - God had Deut 14:28, commanded every third year that all the tithe of that year should be brought, and laid up in a publick store - house.
5 With leaven - As all the rest of your will - worship, so this also is against the express law, Lev 2:11. However, do so at your peril, try whether it will end in good. Proclaim - Publickly persuaded your people to voluntary sacrifices.
6 An I - The Lord who gave many blessings to win you to repentance, hath also tried what might be done by judgments. Cleanness of teeth - This is a description of famine.
7 When - At a season when your country most needed it. Upon one city - That you might see my hand in it, I gave rain to one city, and withheld it from the next; nay one part of the same field was watered and flourished: another part, dry and withered.
8 Not satisfied - Either that had not enough for them, or durst not part with it.
9 Increased - When they were most fruitful. Devoured - Eat up all, as is the manner of them.
10 Your horses - The riders being killed. The stink - So great slaughter hath been made in your camp that there were not sufficient to bury the slain.
11 Overthrew - By grievous and desolating judgments. As a fire - brand - Such of you as escaped were yet as fire - brands in the midst of the fire, 'till infinite mercy saved a remnant.
12 Therefore - In a more terrible manner will I now proceed against thee.
13 Declareth - Knows the thoughts of all men. The God of hosts - Whose sovereign power all creatures obey, and acts for or against us as he willeth. Let us humble ourselves before this God, and give all diligence to make him our God. For happy are the people whose God he is, and who have all this power engaged for them.

Chapter V

The deplorable condition of Israel, ver. 1 - 3. An exhortation to seek God, ver. 4 - 15. Judgments denounced, ver. 16 - 20. Notwithstanding their outward services, ver. 21 - 27.

2 The virgin - So she was, when first espoused to God. Upon her land - Broken to pieces upon her own land, and so left as a broken vessel.
3 By a thousand - That sent out one thousand soldiers. An hundred - Shall lose nine parts of them.
4 Ye shall live - It shall be well with you.
5 Seek not - Consult not, worship not the idol at Bethel, Gilgal, or Beersheba.
6 The house of Joseph - The kingdom of the ten tribes, the chief whereof was Ephraim, the son of Joseph. In Beth - el - If once this fire breaks out, all your idols in Beth - el shall not be able to quench it.
7 Ye - Rulers and judges. Judgment - The righteous sentence of the law. To wormwood - Proverbially understood; bitterness, injustice and oppression. Leave off - Make to cease in your courts of judicature.
8 The seven stars - A constellation, whose rising about September was usually accompanied with sweet showers. Orion - Which arising about November brings usually cold, rains and frosts intermixt very seasonable for the earth. The shadow of the earth - The greatest adversity into as great prosperity. Dark with might - Changes prosperity into adversity. That calleth - Commands the vapour to ascend, which he turns into rain; and then pours from the clouds to make the earth fruitful.
9 The strong - The mighty, victorious and insolent. Shall come - Shall rally and form a siege against their besiegers.
10 They - The judges and people. In the gate - Where judges sat, and where the prophets many times delivered their message.
11 Your treading - You utterly oppress the helpless. Ye take - Ye extort from the poor great quantities of wheat, on which he should live.
12 In the gate - In their courts of justice.
13 Shall keep silence - Be forced to it. Evil - Both for the sinfulness of it, and for the troubles, wars, and captivity now at hand.
14 With you - To bless and save you yet.
15 The evil - All evil among the people, and yourselves. Love - Commend, encourage, defend: let your heart be toward good things, and good men. Remnant - What the invasions of enemies, or the civil wars have spared, and left in Samaria and Israel.
16 Therefore - The prophet foreseeing their obstinacy, proceeds to denounce judgment against them. The husbandman - This sort of men are little used to such ceremonies of mourning, but now such also shall be called upon; leave your toil, betake yourselves to publick mourning.
17 Vineyards - In these places were usually the greatest joy. Pass through - To punish all every where.
18 That desire - Scoffingly, not believing any such day would come. To what end - What do you think to get by it? Is darkness - All adversity, black and doleful. Not light - No joy, or comfort an it.
19 And a bear - You may escape one, but shall fall in another calamity. Into the house - At home you may hope for safety, but there other kind of mischief shall meet you.
21 I hate - Impure and unholy as they are. Will not smell - A savour, of rest or delight, I will not accept and be pleased with.
23 Thy songs - Used in their sacrifices, and solemn feasts; herein they imitated the temple - worship, but all was unpleasing to the Lord. Will not hear - Not with delight and acceptance. Thy viols - This one kind of musical instrument is put for all the rest.
24 Let judgment - Let justice be administered constantly. Righteousness - Equity. Stream - Bearing down all that opposes it.
25 Have ye - Their fathers and they, tho' at so great a distance of time, are one people, and so the prophet considers them. Unto me - Was it to me, or to your idols, that you offered, even in the wilderness?
26 Ye have borne - Ye carried along with you in the wilderness; the shrine, or canopy in which the image was placed. Moloch - The great idol of the Ammonites. Chiun - Another idol.
27 Therefore - For all your idolatry and other sins, in which you have obstinately continued.

Chapter VI

The security of Israel and Judah, ver. 1 - 6. Their punishment, ver. 7 - 14.

1 At ease - That neither fear nor believe the threatened judgments of God. In Zion - That is put for the kingdom of the two tribes, and principally the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Samaria - Woe to them also who rely upon the strength, wealth, and policy of the kingdom of Samaria or Israel. Which - Which two cities, Zion and Samaria. Named chief - Accounted the chief cities of that part of the world. To whom - To which place all Israel had recourse, the two tribes to Zion, the ten tribes to Samaria.
2 Pass ye - Run over the history of that great and ancient city. Hemath - Head of the Syrian kingdom, lately overthrown by Tiglath - Pilneser, and a fresh instance of God's just indignation against secure sinners. Gath - The chief city of the Philistines, a few years before wasted by the arms of Hazael; by these examples learn to amend your ways, or expect to perish in them. Greater - That is, greater than these kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and their borders, or bounds, greater than these of Israel and Judah.
3 Ye - That flatter yourselves the day of darkness foretold, is far off. The seat - The judgment seat which should relieve the oppressed, is made a seat of violence.
4 That lie - That out of laziness or luxury, lay themselves to rest. And eat - The very best in all their flock.
5 That chant - That in a time of deep mourning entertain themselves with songs, and musical instruments.
6 In bowls - Not in little vessels, but probably bowls: they drank these filled as full as they could hold too, and in design to drink each other down. And anoint - In those hot countries this anointing was much used. Not grieved - Nothing affected with the calamities of their country.
7 The banquet - The feastings of voluptuous ones shall cease.
8 The excellency - All that the seed of Jacob accounts a glory and excellency to them, all their external privileges and worship.
9 Remain - Escaping the enemies sword. Ten men - Many men, a certain number for an uncertain. They shall die - Tho' they escape a while, they shall not finally escape.
10 Uncle - Or near kinsman, instead of those who were wont to do this, and were paid for it; but now none of these remaining, the next to the dead must, as well as he is able, take him up on his shoulders, and carry him. That burneth - Though the Jews mostly buried, yet in some cases they burned the dead bodies, as in this of pestilence. The bones - The flesh being consumed, the bones are reserved to be buried. Unto him - Any one he sees near the house out of which the bones are carried. Is there yet any - Is any one living in your house. Hold thy tongue - Do not complain, lest thou thyself be killed, lest all be rifled. For - It is too late to seek God, who is executing his immutable decree.
11 For behold - It seems to be the continued speech of him who took care of the dead, ver.10, God hath sent out war, famine, and pestilence. The great house - The palaces of great men shall have great breaches made in them, and the cottages of poor men shall, by lesser strokes, be ruined.
12 Shall horses - If prophets exhort or advise, it does no more good than if you would run your horses upon the precipices of rocks.
13 Who rejoice - In your victories, alliances, and idols. Have we not - We have raised ourselves to greatness by our wisdom and courage.
14 Hemath - A city of Syria, bordering on Israel, north - east. The wilderness - Which is the south - west parts of Canaan. So all your country shall be destroyed.

Chapter VII

Threatened judgments turned aside by the prayer of Amos, ver. 1 - 6. Yet at length they are sentenced to utter ruin, ver. 7 - 9. Amaziah accuses Amos, ver. 10 - 13. Amos justifies himself and denounces the judgment of God against Amaziah, ver. 14 - 17.

1 Thus - This is the first of five prophetic representations of what was coming upon this people. The latter growth - The shooting up of the first growth being too luxuriant, they often eat it down with cattle; but if the second growth were eat up, it marred the whole harvest. Mowed - It is supposed the first mowing of the corn in the blade was for the king's use; and after this the second springing grew up to the harvest.
2 It came to pass - In the vision. By whom - How shall any of Jacob escape, if thou dost cast him down?
3 Repented - This is spoken after the manner of men.
4 Shewed - In vision. Called - Commanded fire from heaven. A part - Of the land too.
7 By a plumb - line - Strongly and beautifully built.
8 Set a plumb - line - I will exactly measure the whole ten tribes. Pass by them - I will no more forbear, but will pull down all that is faulty.
9 The high places - The temples on high mountains built to idols. Of Isaac - The seed of Isaac.
10 In the midst - Openly, and publickly, endeavouring to stir up Israel to sedition or rebellion. The land - The people cannot bear all his harsh predictions.
11 Jeroboam shall die - He nowhere said so, but spake of his house distinguished from his person, as ver.9.
13 The king's court - To which therefore thou oughtest to shew more respect, and not thus to affront the king in his own house.
14 No prophet - Not originally, or by study, or by any human designation. An herdman - By breeding and occupation I was and still am, an herdman. Sycamore fruit - This fruit was good food for man, or cattle.
16 The house of Isaac - The posterity of Isaac.
17 In a polluted land - Among the Heathen. Israel - The ten tribes.

Chapter VIII

The vision of a basket of summer fruit, ver. 1 - 3. The destruction of the oppressors foretold, ver. 4 - 10. And a famine of the word of God, ver. 11 - 14.

2 The end - Of God's patience towards Israel, the end of their ripening, they are now fully ripe, fit to be gathered. Pass by them - God had with admirable patience spared, but now he will no more pardon or spare.
3 With silence - So great will be the cruelty of the enemy, that they dare not bury them, or if they do, it must be undiscerned.
4 To fail - Either to root them out, or to enslave them.
5 When - Ye that could wish there were nothing to interrupt your marketing, that look on solemn times of worship as burdensome, such was the first day of every month, and the weekly sabbath. Small - So the ephah being too little, the poor buyer had not his due. The shekel great - They weighed the money which they received, and had no more justice, than to make their shekel weight greater than the standard; so the poor were twice oppressed, had less than was their right, and paid more than they ought to pay.
6 That we may buy - They would have new moons and sabbaths over, that they might go to market to buy the poor. And when these poor owed but for a very little commodity, as suppose a pair of shoes, these merciless men would take the advantage against them, and make them sell themselves to pay the debt. The refuse - This was another kind of oppression, corrupted wares, sold to those that were necessitous.
7 Hath sworn - By himself. Forget - Suffer to pass unpunished.
8 The land - The people of it. For this - This that you have done, and this that God will do. And it - The judgment, the displeasure of God, shall rise and grow like a mighty wasting flood. It - The land. Drowned - As Egypt by the overflowing of the Nile.
9 At noon - So Israel's sun did as at noon set under the dark cloud of conspiracies and civil wars by Shallum, Menahem, Pekah, and Hosea, 'till the midnight darkness drew on by Pul, Tiglath - Pilneser, and Salmaneser. Darken - Bring a thick cloud of troubles and afflictions. In the clear day - When they think all is safe, sure, and well settled.
10 Upon all loins - All sorts of persons shall put on mourning. Baldness - Shaving the head and beard was a sign of the greatest sadness. A bitter day - A bitter day, which you shall wish you had never seen, shall succeed your dark night.
12 Shall wander - Search all places for a prophet or preacher, from the Mid - land sea to the dead sea, they shall search all corners for a prophet.
14 They - Who sacrifice to and swear by the calves at Dan and Beth - el. By the sin - Who say the idol at Dan is the true and living God. The manner - The idol which is worshipped at Beersheba.

Chapter IX

Judgments are threatened upon all, but the remnant, ver. 1 - 10. Mercy is promised, ver. 11 - 14.

1 The altar - Of burnt - offering before the temple at Jerusalem, this altar and temple Israel had forsaken, and set up others against it; and here God in his jealousy appears prepared to take vengeance. Possibly it may intimate his future departure from Judah too. There Ezekiel, Eze 9:2, saw the slaughter - men stand. The door - The door of the gate that led into the priests court. And cut them - Wound deep, the people who were visionally represented as standing in the court of the temple.
2 Hell - The center of the earth, or the depth of hell.
3 The serpent - The crocodile or shark.
4 Set my eyes - I will perpetually watch over them.
5 Toucheth - He needs not take great pains therein, a touch of his finger will do this. Shall melt - As snow before the sun.
6 His stories - The celestial orbs one over another, as so many stories in an high and stately palace. And he hath founded his troop in the earth: all the creatures, which are one army, one body; so closely are they connected, and so harmoniously do they all act for the accomplishing of their creator's purposes. Calleth for the waters - Either in judgment to drown, or in mercy to give rain.
7 The Arabians - A wild, thievish, and servile nation. Have not I brought - And whereas you boast my kindness to you, bringing you out of Egypt, and thereupon conclude, God cannot leave you whom he hath so redeemed; you argue amiss, for this aggravates your sin. From Kir - Conquered by some potent enemies, and sent away to Kir, a country of Media, yet at last delivered. Should these nations, argue themselves to be out of danger of divine justice, because I had done this for them.
8 The sinful kingdom - Every sinful kingdom.
9 The least grain - Though tumbled and tossed with the great violence, yet the smallest, good grain, shall not be lost or destroyed.
10 All the sinners - The great, notorious sinners. The evil - Is far off, we shall die first, and be safe in the grave.
11 In that day - In the set time which I have fixt. Raise up - Bring back out of captivity, and re - establish in their own land, the house of David, and those that adhere to his family. Fallen - By the revolt of the ten tribes. The breaches - Which are in it by that long division.
12 They - Literally the Jews. Possess - Both the lands of Edom, and some of the posterity of Edom; these as servants, the other as their propriety. The remnant - Left by Nebuchadnezzar. All the heathen - That is, round about. That doth this - But this is also a prophecy of setting up the kingdom of the Messiah, and bringing in the Gentiles.
13 Behold the days come - Here is another promise literally of abundant plenty to the returned captives, and mystically of abundant grace poured forth in gospel - days. The plowman - Who breaks up the ground, and prepares it for sowing, shall be ready to tread on the heels of the reaper who shall have a harvest so large, that before he can gather it all in, it shall be time to plow the ground again. The treader of grapes - So great shall their vintage be that e'er the treaders of grapes can have finished their work, the seeds - man shall be sowing his seed against the next season. Shall drop - The vineyards shall be so fruitful, and new wine so plentiful as if it ran down from the mountains. Shall melt - Or, as if whole hills were melted into such liquors. If any object, it never was so: I answer, the sins of the returned captives prevented these blessings, which are promised under a tacit condition.
15 Pulled up - On condition that they seek the Lord. This was on God's part with admirable constancy performed through six hundred years, perhaps the longest time of freedom from captivity they ever knew.

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