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HEAR ye this word, which I take up concerning you for a lamentation. The house of Israel is fallen, and it shall rise no more.

Ver. 1.  Lamentation.  Such canticles were usual.  Is. xiv.


--- Israel.  It no longer formed a separate kingdom.  C.


--- When the people fear no evil, God laments for them.  W.

2 The virgin of Israel is cast down upon her land, there is none to raise her up. 3 For thus saith the Lord God: The city, out of which came forth a thousand, there shall be left in it a hundred: and out of which there came a hundred, there shall be left in it ten, in the house of Israel.

Ver. 3.  City, before (C.) or after the captivity.  It required a long time to fill the cities as they had been.  H.


--- When the Assyrians invaded the country, it was greatly reduced.  C.

4 For thus saith the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek ye me, and you shall live. 5 But seek not Bethel, and go not into Galgal, neither shall you pass over to Bersabee: for Galgal shall go into captivity, and Bethel shall be unprofitable.

Ver. 5.  Bethel,...Galgal,...Bersabee.  The places where they worshipped their idols.  Ch.


--- They had all been honoured by the patriarchs.  Bersabee had belonged to Juda under Achab.  3 K. xix. 3.  But it was originally in the tribe of Simeon, and Jeroboam II. recovered all that had been lost.  4 K. xiv. 25.  C.


--- Unprofitable.  Heb. leaven, "for vanity," (H.) Bethaven.



Bethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.

6 Seek ye the Lord, and live: lest the house of Joseph be burnt with fire, and it shall devour, and there shall be none to quench Bethel.

Ver. 6.  Joseph.  His two grandchildren gave name to the principle tribes of the kingdom.


--- Bethel.  Sept. "Israel," which seems preferable.  C.


--- Yet Bethel may stand, as it denotes the apostate Israelites.


Bethel, 1 see s.v. — 2 (Josh 12:16; Simeon) another name for Bethul. --- Bethel, as it was called in the days of Moses, being the ancient Luza. C. --- Bethel signifies the house of God, being honoured with two altars. H.

7 You that turn judgment into wormwood, and forsake justice in the land,

Ver. 7.  You.  Sept. "the Lord, [God] who does judgment on high, and has placed justice on the earth; (8) who maketh and transformeth all things, and turneth," &c.  H.


--- Heb. agrees with the Vulg.  C.

8 Seek him that maketh Arcturus, and Orion, and that turneth darkness into morning, and that changeth day into night: that calleth the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name.

Ver. 8.  Arcturus and Orion.  Arcturus is a bright star in the north, Orion a beautiful constellation in the south.  Ch.


--- Shepherds in Arabia and Spain are well acquainted with the stars.  C.


--- We have examined the meaning of cima and cesil, Job ix. 9. and xxxviii. 31.  S. Jerom's master asserts that the latter means "efflugence."  Cima is rendered the Pleiades by Aquila and Th.; "the seven stars," by Prot..  H. 


--- When such allusions to the heathen mythology occur, they give no sanction to it, but serve to explain what is meant.  S. Jer.


--- Morning, affording comfort.  C. iv. 13.


--- Earth, by floods (C.) or rain.  S. Jer.


9 He that with a smile bringeth destruction upon the strong, and waste upon the mighty.

Ver. 9.  With a smile.  That is, with all ease, and without making any effort.  Ch.


--- Aquila has "grinning," to shew displeasure.  S. Jer.


--- Heb. "he strengthens the oppressor against the strong," so that those whom he pleases to chastise cannot escape.

10 They have hated him that rebuketh in the gate: and have abhorred him that speaketh perfectly.

Ver. 10.  They, the wicked, could not endure Amos, (C. vii. 12.) nor those who rebuked them.

11 Therefore because you robbed the poor, and took the choice prey from him: you shall build houses with square stone, and shall not dwell in them: you shall plant most delightful vineyards, and shall not drink the wine of them.


12 Because I know your manifold crimes, and your grievous sins: enemies of the just, taking bribes, and oppressing the poor in the gate.

Ver. 12.  Grievous.  Heb. also, "numerous."

13 Therefore the prudent shall keep silence at that time, for it is an evil time.

Ver. 13.  Time.  It is to no purpose speaking to the deaf, (Eccli. xxxii. 9.) or throwing pearls before swine.  Mat. vii. 6.  Amos was silent for a while, till God opened his mouth again.  C. iii. 8. and vii. 12.

14 Seek ye good, and not evil, that you may live: and the Lord the God of hosts will be with you, as you have said.

Ver. 14.  Said.  Probably Amaias took occasion, from the flourishing state of the kingdom, to assert that the Lord approved of their conduct.  C.

15 Hate evil, and love good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be the Lord the God of hosts may have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.

Ver. 15.  May be.  God will not  be wanting on his side.  But this implies that man may find a difficulty in seeking good, and neglect to do it, though he  may if he please, with God's assistance.  W.


--- Remnant.  Posterity.  C.


16 Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of hosts the sovereign Lord: In every street there shall be wailing: and in all places that are without, they shall say: Alas, alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful in lamentation to lament.

Ver. 16.  Lament.  Such hired mourners often seemed more grieved than those who were really affected.  Hor. art.  All were invited to join in the common sorrow.  Jer. ix. 17. and xlviii. 31.

17 And in all vineyards there shall be wailing: because I will pass through in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. 18 Woe to them that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light.

Ver. 18.  The day.  Some imprudently laughed at the prophets.  Is. v. 19.  Jer. xvii. 15.  Others wished for the coming of the Lord, not reflecting that he would punish their guilt.  C.


--- Thus, many through impatience, desire to die.  We must rather, repent, and leave our lives at God's disposal.  S. Jer.


19 As if a man should flee from the face of a lion, and a bear should meet him: or enter into the house, and lean with his hand upon the wall, and a serpent should bite him.

Ver. 19.  Serpent.  All his attempts would thus proved abortive.  The Israelites were not ruined by Phul, or by Theglathphalassar.  But the serpent, (H.) Salmanasar, came and took them in their own houses.  4 K. xvii. 7.  C.

20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light: and obscurity, and no brightness in it? 21 I hate, and have rejected your festivities: and I will not receive the odour of your assemblies.

Ver. 21.  Festivities.  Some were still observed.  C. iv. 4.


22 And if you offer me holocausts, and your gifts, I will not receive them: neither will I regard the vows of your fat beasts.

Ver. 22.  Vows.  Heb. "peace-offerings of your mercies;" a sort of oxen.  2 K. vi. 13. and 3 K. i. 9.  Sept. "the salvation of your appearance," or what you offer for your welfare.


23 Take away from me the tumult of thy songs: and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp.

Ver. 23.  Harp. Praise ill becomes the sinner.  Eccli. xv. 9.  Ps. xlix. 17.

24 But judgment shall be revealed as water, and justice as a mighty torrent.

Ver. 24.  Mighty.  Heb. "Ethan."  Let your virtue appear, or the greatest miseries will shortly overwhelm you.  C.

25 Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me in the desert for forty years, O house of Israel?

Ver. 25.  Did you offer, &c.  Except the sacrifices that were offered at the first, in the dedication of the tabernacle, the Israelites offered no sacrifices in the desert.  Ch.


--- They ceased after the beginning of the second year.  S. Aug. q. 47 in Ex. Lev. vii. &c.  W.


--- God did not require sacrifices when the people came out of Egypt.  Jer. vii. 22.  Deut. xii. 8.  They were not performed so regularly in the desert, (C.) and the people still bore a secret affection for idols, (v. 26.) which rendered all their victims useless.  H.


26 But you carried a tabernacle for your Moloch, and the image of your idols, the star of your god, which you made to yourselves.

Ver. 26.  A tabernacle, &c.  All this alludes to the idolatry which they committed, when they were drawn away by the daughters of Moab to the worship of their gods.  Num. xxv.  Ch.


--- They imitated the superstitions of Egypt, and bore the image of Osiris, adorned with a star and crescent, on a sort of base, under a canopy.  Heb. "You carried the tents of your king and the base of your statues, the star of your gods, which you have made for yourselves."  Sept. by changing (C.) ciun in Rephan, or raifan, (H.) have caused great confusion among commentators.  If any change were requisite, (C.) cima (H.) would be preferable.  v. 8.  Job ix. 9.  Yet the Heb. seems to be correct, and chiun denotes a pedestal rather than an idol.  Some read Kevan, the Saturn of the Arabs, &c. and think that Rephan has been mistaken for it.  The only difficulty is the authority of S. Stephen, who follows the Sept.  Acts vii. 43.  Yet he probably spoke in Syriac, and might pronounce Chevan; though S. Luke might adopt the Sept. in a matter of so little consequence.  C. Diss.


--- This decision may not probably give satisfaction to those who reflect that both these authors were under the immediate influence of the Holy Ghost, and that if an error had crept into the copy of the Sept. he would have corrected it.  Truth is always of sufficient consequence.  See Kennicott, Diss. ii. p. 344.  H.


--- Chiun and Rephan are "expressive of the same" god or idol, representing the machine of the heavens.  The people of Peru worshipped Choun.  Parkhurst, p. 137.


--- Remvan may be Remmon, (4 K. vi. 18.) or Saturn.  Grot.


--- In a Coptic alphabet of the planets it is thus explained: (De Dieu. Collier. Dict. Sept. and Acts) "You have taken the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your Rempham, figures," &c.  Prot. marg. "the Siccuth, your king, and Chiun, your images, the star," &c.  H.

27 And I will cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, the God of hosts is his name.

Ver. 27.  Damacus, or Babylon, (Acts vii.) into Mesopotamia, &c.  The sense is the same.  C.


--- When the apostles quote passages, "they do not consider the words but the sense."  S. Jer.


--- One Greek copy, however, has Damascus in the Acts.  H.

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