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THESE things the Lord God shewed to me: and behold the locust was formed in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter rain, and lo, it was the latter rain after the king's mowing.

Ver. 1.  The locust, &c.  These judgments by locusts and fire, which by the prophet's intercession were moderated, signify the former invasions of the Assyrians under Phul and Theglathphalassar, before the utter desolation of Israel by Salmanasar.  Ch.


--- Locusts denoted the Assyrian invaders.  4 K. xviii.  W.


--- Formed.  Lit. "the maker of the locust, in the beginning of the herbs shooting," &c. (H.) in spring.  S. Jer.


--- They pasture in our January: yet the grass of autumn may be meant.  The king took the best which grows in summer.  C.


--- Sept. "and lo, a swarm of locusts coming in the morning; and lo, one bruchus, Gog, the king," (H.) or "against king Gog."  C.


--- Aquila has, "of the king of Gaza."  He probably left the original term, (S. Jer.) gizze.  H.


--- The invasion of the Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Scythians is insinuated.  Theod.


--- The latter came the year after the earthquake.  C. i.  Pezron.


--- This was the first vision of Amos.  C.


--- He saw the first and last inroads of the Assyrians, as well as the prosperity of Jeroboam.  M.

2 And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, I said: O Lord God, be merciful, I beseech thee: who shall raise up Jacob, for he is very little?

Ver. 2.  When.  Sept. "If it shall eat up," &c.  H.


--- Little.  After Jeroboam II. the kingdom fell to decay, when Manahem called in the Assyrians.  C.

3 The Lord had pity upon this: It shall not be, said the Lord.

Ver. 3.  The.  Sept. "Repent, O Lord, on this head, and this shall," &c.


--- Not be: the grass shall not be totally devoured.  H.


--- The king of the Assyrians invaded Juda in vain.  4 K. xix.  W.

4 These things the Lord God shewed to me: and behold the Lord called for judgment unto fire, and it devoured the great deep, and ate up a part at the same time.

Ver. 4.  Part of the land, if the prophet had not interposed; (v. 6.  C.) or rather civil wars desolated a great part of the kingdom, before the Lord was appeased.  H.


--- The fire foreshewed the captivity of the two tribes.  4 K. xxiv.  W.

5 And I said: O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee, who shall raise up Jacob, for he is a little one? 6 The Lord had pity upon this. Yea this also shall not be, said the Lord God.

Ver. 6.  The.  Sept. as v. 3.  H.


--- We read not of locusts being sent, v. 1.  But fire of war certainly raged before the final catastrophe of Jehu's family, when Sellum slew Zacharias.  4 K. xv. 8.  C.

7 These things the Lord shewed to me: and behold the Lord was standing upon a plastered wall, and in his hand a mason's trowel.

Ver. 7.  Plastered.  Heb. "wall, made by a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand."  Prot.  H.


--- But Sept. Syr. &c. seem more literal, (C.) "on a wall of adamant, and a diamond in his hand."  Heb. anac, (H.) whence a diamond was called anactites, (Orpheus) or anachites.  Pliny xxxvii. 4.


--- Saturn had a scythe of adamant, and walls of this kind were deemed impervious even to the inhabitants of heaven.  Thus Virgil describes the gates of hell:

Porta adversa ingens solidoque adamante columnæ,

Vis ut nulla virum non ipsi exscindere ferro

Cœlicolæ valeant.  Æn. vi.


--- God appearing on such a wall, intimated that the separation between him and his people was complete.  C. --- Hic murus aheneus esto.  Hor. i. ep. 1.

8 And the Lord said to me: What seest thou, Amos? And I said: A mason's trowel. And the Lord said: Behold, I will lay down the trowel in the midst of my people Israel. I will plaster them over no more.

Ver. 8.  Plaster.  Sept. "I will no more pass over it," the adamantine wall.  I will hide their faults no longer.  H.


--- this third vision alluded to the distress of the ten tribes.  4 K. xv. 20.  W.

9 And the high places of the idol shall be thrown down, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste: and I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

Ver. 9.  Idol.  Heb. "Isaac."  C.


--- Sept. "laughter."  H.


--- Isaac had resided for some time at Bersabee, which was place frequented by idolaters.  C. v. 5. and viii. 14.  Josias overthrew (4 K. xxiii. 8.  C.) the profane "altars."  H.


--- Sword.  His son Zacharias was slain after six months reign.  v. 6. 11.

10 And Amasias the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying: Amos hath rebelled against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

Ver. 10.  Words.  Nothing could be more unfounded.  Amos had indeed denounced many judgments; but he was not wanting in respect to the king.  C.


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.

11 For thus saith Amos: Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall be carried away captive out of their own land.

Ver. 11.  Sword.  the prophet did not say this, but that the Lord would rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword; which was verified when Zacharias, the son and successor of Jeroboam, was slain by the sword.  4 K. xv. 10.  Ch.


--- The false prophet was therefore guilty of a lie.  They accuse the preachers of truth as traitors.  W.


--- Thus many missionary priests have been traduced in England.  H.

12 And Amasias said to Amos: Thou seer, go, flee away into the land of Juda: and eat bread there, and prophesy there.

Ver. 12.  Seer.  This was the ancient title of prophets; (1 K. ix. 9.  C.) but it is here used contumeliously.  H.


--- We know not whether Amasias acted by the king's order or not.  He was less afraid of the predictions than of  losing his employment.  C.

13 But prophesy not again any more in Bethel: because it is the king's sanctuary, and it is the house of the kingdom.

Ver. 13.  Sanctuary, or "palace."  Kimchi.


--- The kings resided commonly in Samaria; but they came hither to practise their religion, and had a palace.  C.


--- The king's choice was all that Amasias regarded, as many seem still to do, without examining whether the religion be true or false!  Will the king screen them from the indignation of the just Judge at the hour of death?  H.


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.

14 And Amos answered and said to Amasias: I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet: but I am a herdsman plucking wild figs.

Ver. 14.  I am not a prophet.  That is, I am not a prophet by education: nor is prophesying my calling or profession: but I am a herdsman, whom God was pleased to send hither to prophesy to Israel.  Ch.


--- He speaks with the like humility as the baptist, John i. 21.  Lu. vii. 26.  It seems the prophets usually left their trade, and applied to meditation.  Zac. viii. 5.  Sept. "I was not a prophet, nor," &c.


--- Plucking.  Sept. (Th.) "pricking."  C.


--- This was requisite to make the fruit ripen in four days' time.  Pliny xiii. 7. and xvi. 27.


--- Wild fig-trees have three sorts of fruits.  The flies which proceed from some of them, prick the sweet figs, and make them ripen.  Tourefort i. let. 8.


--- Amos probably conveyed such wild figs to be near those of the garden, while at other times he fed his cattle.

15 And the Lord took me when I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me: Go, prophesy to my people Israel. 16 And now hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, thou shalt not prophesy against Israel, and thou shalt not drop thy word upon the house of the idol.

Ver. 16.  Drop.  menaces.  Ezec. xx. 46.  Sept. "thou shalt not disturb (C.) or threaten the house of Jacob."  S. Jer.


--- Idol; the calf, worshipped in Bethel.  Ch.


--- Heb. "Isaac," as v. 9.  H.

17 Therefore thus saith the Lord: Thy wife shall play the harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be measured by a line: and thou shalt die in a polluted land, and Israel shall go into captivity out of their land.

Ver. 17.  Play.  Symmachus has better, "shall be treated as a harlot."  A "husband would rather hear that his wife had been slain than defiled."  S. Jer.


--- Line, and divided among strangers.


--- Land, out of Palestine.  All other countries were deemed unclean.  Amasias was probably exiled, or led captive by Theglathphalassar, as Salmanasar did not come till sixty-two years after the death of Jeroboam.  We know no more of the history of Amasias.  The martyrologies say he slew Amos.  C.


--- His name means "rigid," and he was a true image of a heretic.  "All that he possesses shall fall to the share of devils."  S. Jer.

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