Ver. 1. Altar, in Jerusalem. C. viii. 3. and i. 2. God is going to punish Israel, (C.) or the two tribes. Chal. S. Jer.
--- The ruin of the altar and temple, imply the abolishing of sacrifices during the captivity, at Babylon. W.
--- But Amos speaks rather of Israel. C.
--- Sword. The princes and people are all guilty. Sept. "strike or cut on the heads of all." H.
Ver. 2. Hell; to the deepest caves, where they used to flee. Ps. cxxxviii. 8.
Ver. 3. Top, in woods, or caverns.
--- Serpent. Fishes and sea monsters are so called.
CarmelCarmel. Not where Elias dwelt, but a city and mountain 10 miles east of Eleutheropolis. Nabal rendered it famous by his imprudence, (1 K. xxv.) and Saul by a triumphal arch, 1 K. xv. 12. --- Carmel, so famous for the miracles of Elias, 3 K. xviii. 20. Josephus (Bel. ii. 17,) places it 120 stadia south of Ptolemais. This range of mountains extended northward through the tribes of Issachar and of Zabulon. Pliny (v. 17,) speaks of a promontory and of a town of this name. Here also the god Carmel was adored, having an altar, but no temple or image, as the ancients had decreed. Nec simulacrum Deo aut templum, (sic tradidere majores) ara tantum et reverentia. Tacit. Hist. ii. 78. --- Vespasian consulted the priest Basilides. Carmel means "the vineyard of the Lord," or the excellent vineyard, &c. It was so rich and beautiful as to become proverbial. The spouse compares the head of his beloved to Carmel. C. vii. 5. Isaias (xxxii. 15,) foretels that the deserts shall be equal to Carmel. It was covered with wood and fruit. S. Jerom in Isai. x. 18. Jer. iv. 26. The city, which was built upon this mountain, and which Pliny calls by the same name, was formerly styled Ecbatana. The oracle had denounced to Cambyses that he should die at Ecbatana, and he concluded that the city of Media was meant; but it was "that of Syria," says Herodotus, (iii. 64,) where he died.
Ver. 5. A river. Sept. "the river of Egypt." C. viii. 8. and v. 24. C.
--- Grabe's ed. has "its consummation (or utter ruin) shall rise up as a river." H.
Ver. 6. Ascension, or his high throne. Ch.
--- Sept. "the ascent, and hath founded the declarations (H.) or promise upon," &c. which must be explained in a moral sense. C.
--- Bundle. That is, his Church, bound up together by the bands of one faith and communion, (Ch.) which God will protect, and punish sinners. W.
--- Heb. "his apartments in heaven, and his assembly (or footstool) on earth."
--- Sea, by floods, or rather by rain. C. v. 8. C.
Ver. 7. Ethiopians. That is, as black as they, by your iniquities. Ch.
--- Chus was father of the Scythians, Arabs, &c. Yet none of these nations were under the peculiar protection of God. The Israelites depended too much on this prerogative, (C.) which they deserved to lose by their sins. H.
--- God brought them out of Egypt. But he also took the Philistines from Caphtor, (C.) and enabled them to settle in the country. H.
--- Cappadocia. Cyprus, (Gen. x. 14.) or rather Crete. 1 K. C.
--- Cyrene, (Sym.) "wall," (Th.) or "pit." Sept. Theglathphalassar took Aram or the people of Damascus into captivity. C.
--- Their future return is represented as already past. Vat. Mercer.
Cyrene (Media)Cyrene was the capital of a province in Africa, near Lybia. See Acts ii. 10. Some are of opinion that this Simon was a Jew; his name favours that sentiment, and there were many Jews in that province. V.
Ver. 9. Ground, to be mixed with the good corn.
--- Israel shall be purified in captivity. C.
--- Though many perished, God still preserved his Church. W.
Ver. 10. Us. Such infidels delayed repentance, (H.) or laughed at the menaces of impending ruin. C. v. 18. C.
Ver. 11. David. S. James, after S. Peter, explains this of the vocation of the Gentiles. Acts xv. 15. W.
--- After the fall of Israel, Juda still flourished: but this cannot be meant. The prosperity after the return from Babylon, or rather under Jesus Christ, must fulfil the prediction. Zorobalel had a very precarious authority, and the Machabees were not of the tribe of Juda, nor was their kingdom so flourishing or durable. C.
Ver. 12. Edom, subdued by Hircan, with the surrounding nations. The same letters may be read Adam, "man," as the Sept. have, agreeably to Acts xv. 17. C.
--- "That the rest of men might seek the Lord, (Grabe substitutes me) and all the nations upon whom my," &c. Edom and all mankind shall receive the glad tidings of salvation. H.
Ver. 13. Shall overtake, &c. By this is meant the great abundance of spiritual blessings; which, as it were, by a constant succession, shall enrich the Church of Christ. Ch.
--- Munster, and his imitator, Clarius, see nothing but an allegory in this abundance and return, v. 14. Yet the literal sense ought to be adopted, when it involves no contradiction. Houbigant, pref. p. 297.
--- God promised a succession of crops to the faithful Israelites, (Lev. xxvi. 5.) and the return of the ten tribes is frequently specified. C.