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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Amos 8

Verses 1-14


Israel nears its end (8:1-14)

Just as the harvest comes to an end and the fruit is gathered into baskets, so Israel has come to its end and will be punished. Celebration will be turned to mourning, and hope will be replaced by despair. When the enemy attacks, the slaughter will be so extensive that bodies will lie unburied in the streets and fields for days (8:1-3).
Amos returns to conditions in Israel to indicate that one reason for the nation’s downfall is the upper classes’ exploitation of the lower classes (4). Greedy merchants, annoyed that they must stop work whenever there is a religious holy day, can hardly wait for the holy day to pass, so that they can get back to the job of making money. They have no principles of honesty. When selling grain they use undersized measures, and when weighing the buyer’s money they use extra heavy weights. They also sell leftover grain, which normally would be given to the poor or fed to cattle (5-6).
The coming judgment will smash the sinful people like an earthquake and overthrow them like a flood (7-8). Not merely physical darkness but spiritual darkness will cover the nation, without even the small amount of light at present supplied by the prophets. In their mourning and distress people will suddenly become hungry for God’s word, but they will not find it, no matter how hard they search (9-12). Neither the vigour of the nation’s youth nor the imagined power of its false gods will be able to save Israel when God’s judgment finally falls (13-14).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Amos 8". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/amos-8.html. 2005.