Bible Commentaries
Amos 9

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-10



Verses 1-10:

Amos Foretells Israel’s Final Dispersion But Assures

Preservation Of The House Of Jacob

Verse 1 reveals a fifth vision God gave to Amos relating to the judgment awaiting idolatrous Israel. It followed those of: 1) Grasshoppers, 2) fire, 3) a plumbline, and 4) a basket of summer fruit, Amos 7:1; Amos 7:4; Amos 8:1-2. This fifth vision was of the Lord (Adonia) standing upon the altar, the Divine altar before the temple at Jerusalem, which Israel had deserted and Judah had neglected, turning to heathen altars and idols in Bethel, Samaria, and Beersheba. The Lord commanded that smiting angels or enemy armies draw the sword, smite or destroy the door, (the entrance) and the posts (supports) of the desecrated and neglected temple in Jerusalem, and slay all who gathered there, vowing that those who fled the sword-bearers would not be delivered from captivity by the Assyrian invaders. When the altars of God, the place of mercy and sacrifice, was neglected or desecrated in Israel Divine judgment fell, John 12:31; See also Psalms 68:21; Habakkuk 3:13; Ezekiel 9:1; Amos 2:14.

Verse 2 vows that though the rebellious Israelites should dig into hell, the lower regions of the earth, ever so deeply, there will be no hiding place, no escape from His determined punishment upon them, Psalms 139:8; Habakkuk 2:5; Habakkuk 3:13; Revelation 6:13-17. And though they "climb up" into the heavens, ascend the highest mountain on earth, they will find no refuge, no hiding place there, from Divine judgment that had been prophesied by Amos, Job 20:6; Jeremiah 51:53; Obadiah 1:4.

Verse 3 warns4 that though they think to hide themselves in the heights of Mt Carmel, or in the hiding places of the many cave entrances from the western sides of the forests of the mountains, His angelic ministers of judgment shall pursue and inflict judgment on them there, Judges 6:2; 1 Samuel 13:6. Should they try to submerge themselves, to hide for a temporary time at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, to escape the angelic directed judgment upon all Israel, even there, at the bottom of the sea the Lord (Adonia) of judgment, would send crawling sea serpents or reptiles to bite them, Isaiah 27:1; Psalms 74:13-14. Pliney in Natural History 29:4, 22 describes the venom of water serpents still found in the Red Sea, and the Indian and Pacific oceans. The idea is that there is "no hiding place" down here, from the chastening hand of God, laid on men because of their willful, persistent sins.

Verse 4 states that though they of Israel go willingly into captivity before their enemies, as an herd of driven cattle, hoping to save their lives by meek, voluntary surrender to their enemies, they should still be slain by the sword before their enemies, as foretold Leviticus 26:33. God swore that He would set or fix His eyes upon them, with determined holy will to punish them for or because of their evil, not their good, Deuteronomy 28:15-62; Jeremiah 38:12.

Verse 5 asserts that it is the Lord God of hosts, of heaven’s angelic armies, who touches the land, to melt or dissolve its wicked civil and religious course of behavior, to cause all who live in the land to mourn under Divine judgmental punishment. He is omnipotent in ability to execute His threats. God is the first (priority) cause of the mourning of all that dwell in the devastation of floods from the great Nile river in Egypt, Amos 8:8.

Verse 6 continues that it is "He," this mighty God, who builds His ascents, upper chambers or royal throne in heaven, pictured by the ascent of steps of Solomon’s throne, 1 Kings 10:18-19. And this mighty God has founded (established) His troop or bands in the earth, referring to all living creatures who belong to Him, by virtue of His creation and sustaining them in their continued service to Him, Genesis 2:1; Psalms 103:20-21; Joel 2:11. This God also calls to the seas that give their waters to fall as rain upon the earth, Matthew 5:45.

Verse 7 raises a series of four rhetoric questions for Israel to answer. The suggested answer is "yes," to each question. First, they were as Ethiopian children, the Cushites, to Him, no more immune from His just punishment for their sins than were the Ethiopians, descendants of Ham. Second, He had brought their Israel forefathers up out of the land of Egypt. Third, He had brought the Philistines from Captor, where they had been bond-servants, Isaiah 14:29; Jeremiah 13:23. And Forth, He had brought the Syrians from Kir, Deuteronomy 2:23; Jeremiah 47:4; Isaiah 22:6; 2 Kings 16:9.

Verse 8 asserts that the eyes of the "all-seeing" God are upon the sinful kingdom and that He will destroy it from off the face of the earth, to punish it, Amos 9:4; Psalms 34:15-16. However, based on His irreversible covenant with Abraham, He reaffirms that He will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, as a race, Genesis 12:1-3; A remnant is to be saved, Jeremiah 30:11; Jeremiah 31:36.

Verse 9 describes how the Lord will sift Israel among the nations, like corn or grain is shaken about in a sieve, so that the ungodly like chaff and dust fall, but all the good, solid grains (the godly), are preserved, Psalms 1:3; Matthew 13:38. Thus Israel’s spiritual safety is assured, Jeremiah 3:14; Romans 11:29; Luke 22:31-32; John 10:28; John 6:39; Psalms 72:1. After sifting comes prosperity.

Verse 10 declares that "the sinners," (chaff) in the image of v. 9 will die by the sword, even such as trust in their own carnal wisdom and power, who deny the judgment of God will outrun and overtake them, by means of heaven’s directed judgment hosts, v. 5; Psalms 1:4.

Verses 11-12

Restoration Of Davidic Kingdom Foretold

Verses 11, 12:

Verse 11 recounts the Divine, Davidic covenant promise of 2 Samuel 7:12-17; Psalms 89:3; Psalms 89:34-37. This passage was quoted by James at the Jerusalem council, Acts 15:16-17. He interpreted it to mean that even after the dissolution of the kingdom of Israel, with the preservation of Judah, as a sceptre bearing tribe, till Shiloh (the peace-giving one) came, and as the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the covenant continued, Genesis 49:10. It was He to whom the "gathering of the people should be," when He "called from among the Gentiles a people for His name’s sake," the church, Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 4:12-17; Hosea 3:4-5; Joel 2:28. At the Lord’s second coming He will personally raise up the dwelling place of David, his temporary reigning order or rule over Israel, in Zion, and build up or repair the breach of the later divided kingdom, as it existed in ancient times, to reign over it forever, Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 15:24; 2 Samuel 7:11-16.

Verse 12 states that reestablished Israel shall possess the remnant (those not slain) in Edom, the bitter foe of Israel, Numbers 24:18; and all the heathen (nations) or people who are called by His name who have been saved and followed Him in doing His will and work, in this age, especially through the church, Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:19; Acts 1:11; Ephesians 3:21; Psalms 2:8; Hebrews 2:14; Acts 15:13-17; Acts 3:1-6.

Verses 13-15

Full Kingdom Blessings For Restored Israel

Verses 13-15:

Verse 13 begins a description of millennial era conditions for Israel and for the world, as declared by the Lord, Leviticus 26:4-5. The production of sower and reaper at that time shall excel that of all human history. So rapid and abundant shall be the growth of grain and grapes that the reaper can barely finish until planting time has come again. There will be no place or time or need for war in that peaceful era, presided over by the Prince of Peace, Luke 1:31-32; Isaiah 65:21-23. The dropping of sweet wine from the mountain refers to the falling of vines, loaded with grapes, from the hillside terraces where they had been trained or tied to runners, designed to help hold them off the ground, Joel 3:18,

Verse 14 declares that God will bring His people Israel from captivity in that day and they shall rebuild and occupy the waste or destroyed cities, Isaiah 61:4; Ezekiel 36:33-36. At that time they shall reap full rewards from their vineyards and gardens, as never before, with the blight of former days gone forever. Enemies shall no more live in their houses or eat the fruit of their plantings.

Verse 15 is a divine pledge to plant them (establish them, Israel) as a productive people on "their land," given by a covenant land­grant to Abraham and his seed after him forever, Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:17-18; Genesis 17:1-8. Negatively, God swore that thereafter, they should never, ever, be pulled out of or separated from their land, any more, Isaiah 60:21; Jeremiah 32:41; Ezekiel 34:28; Joel 3:20.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Amos 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.