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Trapp's Complete Commentary Trapp's Commentary
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Amos 1". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ jtc/ amos-1.html. 1865-1868.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Amos 1". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
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Amo 1:1 The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.
Ver. 1. The words of Amos ] Not of that Amos who was father to Isaiah (as some ancients, for want of Hebrew, mistook it), but a man of meaner rank; "rude in speech, but not in knowledge," 2 Corinthians 11:6 , tam sensuum nomine quam simplicitate verborum clarus, as Jerome saith of Didymus. The Jews surname him ψελλος , the stammerer; as if he had been a man, not only of a low, but of a letsome language; one that had an impediment in his speech ( μογιλαλος ), as Mark 7:32 , and this they gather from his name Amos, which signifieth a burden, as if this herdsman had had bovem in lingua, a clog upon his tongue; and could not utter himself freely (like Michael Balbus). But let this pass for a Jewish tradition. True it is, that Amos is by interpretation a burden; and no less true, that the words of Amos are onerosa prophetia, the burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by him, See Trapp on " Mal 1:1 " who is a vehement prophet, laden with reproofs and threatenings comminationibus ae reprehensionibus onustus (as Luther saith of him), such as the land was not able to bear, said that malcontent Amaziah, Amo 7:10 who had fel in aure, his gall in his ears, as they write of some creatures. But truth must be spoken, however it be taken: neither may God’s ministers meddle with toothless truths only (as Balak did, Neither curse nor bless at all), but bind heavy burdens, if need be, upon the shoulders of obstinate sinners, that may cripple their iron sinews, and make them buckle under the sense of God’s unsupportable displeasure.
Who was among the herdmen of Tekoah ] He was no prophet, neither was he a prophet’s son; but a herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit, Amos 7:14 , and extraordinarily called to this high office by Him "who chooseth the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and the weak things of the world to confound the mighty," 1 Corinthians 1:27 , who enabled the dumb ass to forbid his master’s madness, 2 Peter 2:16 , and sent this downright neat herd to deal with a brutish people, worse than the ox and ass that have no understanding, Psa 32:9 Isaiah 1:8 Job 10:4 , and who had changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into a fourfooted calf and creeping things, Romans 1:28 . Tekoah is said to be six miles from Bethlehem, twelve from Jerusalem, situated in the tribe of Judah, 2 Chronicles 11:6 . Quinquius, that learned Hebrew, therefore, is utterly out in saying that Tekoah was a great town in the tribe of Asher.
Which he saw concerning Israel ] He not only heard these words, but saw them in a vision; he had them by revelation from God. See Trapp on " Hos 1:1 "
Concerning Israel ] Or, against Israel, that is, the ten revolted tribes, who had many prophets sent them to foretell their captivity. God loves to foresignify.
In the days of Uzziah, &c. ] At the same time with Hosea and Isaiah and Micah, when Procas Sylvius was king of the Latins, and Sardanapalus of the Assyrians, as Jerome saith.
And in the days of Jeroboam ] The second; not that funestum Iudaeis caput, that Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, 2Ki 14:23 ; 2 Kings 14:27 2 Chronicles 26:6-12 . Under the reign of these two kings Judah and Israel were in great prosperity; and, bewitched therewith, applauded themselves in their impiety, as Psalms 73:5-6 . This prophet, therefore, is sent to rouse them and rub them up, to tell them their own, and what they should trust to.
Two years before the earthquake ] That notable earthquake, famous and fresh in most men’s memories. Whether it fell out just then, when Uzziah attempted to offer incense, and was therefore smitten with leprosy, 2 Kings 15:5 , as some ancients affirm; or whether at that instant when Isaiah in a vision saw the Lord in his glory, and the posts of the door moved, Isaiah 6:4 , as some Rabbis tell us, I have not to say. It seems to be foretold, Amos 3:5 , and so terrible it was that people fled from it, Zechariah 14:5 . See the note there. Josephus maketh mention of it in the ninth book of his Antiquities, Am. xi., and telleth us, that half a great hill was removed by it out of its place, and carried four furlongs another way; so that the highway was obstructed, and the king’s gardens utterly marred. God, by such extraordinary works of his, showeth his justice and displeasure against sin, Psa 18:8 Isaiah 13:13 , as also his special mercy to his praying people, as at Antioch, in the year 529, and at Bern. A.D. 1584; near unto which city a certain hill, carried violently beyond and over other hills, is reported by Polanus (who lived in those parts) to have covered a whole village that had 90 families in it; one half house only excepted, wherein the master of the family with his wife and children were earnestly calling upon God. Oh the terror of the Lord! and oh the power of prayer!
Amo 1:2 And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.
Ver. 2. And he said, The Lord will roar ] This is spoken for the terror of the wicked, as the like was, Joel 3:16 , for the comfort of the godly. See Trapp on " Joe 3:16 " The word, as Moses, saves the Israelite, slays the Egyptian; and is as the fragrance of precious ointment, of which Oecumenius tells us that it refresheth the dove but killeth the beetle, Columbam vegetat, scarabaeum necat. See 2 Corinthians 2:16 . See Trapp on " 2Co 2:16 " The prophet here tells idolatrous Israel to their teeth that God will no longer deal fairly with them, as a shepherd, but fiercely, as a lion; he will not only roar upon them, but rend the caul of their hearts; as the lion, together with his roar, lays his paws upon the prey; and that ye may know that these are not hobgolbin terms, devised on purpose to frighten silly people, and that I shoot not popguns at you.
The habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, &c. ] That is, all your bravery shall down; all your wealth and worldly greatness shall wither; the top of your Carmel, the zenith of your prosperity, shall be blasted, and the scene soon altered. All this the prophet, used to shepherdy, expresseth accordingly, artis sum usus sermonibus (as it is natural for all artists to do), but with a great deal of life and boldness. Navita de ventis, de tauris narrat arator. Verbis vivis, animatis sententiis, et spiritus fervore flagrantissimus, as Bucholcer saith of Savonarola’s Meditations upon Psalms 51:0 .
Amo 1:3 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:
Ver. 3. For three transgressions of Damascus and for four ] For their seven, that is, several sins, not a few; for their many and bony provocations, for their progress in sin, without mean or measure. The Jews here note, that for three faults God will pardon a man, but let him beware of the fourth: God will not always serve man for a sinning stock, but break off his abused patience, and proceed to punishment. Lo, all these things worketh God twice and thrice with man, Job 33:29 , but let him not thereupon grow overly bold, lest he pay for his presumption. Sin iterated is greatly aggravated; as ciphers added increase the sum; and though it may sleep a long time, yet it is but a sleeping debt, not called for of many years, required at length; as Saul’s sin in slaying the Gibeonites was not punished till forty years after; as Joab’s killing of Abner slept all David’s days. Now, lest Israel, looking upon Syria yet flourishing, should promise themselves like impunity, they are here thus threatened.
I will not turn away the punishment thereof ] But pay them home for the new and the old; yea, for the old by occasion of the new; for their obstinate and incurable wickedness, I will punish them seven times more, and seven times more, and seven to that, Leviticus 26:24 , and so hang them up, as it were, in gibbets, for a warning to Israel, that they may wash their feet in the blood of these heathens, and redeem their own sorrows.
Because they have threshed Gilead ] i.e. the Gileadites whom they had taken captive, and thus cruelly intreated; see 2 Kings 13:7 ; 2 Kings 10:32 , where it appeareth, that all this was done not without the Lord; which yet is no excuse to Hazael’s cruelty. That conquerors were wont to use this kind of torment and punishment, see 2 Samuel 12:31 . But that David should do so, is some wonder: he was hardly recovered of his late foul fall; and thence, haply, so much harshness. Certain it is, that the merciful God abhorreth cruelty toward his creature, and severely punisheth it; such as was this of Hazael toward Israel, foretold by Elisha, 2 Kings 8:12 , and afterwards of Ptolemy Lathurus, king of Egypt, who slew 30,000 Jews at once; and forced the rest to eat up their dead carcases. (Joseph.) So that barbarous Duke of Alva roasted some of his prisoners to death, starved others, and that even after quarter, saying, though he promised to give them their lives, he did not promise to find them food. Dio telleth us of the Jews that dwelt about Cyrene in the days of Trajan; that they slaughtered a great sort of Romans and Greeks after a miserable manner; sawing them down the middle from the crown of the head, tearing their flesh with their teeth, smearing themselves with their blood, and wearing their skins for coverings, &c., so that 220,000 people perished there; and besides, in Egypt and Cyprus, 240,000, by the like abhorred cruelty, and about the same time, by the same hands. Dio, In Vitae Trajan, l. 58. c. 75. 8:421,423 "Beware of men," Matthew 10:17 .
Amo 1:4 But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.
Ver. 4. But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael ] Sin doth as naturally draw judgments to it as the lodestone doth iron or turpentine fire; and heinous sins, heaviest judgments, devouring plagues. Such as are the fire of war, Psalms 78:62 ; pestilence, Leviticus 26:25 ; foreign enemies, Num 21:28 Jeremiah 48:45 ; homebred conspiracies, Judges 9:15 ; Judges 9:20 ; besides the fire of hell, whereof all miseries here are but typical. Let men kiss the Son therefore, lest God’s anger be kindled; and get the spirit of judgment, and of burning, that they may dwell with everlasting burnings. For even "our God is a consuming fire," Hebrews 12:29 .
Amo 1:5 I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.
Ver. 5. I will break also the bar of Damascus ] i.e. their power and might, all strength defensive, or offensive, and so make way for the enemy into the city; give him a fair entrance without resistance. It is God that orders the battle, and renders men’s attempts vain or prosperous, Isa 54:17 Jeremiah 50:9 ; whereever the sword comes it is "bathed in heaven," Isaiah 34:5 .
And cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven ] Campus idoli, the plain or valley of idols (so Mercer rendereth it), that is, of Syria given to idolatry; or Damascus, a very Poneropolis, and therefore ripe for ruin.
And him that holdeth the sceptre ] & plain periphrasis of a king (called often by Homer, σκηπρουχος , sceptre bearer), or of him that was to succeed in the kingdom. The French call him Dauphin; the Spaniards, Infant, &c. Our Henry II crowned his eldest son Henry while he was yet alive, and put the sceptre into his hand; which made his ambition quite turn off his obedience.
From the house of Eden ] Or of pleasure, the king’s palace, a very paradise. God denieth not great men their lawful pleasures for refreshment, amidst their weighty businesses, &c., but yet they must remember St James’s charge, James 5:5 , against the grandees of his time: "Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter," or of good cheer. And that of Abraham to Dives, "Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things," &c., Luke 16:25 , which text Gregory the Great could never read but his heart ached with fear, lest it should be his own case. It is well observed that ( φιληδονοι ) lovers of pleasure are set as last and worst of those wicked ones, 2 Timothy 3:4 . Solomon is blamed for spending thirteen years in building his house, and planting those paradises about it, Ecclesiastes 2:5 .
And the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir ] A place of Media, called by other authors Cyrrha, or (as others think) Cyrene, in Egypt or Africa. This was fulfilled fifty years after by Tiglathpileser.
Saith the Lord ] Who spake the word and it was done, Psalms 33:9 ; Psalms 148:5 . And what wonder, when his fiat only made the world, and he can as easily unmake it if he please.
Amo 1:6 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver [them] up to Edom:
Ver. 6. For three transgressions ] See Trapp on " Amo 1:3 "
Of Gaza ] One of the five chief cities or satrapies of the Philistines; an ancient name, Gen 10:19 Deuteronomy 2:23 1 Samuel 6:17 , and not so first called by Cambyses, making it his magazine when he marched against Egypt, as Mela would persuade us.
I will not turn away ] Or I will not convert them, as some render it, so Amos 1:2 ; Amos 1:1 ; Amos 1:4 ; Amo 1:6 i.e. non reducam ad misericordiam suam, I will show them no mercy; but they shall have "an evil, an only evil," Ezekiel 7:5 , without mixture of mercy. This is punishment enough.
Because they carried away captive the whole captivity ] This cruelty God singleth out (as before) as a singular sin that shall be surely punished. Now that is called a whole or perfect deportation, when none escapeth; but all of all sorts, sexes, and sizes, are carried away, as by a sweeping rain, or universal deluge: Jeremiah 13:19 , "Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive." Whether this were Judah or Israel that was so inhumanly dealt with by the Philistines we find not. Something like it we read, 2Ch 21:16-17 Joel 3:6 . See Trapp on " Joe 3:6 "
To deliver them up to Edom ] Or to shut them up in Edom, their most inveterate deadly enemy; to whom the Philistines delivered or sold them on this condition or bargain, that they should hold them there in perpetual and irrevocable slavery.
Amo 1:7 But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:
Ver. 7. But I will send a fire ] i.e. an enemy, saith Drusius, which, as a fire, shall consume all. This was fulfilled by Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:6 , whence it was afterward called "Gaza, which is desert," Acts 8:26 .
Which shall devour the palaces thereof ] Built likely in the blood of the poor afflicted, and having sin at the bottom, which blew up all at length, as the voice from heaven said to Phocas, who likewise laid his foundation in blood. See Trapp on " Amo 1:4 "
Amo 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.
Ver. 8. And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod ] These other four Satrapies of the Philistines (Gath is not mentioned, because happily time had now triumphed over it, so that it lived by fame only) were the worse likely, and fared the worse for Gaza’s ill neighbourhood; like as Hamath did for Damascus, Zechariah 9:2 .
And I will turn mine hand ] Not in mercy, as Zechariah 13:7 , but for further mischief; I will have a double blow at Ekron, where Beelzebub the Grandiabolo is worshipped, Iterabo plagam: and when I have done with the rest I will begin again with Ekron; Acheronta movebo.
And the remnant of the Philistines ] This is dreadful, but due to them, and just upon them for their savage dealing with Israel, Amos 1:6 . This was fulfilled by Hezekiah conquering all that country, 2 Kings 18:8 . See Josephus, lib. ix. 13.
Amo 1:9 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:
Ver. 9. For three transgressions of Tyrus ] That crown of the sea, Isaiah 23:8 , media insuperabilis unda, island unconquorerable by sea, till Alexander’s time, who joined it to the continent, and afterwards ruined it. Charged it is here as those before, 1. With incurable obstinace; 2. With extreme cruelty.
Because they delivered up the whole captivity ] Which either themselves had taken, or that had fled to them for refuge in some common calamity; but were betrayed by them into the hands of their bitterest enemies. See Amos 1:6 , and acknowledge the truth of that Divine proverb, "The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel": they help their clients no otherwise than the wolf in the fable helped the sheep of his cough, by sucking his blood.
And have not remembered the brotherly covenant ] That passed of old between David, Solomon, and Hiram their king. Or rather, that between Jacob and Esau and their respective posterity, which the Tyrians should have promoted by labouring a reconciliation between these dissenting brethren; but they contrariwise blew up the coals, and rather stirred up more strife then stinted it. They called not to mind what unity and amity ought to be between people so near allied; and what good offices they should therefore have done for them.
“ Protenus indigni fraternum rumpere foedus. ” Horat.
"Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite, for he is thy brother." This is God’s argument to Israel, Deuteronomy 23:7 . Should not the Tyrians have said the like to the Edomites, and so sought to have pacified them, rather than gratified them in their hereditary hatred and deadly feud, &c.? They put themselves among those worst of men, which, given over of God, though they know the law, how that they which commit such things are worthy of death, yet not only do the same, but also take pleasure in those that do them, Romans 1:32 .
Amo 1:10 But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.
Ver. 10. Therefore I will send a fire upon the walls of Tyrus ] This was fulfilled shortly after in the war that Shalmaneser waged against the Tyrians, whereof see Joseph. lib. ix. chap. 14. Or in Nebuchadnezzar’s war with them, whereof read Eze 29:18 Jeremiah 27:3 ; Jeremiah 47:4 . Joseph. cont. Apion, lib. 2. Or Alexander’s, Curt. lib. 4; Justin. lib. 11. It is good for men to tremble at God’s judgments while they hang in the threatenings, as Josiah did; and not to tempt the Spirit of the Lord, as Ananias and Sapphira did, Acts 5:9 , by putting it to the proof, whether he will be dicti sui Dominus, as good as his word.
Amo 1:11 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:
Ver. 11. For three transgressions of Edom, &c. ] i.e. of the Edomites, the Rabbis understand the Romans, those false brethren the Pope’s bloodhounds. See the parallel made by Dr Taylor, in his sermon called the Romish Edomite.
Because he did pursue his brother with the sword ] First, when he drove him from house and home for fear of his life, which he threatened to take from him, Genesis 27:41-45 ; and afterwards came against him (returning homewards) with four hundred cut-throats at his heels, Genesis 32:6 ; Genesis 32:8 , "to smite the mother with the children," Genesis 32:11 . Next, in his posterity, those sworn swordsmen of the devil; that denied God’s Israel passage in the wilderness, coming out against him with much people, and with a strong hand, Numbers 20:20 , to his great discouragement, Numbers 21:4 . And ever after bore him an aching tooth, and waited him a shrewd turn; joining with the enemy, and taking all advantages of mischief. See 2Ch 28:17 Psalms 137:7 Obadiah 1:10-11 . Malice is commonly hereditary, and runs in the blood; and (as we use to say of runner) the older it is, the stronger.
And did cast off all pity ] Heb. corrupted his compassions, forgot his brotherhood, banished natural affection out of his bosom, and put off all humanity. The Rabbis tell us, that out of the profaneness of his spirit Esau put away his circumcision, by drawing up again the foreskin with a surgeon’s instrument. Whether this were so or not, I have not to say; but that he corrupted his compassions (if any ever he had), violated the law of nature, and abolished the love of a brother, the "brotherly covenant," this text assureth us; even all the affections, duties, and respects of blood and nature by which he was bound. His grandfather Abraham could say to his nephew Lot, "Let there be no difference between thee and me; for we are brethren," Genesis 13:8 . This one consideration was retentive enough, cooler sufficient to his choler; it was even as the Angel that stayed his hand when the blow was coming, Genesis 22:12 . It should have been so with Edom; good blood would not have belied itself; but he had lost his brotherly bowels, and even put off manhood; he had wiped out all stirrings of good nature, as a man wipeth a dish, "wiping it and turning it upside down," 2 Kings 21:18 , as the Scripture speaketh in another case: or as when a man emptieth wine out of a cup, the sides are yet moist; but when it is rinsed and wiped, there remains not the least taste or tincture.
And his anger did tear perpetually ] i.e. He in his anger did tear, as a beast of prey, and rage without intermission. The enemies of the Church do so still: such is their implacable hatred against God and his truth; they "eat up God’s people as they eat bread," Psalms 14:4 , yea, they tread down and tear in pieces, as if there were none to deliver. At the town of Barre, in France, when it was taken by the Papists, all kinds of cruelty was used, saith Mr Fox: children were cut up, and the guts of some of them and hearts pulled out, which in rage they tare and gnawed with their teeth. The Italians likewise which served the king there did, for hatred of religion, break forth into such fury, that they did rip up a living child, and took his liver being as yet red-hot, and eat it as meat. Erasmus tells of an Augustine friar, who openly in the pulpit at Antwerp, wished that Luther were there, that he might bite out his throat with his teeth. And Friar Brusierd, in a conference with Bilney, brake out into these angry words: But that I believe and know that God and all his saints will take revengement everlasting on thee, I would surely with these nails of mine be thy death. Pray therefore with David, "Deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove" to these destroyers. "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel," Psalms 74:19 Genesis 49:7 .
And kept his wrath for ever ] Though himself was mortal, yet his wrath might seem to be immortal; as was Hannibal’s against the Romans, and our Edward I’s against the Scots; against whom being about to march, he adjured his son and nobles, that, if he died in his journey into Scotland, they should carry his corpse with them about Scotland, and not allow it to be interred till they had absolutely subdued the country. Anger may rush into a wise man’s bosom, but should not rest there (Aug. eph 87. Ecc 7:9 ); for it corrupteth the heart, as vinegar doth the vessel wherein it long continueth. Of the Athenians it was said, that their anger was αειμνηστος , everlasting; but that was but small to their condemnation. Thou shalt neither revenge nor remember ill turns, Leviticus 19:18 , where servare is put for servare iram; to keep, for to keep one’s anger; to show that there is nothing that a man is more ready to keep, as being a vindictive creature. Aristotle saith (but absurdly) that it is more manly to be revenged than to be reconciled; and this the world calleth manhood, but indeed it is doghood rather. The manlier any man is, the milder and more merciful, as David, 2 Samuel 1:12 . And Julius Caesar, when he had Pompey’s head presented to him wept, and said, Non mihi placet vindicta sed victoria, I seek not revenge but victory. And the apostle purposely disgraceth revenge of injury by a word that signifieth disgrace, loss of victory, or impotence of mind. ηττημα , 1Co 6:7 Thunder, hail, tempest, neither trouble nor hurt celestial bodies; no more doth anger great minds. Edom was short spirited, soon kindled and not easily appeased; his wrath kept no bounds, as the word here used importeth; his coals were coals of juniper, fierce and long lasting; his fire not elementary, but culinary; nourished by low and unworthy considerations; a fruit of the flesh, and such as excludes out of heaven, Galatians 5:20-21 . It was not the passion but the habit of hatred which St James calleth the devil, James 4:7 , and St Paul counselleth men not to give place to that devil; and for that end, not to let the sun go down upon their wrath, Ephesians 4:26 . See Ezekiel 25:5 , where Edom is charged with a perpetual hatred, and therefore threatened with blood and desolation, as here.
Amo 1:12 But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.
Ver. 12. But I will send a fire ] A fierce enemy, ut supra. The inhabitants of Teman and Bozra, together with other the posterity of Esau, were famous for power and policy, Obadiah 1:8-9 Jer 49:7 Isaiah 34:6 . But there is no wisdom, might, nor counsel against the Lord, Proverbs 21:30-31 . He can make fools and babies of the Church’s enemies: he can fire out their malice.
Amo 1:13 Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away [the punishment] thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:
Ver. 13. I will not turn away the punishment thereof ] Or I will not turn and reduce him to myself by repentance, that I may show him mercy, as Lam 5:22 Jeremiah 31:18 , but harden his heart, and hasten his destruction.
Because they have ripped up the women with child ] Immane facinus, et vicinis indignum, saith Mercer, a cruel fact, and the worse because done by so near neighbours and allies; thus to kill two at one blow, and those also innocent and impotent, and such as they ought to have spared by the law of nature and of nations: and all this, merely out of covetousness and ambition.
That they might enlarge their border ] But first root out the little ones, that else might hereafter claim and recover their fathers’ possessions. So at the Sicilian Vespers they ripped up their own women that were with child by the French; that no French blood might remain among them. See Trapp on " Hos 13:16 " Learn to detest covetousness, that "root of all evil," 1 Timothy 6:10 . Better converse with a cannibal than with a truly covetous caitiff; and more courtesy you may expect.
Amo 1:14 But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:
Ver. 14. But I will kindle a fire, &c. ] With mine own hands (not only send a fire, as before, Amos 1:10 ; Amo 1:12 ); as Charles V Emperor of Germany (when it was told him how that Farnesius, the Pope’s general, had ravished certain ladies), brake out into these hot words: If I had the villain here I would kill him with mine own hands; neither was he ever heard to speak anything with so great anger in all his days.
With shooting in the day of battle ] Cum clangore, vel ululatu, with noise of trumpets and soldiers, so terrible, haply, as that in the bloody fight beween the great Turk, Amurath III, and Lazarus, despot of Servia; where the noise was so great that the wild beasts in the mountains stood astonished, and the birds fell to the earth amazed thereat.
With a tempest ] i.e. with incredible swiftness, and all on the sudden; and so the more terrible, because impetuous.
Amo 1:15 And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.
Ver. 15. And their king shall go into captivity ] Where he may find as little favour as Zedekiah did with Nebuchadnezzar, Valerian with Sapores the Persian, Bajazet with Tamerlane the Scythian; and not so much as Gilimer, king of Vandals, with Belisarius, of whom he requested (and obtained) these three things, a loaf, a spunge, and a harp; a loaf to relieve him, a spunge to wipe his weeping eyes, and a harp to cheer him up in his captivity.
He and his princes together ] Lords and lowlies shall fare alike; the sword spares neither. And in hell potentes potenter torquebuntur, mighty men shall be mightily tormented.