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Amo 7:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, [it was] the latter growth after the king’s mowings.
Ver. 1. Thus hath the Lord God showed unto me ] sc. In a prophetic vision: this being the first of those five that follow to the end of the prophecy; all foretelling the evils that should befall this people, to whom Amos is again sent, as Ahijah was to Jeroboam’s wife, with heavy tidings, and as Ezekiel was afterwards to his rebellious countrymen, with a roll written full of lamentations, and mourning, and woe, Ezekiel 2:10 .
And, behold, he formed grasshoppers ] Or, locusts, forerunners of famine, Joel 1:4 , See Trapp on " Joe 1:4 " or (as some will), of the Assyrians, whom the Divine justice made a scorpion to Israel, as Israel had been a scourge to Judah. When the Israelites were in their flourish, as the grass or wheat is in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth, they had been first mowed by Benhadad, King of Syria; but, growing up again under Jeroboam, their king, they were devoured by Pul and his army, as by so many greedy locusts.
In the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth ] For in those fat and fertile countries they use
“ Luxuriem segetum tenera depascere in herba. ”
Now if the latter growth were eaten up too, what else could follow but extreme famine?
It was the latter growth after the king’s mowings] Or sheep shearings, as some read it; but the former is better: and Diodati here noteth that it is thought that the kings did take the first crop, in esum et usum iumentorum, to keep their wax horses and for other services; leaving the latter mowings for other cattle, who were taught to say, After your majesty, is good manners.
Amo 7:2 And it came to pass, [that] when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he [is] small.
Ver. 2. When they had made an end of eating ] Not the grain only, but the grass, to the very roots; besides a pestilent stench left behind them; when, I say, they had done their worst. Prayer is the best lever at a dead lift; as is to be seen, James 5:18 ; upon the prayer of Elias the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit, after three years and a half’s drought; when it might well have been thought that root, and fruits, and all had been dried up, and that prayer had come too late. But that is seldom seen; as all God’s people can say experimentally. But whatshall we think of Jamblicus, a heathen author, who hath such a commendation of prayer, which might well beseem an experienced Christian? He calleth it Rerum divinarum ducem et lucem, copulam qua homines cum Deo coniunguntur, the guide and light of Divine duties, the band whereby men are united to God (Lib. 5, cap. 27). Nay, he proceedeth and saith, that prayer is clavis instar, qua Dei penetralia aperiuntur, instead of a key, wherewith God’s cabinet is opened; and much more to the same purpose. All this the prophet knew full well, and therefore sets to work in good earnest; and, as when a cart is in a quagmire, if the horses feel it coming they will pull the harder till they have it out, So he.
Then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee ] Sin, he knew, was their greatest enemy; the mother of all their misery. Of that therefore he prays for pardon, and then he knew all should be well; as when the sore is healed, the plaster falleth off. Of Christ it is said, that "He shall save his people from their sins," Matthew 1:21 , as the greatest of evils; and the Church in Hosea 14:2 , cries, "Take away all iniquity." Feri Domine, feri, saith Luther, nam a peccatis absolutus sum. Smite me as much as thou pleasest, now that thou hast forgiven my sins.
By whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small ] Here is much in few. It is Jacob, thy confederate; and he is down upon all four: and he is but small, low, and little, and (as some render it) Quis stabit Iacobo? "Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick," John 11:3 . They that are thine by covenant are at a very great under; trodden on by the bulls of Bashan, as a poor shrub of the wilderness; so the Psalmist’s word imports, Psalms 102:17 . "Why shouldest thou be as a man astonished" (that knows not whether he had best help or not), or "as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not," Jeremiah 14:9 . Thus the prophets indeed prayed for their unkind countrymen; so did Paul, Athanasius, Luther. I have obtained of God, said he, that never while I live shall the Pope prevail against my country: when I am gone let those pray that can pray. And, indeed, he was no sooner gone but all Germany was on a flame: as when Austin’s head was laid, Hippo was soon surprised by the enemy; and when Pareus’s, Heidelberg.
Amo 7:3 The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.
Ver. 3. The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord] Here was mutatio rei, non Dei; facti, non consilii: a change, not of God’s will, but of his work; therefore (by way of explication) it followeth, "It shall not be, saith the Lord." To speak properly, there can be no repentance in God, 1 Samuel 15:20 , but this is spoken after the manner of men; and it notably setteth forth the power of faithful prayer, able, after a sort, to alter God’s mind, and to transfuse a dead palsy into the hands of omnipotence, Exodus 32:10 , where God is fain to bespeak his own freedom; and Moses is represented as the great chancellor of heaven.
Amo 7:4 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.
Ver. 4. And, behold, the Lord God ] Whose asterisk, or starry note, this "behold" is, saith Tarnovius, stirring up to attention. Another compareth it to a hand in the margin of a book, pointing to some notable thing. Another, to the sounding of a trumpet before some proclamation; or to the ringing of a bell before the sermon of some famous preacher.
The Lord God called to contend by fire ] That is, by parching heat and drought, causing dearth, as Joel 1:19 . For which purpose God called his angels, those ministering spirits, that execute his judgments upon the wicked (as they did once upon Sodom), to contend for him (a metaphor from civil courts), to plead for him by fire, to destroy the perverse Israelites by fire and brimstone, Isa 66:16 Ezekiel 38:22 , as they had done Sodom and Gomorrah (so some interpret it according to the letter); or by the woe of war, compared to fire, Isaiah 26:11 , as being a misery which all words (however wide) want compass to express; or, by immoderate heat and drought, as before; so great, that
it devoured the great deep ] as that fire of the Lord in Elijah’s time licked up the water that was in the trench, 1 Kings 18:38 . See Isaiah 51:10 .
And did eat up a part ] Or, it devoured also the field: not only the waters in and under the earth, that serve to make it fruitful, but a part of the earth itself; which was altogether above and against the common course of nature. Some render it, and did eat up that part, or that field, sc. that mentioned Amos 7:1 , the king’s field; that as the king had chiefly offended, so he should be principally punished. Others interpret it by Amos 4:7 , "One piece was rained upon, and the piece whereon it rained not withered."
Amo 7:5 Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he [is] small.
Ver. 5. Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee ] See Amos 7:2 ; and persevering in prayer for the public remember to plead, not merit, but misery, Psalms 79:8-9 , and with all humility to acknowledge that "it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not," Lamentations 3:22 .
Amo 7:6 The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.
Ver. 6. The Lord repented for this ] As he is gracious, Exodus 22:27 , and quickly repenteth him of the evil, Joel 2:13 . Redire nos, non perire desiderat (Chrysologus). "I said, I would scatter them into corners," &c., Deuteronomy 32:26-27 . Mercy could not behold such strange wrath and cruelty and not weep herself even sick, as it were.
This also shall not be, saith the Lord ] So ready is he to yield himself overcome by the suits of his servants, Flectitur iratus voce rogante Deus. See Amos 7:3 .
Amo 7:7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall [made] by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.
Ver. 7. This he showed me, and behold ] See Amos 7:4 .
The Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, &c. ] Here he was set, or stood firm (as the word signifieth), as not to be removed from his purpose by any entreaties: he was fully resolved upon their ruin, and it should be done exactly, ad amussim, by line and by rule, as it were, and with so much justice, and most exquisite diligence, that against it should lie no manner of exception. It is said of the Areopagites, in Athens, that their sentence was so upright that none could ever say he was unjustly condemned of them. How much more true is this of the righteous judgment of God, who must needs therefore be justified, and every mouth stopped? Matthew 22:12 . And he was speechless, because self-condemned, Titus 3:11 , and had not what to request.
With a plumbline in his hand ] To show that he would accurately examine their actions and punish their depravities, Lamentations 2:8 2Ki 21:13 not sparing them as heretofore. A heavy sentence surely, Psalms 130:8 .
Amo 7:8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:
Ver. 8. Behold, I will set a plumbline ] I will call them to a strict account, and show them no favour, Jeremiah 16:3 , I will now actually execute my justice which I have hitherto suspended; and pay them home for the new and the old; bringing upon them an evil, an only evil, without mixture of mercy, Ezekiel 7:5 .
I will not again pass by them any more ] A metaphor from men that pass by such things as they slight and count inconsiderable; winking at small faults as not worthy to be reckoned upon. Hence, Micah 7:18 , God is said to pardon iniquity and pass by transgression; as elsewhere he is said to bind them up in a bundle, to seal them up in a bag, to cast them behind his back, to remove them "as far as the east is from the west," Psalms 103:12 , so that he beholdeth no sin in Jacob nor perverseness in Israel, Numbers 22:21 . The Church, privy to her own infirmities, calleth herself black, Song of Solomon 1:5 , but Christ calleth her fair all over, Song of Solomon 4:7 . She saith, God hath punished us less than our sins, Ezra 9:13 . He saith, She hath received double for her sins, Isaiah 40:2 . Too much, saith God; too little, saith she. O beautiful contention! But this is a privilege proper to the communion of saints, with whom God will not deal according to the rigour of his law (as he doth with the wicked), but according to his prerogative.
Amo 7:9 And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.
Ver. 9. And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate ] The Edomites also came of Isaac; but by a synecdoche a the Israelites only are here, and Amos 7:16 , to be understood. Like as elsewhere Heber is put for the Israelites only, Numbers 24:24 , and Joseph for Ephraim, Revelation 7:8 . Some think that the high places of Isaac are here mentioned to show that they were erected by the people in an apish imitation, either of Beersheba, where Isaac worshipped, or of Mount Moriah, where Isaac should have been offered: and that Isaac is here written with sin, and not tsadi, to show that God held himself not adored, but derided by those high places of derision, or those ridiculous altars, which therefore he threateneth to desolate and lay waste.
And I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword ] As a prelude to the utter extermination of all by the Assyrians. See this fulfilled, 2 Kings 15:10 ; 2 Kings 17:5-6 ; Jeroboam was very prosperous and victorious; yet designed to destruction. It is said of wicked men, that foenea quadam felicitate temporaliter floreant, they flourish today as grass, and tomorrow are cast into the oven, Matthew 6:30 : and as the metal whereof men make glass is nearest melting when it shineth brightest, so are graceless persons nearest destruction when at greatest lustre. The Turks, observing that few of their viziers die in their beds, have this proverb among them, that the greatest man is but as a statue of glass.
a A figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less comprehensive or vica versa; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for species or species for genus, etc. ŒD
Amo 7:10 Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.
Ver. 10. Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel ] Observing that the prophet had foretold a desolation, and not prayed as before that it might be averted; because he saw God was fully resolved, and their destruction determined.
Amos hath conspired against thee in the land ] Thus Elijah was the troubler of Israel, Jeremiah a seedsman of sedition, Christ an enemy to Caesar, Luther a trumpet of rebellion; all contra-remonstrants, anti-magistratical. As Athaliah cried, Treason, treason, when herself was the greatest traitor; and as in Nero’s days sedition was unicum crimen eorum qui crimine vacabunt (Lipsius), laid ordinarily to the charge of those that were most free from it, so was it here. "Amos hath conspired," &c., whereas Amos might well have said, as Latimer did, As for sedition, for aught that I know, methinks I should not need Christ, if I might so say. Religion is an utter enemy to rebellion; and as there are few conscionable Christians (prophets especially) that have not passed under this calumniation, so he cannot be rightly esteemed such a one that deserveth it. But Amaziah’s honour and incomes were now at stake; as he well perceived when he heard Amos say, Go not up to Bethel, &c., the high places of Isaac shall be destroyed; and hence his zeal against the prophet; like as Erasmus told the Elector of Saxony, that the Pope and his shavelings were therefore so sharp set against Luther because he lifted at the triple crown, and sought to bring down the monks’ fat paunches.
The land is not able to bear all his words ] His burdensome prophecies, Mal 1:1 See Trapp on " Mal 1:1 " much less can I endure them, or any faithful servant of thine, true to his trust. Such a lying accusation we read of, Esther 3:8 , made by haughty Haman against the innocent Jews, that they kept not the king’s laws, and that therefore it were good policy to weed them out, as not to be longer endured. So Francis, King of France, desiring to excuse to the Protestant princes of Germany his cruel persecution of the Lutherans in his kingdom, wrote to them that he looked upon them all as Anabaptists, and as enemies to civil government; and therefore used such severity against them. This gave occasion to Calvin to write his admirable Institutions, to vindicate our religion from that foul aspersion (Saultet. Annal. 454). The like devilish policy was afterwards used to blanch over that horrid French massacre. For it was given out, that the Protestants had conspired against the king, the queen mother, the king’s brethren, the King of Navarre, and the princes of the blood. There was also coin stamped in memory of the matter, in the forepart whereof with the king’s picture, was this inscription, Virtus in rebelles; power on rebels, and on the other side, Pietas excitavit iustitiam: Piety hath stirred up justice. Here was a fair glove drawn upon a foul hand; and this they learned from the devil, who was first a slanderer and then a murderer; as those that have a mind to kill another man’s dog make the world believe he was mad first, that they may do it with the better pretext.
Amo 7:11 For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.
Ver. 11. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, &c. ] When did Amos say so? He said indeed that the house of Jeroboam should be smitten with the sword, Amos 7:9 , and this Amaziah maliciously transferreth to the person of Jeroboam, the more to enrage him against the prophet; whom therefore he nameth once and again, to create him the more displeasure. That Jeroboam died by the sword we read not, but that his son Zachariah was slain, and his house destroyed in the next generation, we find 2 Kings 15:10 , according to Amos’s prophecy. But to colour this calumny, some truth shall be admingled.
And Israel shall surely be led away captive ] This indeed the prophet had often affirmed (though not in any of those three last visions), and it proved too true: but because Amos saith so he must pass for a traitor against the majesty both of the king and of the people. What an impudent informer was this! The king and people are pretended; and what good subject can endure it? but that which irked him was, that his own authority was by this plain dealing prophet impaired, and his gain like to be lessened, if the superstition of Bethel were thus decried. It is said of Phlugius and Sidonius (authors of the Interim in Germany) that, among other points of Popery therein defended, they spake much for chrism and extreme unction, ut ipsi discederent unctores, that thereby they might hold fat bishoprics. Such arguments prevail much with all self-seekers, whose covetousness and ambition usually ride without reins, and over whose neck it mattereth not.
Amo 7:12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:
Ver. 12. Also Amaziah said unto Amos ] After he had maliciously misinformed the king, but prevailed not; so God would have it, in whose heart is the king’s hand, and who rebuketh even kings for their sakes, saying, Do my prophets no harm.
O thou seer ] Fair words; the better to insinuate.
“ Mel in ore, verba lactis:
Fel in corde, fraus in factis. ”
Some think he calleth the prophet thus by way of jeer, quasi fatidicum aut fanaticum, as a fortune teller or distracted. Others, that he giveth the prophet good words, and seemeth to give him good counsel, as fearing the people, with whom Amos was in some credit; and therefore the king was told of a conspiracy against him "in the midst of the house of Israel," Amos 7:10 .
Flee thee away into the land of Judah ] Age, fuge: as a friend wrote to Brentius, when he was in danger to be surprised by the emperor’s agent, Fuge, fuge, Brenti cito, citius, citissime, Fly for thy life, haste, haste, haste. So the Pharisees (for no great love, be sure, but only to be fairly rid of him) came and said to Christ, "Get thee out and depart hence; for Herod will kill thee," Luke 13:31 .
Into the land of Judah ] This he speaketh scornfully, q.d. we are not good enough for you; you are so strict, &c.
And there eat bread, and prophesy there ] Invidiose omnia et contemptim dicit: If you stay here you may hap to starve for it. Away, therefore, into your own country; and there make thee a living by prophesying. He seems to measure Amos by himself; as if he were of those that prophesied for a handful of barley and a morsel of bread, Eze 13:19 Micah 3:11 ; and as a certain Popish priest confessed concerning himself and his symmists, We preach the gospel, said he, tantum ut nos pascat et vestiat, only to pick a living out of it.
Amo 7:13 But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it [is] the king’s chapel, and it [is] the king’s court.
Ver. 13. But prophesy not any more at Bethel ] Take heed of that; lest, by diffusing too much light among us, thou mar our markets, and hinder the sale of our false wares. This was the naked truth of the business; though something else was pretended, and the king’s interest pleaded.
For it is the king’s chapel, and the king’s court] Touch these mountains and they wiil smoke. Truth is a good mistress, but such of her servants as follow her too close at heels may hap to have their teeth struck out. Ahab hateth Micaiah, and Herod John Baptist, and the Pope Savonarola, for their plain dealing, laying them fast enough for it. Great ones love it, ηδιστα η ηκιστα , they must hear pleasing things; or if told of their faults, it must be done with silken words, as she said, λογοις βυδινοις . They are usually beset with their Aiones and Negones, as one hath it, that will say as they say: et mirifica est sympathia inter magnates et parasites, and there is a wonderful sympathy between kings and court parasites, as was between Ahab and the false prophets. Few Vespasians are to be found, of whom as it was said, that he was the only one who was made the better man by being made emperor, so Quintilian commendeth him for this, that he was patientissimus veri, most patient of truth, though never so sharp. Jeroboam was none such; or at least Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, would make the prophet so believe, when he tells him it is the king’s court, an ill air for truth to breathe in. Nihil veritate gravius, nihil assentatione suavius.
Amo 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I [was] no prophet, neither [was] I a prophet’s son; but I [was] an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
Ver. 14. Then answered Amos and said to Amaziah ] With no less courage, I suppose, than Paul and Barnabas used to the stubborn Jews, Acts 13:46 ; see John 1:19 ; John 1:21 ; or Basil to Valent, the emperor, or Johannes Sarisburieusis to the Pope, A.D. 1540; or Bishop Ridley, when offering to preach before the Lady Mary, and receiving a repulse, he was brought by Sir Thomas Wharton, her servant, to the dining place, and desired to drink, which after he had done, he paused a while, looking very sadly; and suddenly broke out into these words: Surely I have done amiss. Why so? quoth the knight. For I have drunk, said he, in that place where God’s word offered hath been refused; whereas, if I had remembered my duty, I had departed immediately and shaken off the dust of my shoes for a testimony against this house. These words were by the said bishop spoken with such a vehemence, that some of the hearers afterwards confessed the hairs to stand upright on their heads.
I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son] Neither born nor bred a prophet; neither have I rashly or ambitiously put myself upon this tremend employment; my call thereto was extraordinary. The prophet’s scholars were called their sons, 2 Kings 2:8 ; 2Ki 2:5 ; 2 Kings 2:7 ; 2 Kings 2:15 Isa 8:18 Mark 10:24 1Co 4:14 ; 1 Corinthians 4:17 .
But I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit ] Of low condition, and hardly bred; so that I could live with a little, and needed not to turn prophet, ventris causa, for food sake. When one said to the philosopher, If you will but please Dionysius you need not feed upon green herbs, he presently replied. And if you can feed upon green herbs you need not please Dionysius. Nature is content with a little, grace with less. It is not for a servant of God to be a slave to his palate: Luther made many a meal of a herring.
Amo 7:15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.
Ver. 15. And the Lord took me, as I followed the flock ] As he took Elisha from the plough tail, the apostles from casting and mending their nets, &c. Asinos elegit Christus et idiotas, sed oculavit in prudentes: simulque dona dedit, et ministeria, he called them to the office, and withal he gifted them. He called also learned Nathanael, and Nicodemus, a master in Israel; lest, if he had called none but such as were simple (saith John de Turrecremata), it should have been thought they had been deceived through their simplicity. But it is God’s way to choose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and things that are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence, 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 .
And the Lord said unto me ] He often inculcates the name of the Lord, to show that there was a necessity of his prophesying; for who can safely disobey such a commander? see Amos 3:8 . Aut faciendum, aut patiendum. The philosopher could tell the emperor, who challenged him to dispute, that there was no contesting with him that had twenty legions at his command.
Go, prophesy unto my people Israel ] Keep within my precincts, and thou shalt be sure of my protection; be true to thy trust, and I will see to thy safety. If thou have not fine manchet (as Bucer said to Bradford, encouraging him to bestow his talent in preaching), yet give the poor people barley bread, or whatever else the Lord hath committed unto thee. Having therefore such a call from heaven to this work, with what face canst thou hinder me therein? With what countenance will ye appear before the judgment seat of Christ (said Dr Taylor, martyr, to Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor, who had thus saluted him, Art thou come, thou villain? how darest thou look me in the face for shame? knowest thou not who I am, &c.?) How dare ye for shame look any Christian man in the face, seeing you have forsaken the truth, denied our Saviour Christ and his word, and done contrary to your own oath and writing? And, if I should be afraid of your lordly looks, why fear you not God, the Lord of us all? who hath sent us on his errand, which we must deliver, and truth be spoken, however it be taken, 1 Corinthians 9:16 .
Amo 7:16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not [thy word] against the house of Isaac.
Ver. 16. Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord ] Hear, thou despiser, and wonder, and perish; for I work a work in thy days, a work which thou wilt in nowise believe, though a man declare it unto thee, Acts 13:41 . But whether thou wilt hear or forbear, believe or otherwise, thy doom is determined, and shall be pronounced, Ezekiel 3:27 : "Hear, therefore, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken it." Oh that thou wouldst give glory to the Lord, and confess thy sin! Jeremiah 13:15-16 . Oh that thou wouldst submit to Divine justice, implore his mercy, and putting thy mouth in the dust, say, as once that good man did, Veniat, veniat, verbum Domini, et submittemus, ei sexcenta si nobis essent colla. Let the Lord speak, for his servant heareth! But because there is little hopes of that, stand forth and hear thy sentence, and the evil that shall befall thee, as sure as the coat is on thy back, or the heart in thy body. For hath the Lord spoken, and shall he not do it?
Thou sayest, Prophesy not ] By a bold countermand to that of God in the former verse, "Go, prophesy," &c. "But woe to him that striveth with his Maker I Let the potsherds strive with the potsherds of the earth," Isaiah 45:9 ; let men meddle with their matches, and not "with him that is mightier than they," Ecclesiastes 6:10 .
And drop not thy word ] Which is as sharp as vinegar and nitre. Or, though it were as sweet as honey, yet it would cause pain to exulcerate parts when dropped upon them.
Against the house of Isaac ] Though commanded so to do, Amos 7:9 . Toothless truths would be better digested.
Amo 7:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.
Ver. 17. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Thy wife, &c.] Thou shalt be sure of thy share in the common calamity, which thou wilt not hear of; but thou shalt hear and be ashamed, &c., Isaiah 26:11 . So little is gotten by thwarting with God, and seeking to frustrate his counsel. With these froward pieces God will show himself froward, Psalms 16:4 ; and if they walk contrary to him, he will also walk as cross to them, Leviticus 26:21 ; he will tame such sturdy rebels as he did Pharaoh, and that way raise him a name; all they shall get by him is but more weight of punishment: as when Jehoiakim had burnt Jeremiah’s roll of curses, all that he gained was that the roll was renewed, "and there were added besides thereunto many like words," Jeremiah 36:32 . See the like, Jeremiah 20:2 1 Kings 13:4 ; 1 Kings 22:25 Acts 5:38-39 . The counsel of God (saith Gregory) while shunned is executed; the wisdom of man may wriggle, but cannot escape.
Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city ]. A common strumpet, for a punishment of thy spiritual harlotry; together with thy "seducing my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols," Revelation 2:20 .
Or, thy wife shall be an harlot ] That is, she shall be ravished by the enemy before thy face ( Per vim stuprabitur ); so Theodoret, Calvin, Mercer, &c. See Isa 13:16 Lamentations 5:11 . The Irish rebels bound the husband to the bedpost, while they abused his wife before his face.
And thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword ] Because thou hast taken my sons and my daughters, and these hast thou sacrificed unto devils to be devoured. "Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children," and brought them forth to the murderer? Ezekiel 16:20-21 ; that thou hast sent so many souls to hell, and nuzled up thine own sons and daughters in ignorance and superstition, being therein rather a parricide than a parent, peremptores potius quam parentes (Bern.)?
Thy land shall be divided by line ] Thy purchases shall be parted among the enemies; thine ill gotten riches shall be made a spoil to the soldier.
And thou shalt die in a polluted land ] i.e. In Assyria, filled with the uncleanness of the inhabitants from corner to corner, as Canaan was, Ezr 9:11 Leviticus 26:38 . Here thou shalt die for thine abominable idolatries, to thy great regret. Seldom do such escape the visible vengeance of God, as by virulent tongues or violent hands persecute his true prophets. Whether Amos for his boldness was first scourged by Amaziah, and then wounded to death by his son Uzziah (as some will), is uncertain.
And Israel shall surely ] Though thou wouldst not believe it, Amos 7:11 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Amos 7". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent