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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Amos 9

 

 

Verses 1-15


The Concluding Vision and a Discourse. Comfortable Words

1. The vision.

2-10. The discourse, declaring that none shall evade God's judgments (Amos 9:2-6); that Israel stands in no peculiar relationship to Jehovah (Amos 9:7); that all the sinners amongst them shall perish (Amos 9:8-10).

11-15. Comfortable words, predicting the restoration of the Davidic kingdom in all its former extent (Amos 9:11-12); the exuberant fertility of the land (Amos 9:13); the complete and final establishment of the nation on it (Amos 9:15).

1. Read, 'I saw Jehovah standing beside the altar; and he said, “Smite the capitals of the pillars, so that the thresholds may shake, and break them in pieces on the head of all of them.. there shall not one of them flee away, and there shall not one of them escape.”' The altar is that at Bethel, the chief sanctuary of the kingdom (1 Kings 12:33; Amos 7:13); assembled there for worship, the great mass of the people meet with destruction, like the Philistines in the house of their god (Judges 16:29-30). The blow from heaven shakes the building throughout, and its loftier parts come crashing down on the worshippers.

2. Hell] Heb. Sheol, the abode of the departed.

3. Carmel's lofty, rough, wooded summit would be an ideal place to hide in. Fugitives had the right of asylum on this sacred mountain. The reference to the serpent reminds us of the Babylonian myth in which the dragon of chaos is vanquished by Merodach: cp. also Isaiah 51:9; Psalms 74:13.

5, 6. This may have been a note written on the margin, suggested by Psalms 5:8; Psalms 8:8.

6. RV 'It is He that buildeth His chambers in the heaven, and hath founded His vault upon the earth.' The vault of the sky appears to rest on the ground.

7. At Amos 3:2; Amos admits that there is a special bond between Israel and the Lord; here, with splendid boldness, he repudiates it. Their conduct has dissolved the connexion. Not only so: Providence has guided other races as well as the Hebrews: cp. Matthew 3:9; John 8:33; Acts 17:26). The Ethiopians inhabited that part of the Nile Valley which stretches from Assouan southwards. Caphtor] probably the island of Crete (cp. Ezekiel 25:16); but some authorities identify it with the coast of the Egyptian Delta.

8-10. The qualifications at the end of Amos 9:8-9 rob the threat of much of its force, and are not quite in the manner of Amos. At all events, we have three stern messages here: the kingdom is to be utterly destroyed, the people are to be wanderers amongst all nations, the sword is to slay all the sinners.

11. The dominion exercised by David's descendants is spoken of as the tabernacle of David, and is figured as a small, dilapidated house, part of which has fallen in, the rest being full of gaps: cp. 1 Kings 12:16; Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24.

12. The remnant of Edom is an expression which implies that this people has been much weakened; the victories of Amaziah greatly reduced its power (2 Kings 14:7-22). Over other nations, also, Jehovah's name had been proclaimed as victor and owner: cp. Deuteronomy 28:10; 2 Samuel 12:28; Isaiah 63:19; 2 Chronicles 6:33.

13. Vintage comes in the dry months of autumn, and is soon over. In the happy future the grapes will be so plentiful that this work will last till the rainy season, when the grain is sown. Sweet wine] the newly expressed juice of the grape.

14. To bring again the captivity is an expression which does not necessarily imply exile. It often means a favourable change in one's fortunes. But the mention of the waste cities, and the land gone out of cultivation, agrees with the idea of a real captivity, and the promise in the closing v. suggests that Israel had been 'plucked up out of their land.'

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Amos 9:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/amos-9.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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