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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible

Amos 2

Introduction

Israel Faced Her Transgressions Amos Two

Moab was Judah's neighbor to the south. Their transgression was that they were especially cruel to Edom and her king. They desecrated the nation of Edom by burning the remains of their king into lime.

God applied the same formula of judgment to His people that He applied to the other nations. "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment." Amos point out that God's people had also just gone on committing sin after sin. The sin of Judah was that they despised and disobeyed the law of God. They had God's Law and He expected and required them to obey! Religious lies led them astray from the Almighty. The wickedness of Judah would also cause them to face God punishment of fire.

Israel's sins are also pointed out following the same pattern as before, "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four." They continued to commit sin upon sin. They sold the righteous for silver and the poor for a pair of shoes. The rich were cruel in their actions toward the poor. The people were immoral. "A man and his father will go in unto the same maid." Their idolatrous worship caused them to disregard God's commands concerning pledges from the poor. ( Exo_22:26-27 ) How could Israel reject a God that had been so good to them? Gratitude to God always leads to faithfulness to Him.

Israel had rejected God's prophets and had given the Nazirites wine to drink. The disobedience of Israel leads to God placing a heavy burden upon them. Israel would have no strength to defend herself against her enemies without blessing from God. Let us be weak enough to cry out, "We need God!"

Verses 1-3

The transgressions of Moab -- Amo_2:1-3 : The fact that Moab had gone on committing one sin after another caused God to pronounce judgment upon that nation. The Moabites were also descendants of Lot. ( Gen_19:37 ) They had disrespected the king of Edom by burning his bones. The Edomites were Esau's descendants. God promised His fire upon Moab to devour the strongholds of Kerioth. He said, "Moab shall die amid uproar, amid shouting and the sound of the trumpet."

The picture is that the city would be taken by storm, and that would be followed by a total slaughter of its inhabitants, especially a slaughter of the leaders. God promised that the rulers and the princes of Moab would be cut off. Military people understand the importance of removing the leaders of the nation that you attack. This destruction of all government would surely happen to Moab.

Verses 4-5

The transgressions of Judah -- Amo_2:4-5 : Judah, the people of God had despised and rejected His word so they heard the same statement, "For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment thereof." The Law of the Lord and His commandments were clear, but Judah rejected them for religious lies. This caused them to go astray just as their fathers had done. What a sad commentary spoken against the people of God: (1) They rejected the Law of the Lord. (2) They did not keep His statutes, and (3) They followed all kinds of religious lies.

The punishment for Judah was the same as for other nations. God said, I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem." Read 2Ki_25:9 and see that these words were literally fulfilled. "And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire."

Verses 6-10

The transgressions of Israel -- Amo_2:6-10 : Next God said, "For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment." The 10-tribe Northern Kingdom was guilty of many sins: (1) They sold the righteous for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals. How much would a human being, especially a righteous person, be worth to you? (2) They defrauded the poor and the weak that were unable to defend themselves. (3) A man and his father had sexual relations with the same girl. (4) They bowed down at pagan altars to worship. (5) They made personal use of the garments that were taken as pledge that should not have been kept over night. ( Deu_24:12 ) and, (7) They levied fine upon the poor with-out cause and then spent that money for wine that they drank in the idols' house.

God reminded Israel that He had destroyed the Amorites. They had been a very strong nation but God said, "I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath." God utterly destroyed the Amorites, root and branch. Nothing remains of him even till this day. God also reminded Israel of His goodness toward them. God said, "It was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite." In Egypt the children of Israel were afflicted and in deep slavery. The Lord brought them out with a great deliverance. He led them for forty years through the wilderness. He used a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. He protected and preserved them. Sadly Israel's disobedience shows much ingratitude to the Almighty.

Verses 11-16

More about Israel's transgressions -- Amo_2:11-16 : God raised up some of the sons of the children of Israel to be prophets. Some of the young men dedicated themselves to be Nazirites. Prophets stood between God and the people and delivered inspired messages of instruction and correction. The Nazarites were a special class of servants for God. Sadly God said, "But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, 'You shall not prophesy." "One of the conditions of a Nazarite's vow was that he abstain from the use of wine or any other part of the grape during the term of his vow." ( Num_6:2-4 ) They told the prophets to keep quiet because they did not like the warn-ings they gave and nor the exhortations to duty that they proclaimed. Their sins were so numerous that they could not deny them.

In Amo_2:13 the King James Version says, "Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves." The English Standard and the American Standard Versions say, "Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down." This seems to be more in keeping with the thought of the text. God would bear down upon the nation of Israel with a heavy burden because of their disobedience. They would have no speed, strength nor might to deliver themselves. When the As-syrians invaded Israel they fell because God was no longer with them. The battle would be so strong against Israel that "he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day." Without God and His blessing the battle is certainly lost.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Amos 2". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/amos-2.html. 2014.